HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE - If Wishes Were Glass Horses Page 3
by Martin Popoff
For the (also timeless) and magnificently conspiratorial cover art, Cobbett relates that he "sat down with one of my favorite artists, Thomas Woodruff, had the privilege of sitting down with him, and I showed him a newspaper clipping of a book cover that I liked, but I didn't have any idea how I wanted it to look, but I knew I wanted purple and gold with a splash of red. And we sat down and drank whiskey, and my brother Aaron, my photographer, was there also. The two of them are both good friends from New York, and we got together to work on the cover art, which again, was a huge privilege to work on those guys. And we sat down and concepted the whole cover in about two hours. And I told them I wanted glass horses, webs, I wanted theater curtains, and I wanted an eagle and I wanted a banner, and he sketched out and he came up with the idea of having the rose in the web on the CD, and the rose being eaten by june bugs underneath. And I was like, 'Awesome, that sounds great.' And having seen his work before, I knew he was basically a genius, and he sent me the finished piece about three months later. First time I'd ever seen it. I had never even seen it yet, and it was perfect, beautiful."
How big was it; what mediums did he use?
"He used acrylic, watercolor, and I think some pastel. The original is about 36" x 48", really big, and yes, I was instantly into it. It was perfect."
And did you buy the actual artwork?
"No, I can't afford his work. He kept the original, unfortunately. He has collectors that would pay a lot more money than I could ever afford. But he's never done an album cover before in his life. This is the only album cover he's ever done and it's because he liked the band and he liked the concept."
"I don't like colouring people's perceptions," says John, asked to elaborate just a bit on his coal-fired, enigmatic lyrics, offered in an array of male/female arrangements, courtesy of Mike Scalzi (John plays with him in Slough Feg) and new arrival Jamie Myers.
Actually, first further on the band's dream-sequenced singing, John comments that "the band kind of didn't really have a lineup for a couple of years there. So in order to rebuild it, we brought in Jamie Myers and Sigrid Sheie. Jamie brought in completely different female vocals, which is obvious. Kind of really the opposite to the way Janice (Tanaka) sang, which is good, kind of like a foil to Mike's voice. Not everybody agrees with that, but what can you do? I mean, Janice's voice was awesome, but she has a really kind of Carly Simon sort of pro singer thing. And Jamie has this sort of girlish wounded quality I really liked a lot, so I just decided to go with it - plus she could play bass. Which, at the time... we were looking for a female bass player singer. I've since learned better, because I'm really eager to find good singers without being worried about whether they can play the bass."
HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE - If Wishes Were Glass Horses Page 4