Cosmos is the collaboration between Richard Davies (the Moles, the amazing Cardinal) and Robert Pollard (that Robert Pollard). Their debut Jar Of Jam Ton Of Bricks is out 6/9 via Happy Jack Rock. For fans of smart, singular pop, this is a dream come true … even if you’d never dreamt it. In this week’s Drop we debuted the collections closing, Pollard beloved “Hail Mary.” Take a listen. We also spoke with Davies about Cosmos and the track. We weren’t able to fit the entire conversation in the newsletter, but you can read all the man’s words — including his thoughts on taking Cosmos on the road — here:
STEREOGUM: How did the collaboration come about?
RICHARD DAVIES: Bob and I had been writing letters for a while and it seemed to mutate into doing some music. To be brutally honest, I am not quite sure how I came to be in a band with Robert Pollard, but all I can say is it’s a lot of fun. Its the ultimate hoax. It’s also nice to be in something I’m not in total control of, or that Bob or anybody else is in total control of. People love to be in control, but in the real world, that’s not how things work — life is kind of chaotic and haphazard, so Cosmos is a slight reflection and intimation of that.
STEREOGUM: Who named it “Cosmos”?
RD: Bob came up with a series of titles/lyrics/names in his correspondence, and I picked Cosmos out of one of his lists. Other possibilities were The Working Girls, and The Flattering Lights. Cosmos seemed best because it’s No Rules. I always liked Carl Sagan, too.
STEREOGUM: You wrote all the music. How did you decide which songs to sing/which songs to have Bob sing?
RD: Bob asked if I could write the music and then he’d write his lyrics and sing on it. I thought “that’s sweet.” Most of the way things came out were accidental.
STEREOGUM: What inspired “Hail Mary”? There are a lot of stories and histories threaded through it.
RD: This song was written in the voice of my mother-in-law Mary, who is currently 83. Mary has a very practical approach to life, having grown up on a farm in the Depression in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and she gets on well with my mum, because they were both nurses, although they live a long way away from each other (Harwich MA, to Mandurah, Western Australia). Which is another way of saying Mary and Betty are an intimidating force. That was a gift to me, and to Bob, because they cut through a lot of the bullshit.
STEREOGUM: How’d you decide to make it the album closer?
RD: Bob said he liked it, and he sequenced the album to fuck with the membranes of any true tried and tested music lovers, so…
STEREOGUM: Do you imagine Cosmos going on the road?
RD: Bob has his solo stuff and Boston Spaceships, and I have my law practice, he has a family, and maybe pets, I have a family and a dog. All that said, I like to play music for people, its a lot of fun, and Bob is good at pacing himself, so we might play a few shows for the faithful at some point. Its fun to be a gypsy once in a while.
In this week’s Drop, we also offered the chance for one winner to nab a full copy of Rock Band 2, complete with the drums, guitar, and mic. To sweeten the deal, the winner also gets a Legacy Edition of Pearl Jam’s Ten. Why? Not only is Pearl Jam, one of the most influential and iconic bands of the 90s, still producing important music eighteen years later, you can play with Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron as he takes a shot at Rock Band 2 with Xbox LIVE® Gold members March 27. If you’re an Xbox LIVE Gold member (if not, upgrade now at Xbox), and you want a chance to play with Matt Cameron, just send a friend request to the following Gamertag — *Pearl Jam GWF — and be online half an hour before (6:30 P.M. ET) the Game with Fame session starts on Friday, March 27, 7:00 P.M. ET.
Cameron, a onetime member of grunge pioneers Skin Yard and longtime drummer for Soundgarden, is clearly a veteran of Seattle’s music scene. He joined Pearl Jam in 1998 and started recording with them on their 2000 release Binaural. This is Matt playing drums:
Pearl Jam have put out eight full-lengths since 1991. Looking back at their beginnings, they’re currently re-releasing their 1991 debut Ten. There’ll be four collectible special edition versions. You can find out more at the band’s official website.
Want to hear Matt Cameron and Pearl Jam together? If so, set up these music videos for download through Xbox LIVE Marketplace: “Alive,” Do The Evolution,” Even Flow,” Jeremy,” etc. You can check out all the Pearl Jam videos at the Xbox Marketplace.
If you get a chance to play with Matt Cameron, Xbox wants to hear about it. You can send them an e-mail at [email protected] with the subject: “GWF – Pearl Jam.” Be sure to include your Gamertag and hometown.
CONTEST ENDS 04/08/09 AT 12PM EST.