Why do rumors get started? Well, they’re started by the jealous people and, of course, it’s because they get mad, seeing something they had in somebody else’s holding.
So sayeth the Timex Social Club, so sayeth Cosm. The five-piece live drum ’n’ bass outfit has just been presented with a list of rumors more or less calling Cosm—specifically vocalist Wendy Jernigan—prima donnas. The list runs long for a band that played its first show a scant eight months ago. They’re taking it as a good omen. If people are talking, says Jernigan, “we must be doing something right.”
That very well may be the case, as Cosm (Jernigan, drummer Daniel Day, guitarist Chris Hill, keyboardist-programmer Greg Bower, turntablist Collin MacIntyre) is laying down some of the best drum ’n’ bass the valley has seen and bringing it live, tricky-quick breakbeats and all. And that, reader, is most definitely something to get green over.
But the gripes bear acknowledgement, as a negative image can be the kiss of death for a band, even if the music is good. So what, exactly, has Cosm been accused of? Moonwalk back a few weeks …
Cosm reputedly demanded equal time in a City Weekly feature covering Misty Murphy’s CD release show, for which they opened. Such a demand—any demand—from a new, unsigned local band rates high on the “What the Hell?”-scale. But it gets better: Cosm reportedly required that 15 seconds of the radio spots Murphy’s label, Invisibleland, placed to promote the show be devoted to them and their music. Further, Cosm allegedly demanded flyers and tickets for the show be reprinted with the Cosm logo enlarged and with better placement. Jernigan’s own alleged antics include: 1. Throwing a hissy fit when told her grand entrance—from outside the club with a wireless mic—would be technically problematic. 2. Making said entrance anyway, pushing people out of the way in a full-on diva fit. 3. And four times thanking her hairstylist onstage for making her look so “fabulous.” Toss in tattle that Cosm then, demands and all, asked Invisibleland to sign them, and they sound like the Butthead Band of the Year.
Cosm’s take has them making no demands, but making no apologies for looking out for Numero Uno and trying to put on a hot show. Day says they were promised specific promotion in lieu of cash payment, and were eager to accept, since Cosm is a “relatively new band.” “We were willing to do the show for free,” he reveals, “[but] after all the promo went out, we didn’t feel like we received what we were promised, so we spoke up. We talked to [Invisibleland owner] Brian Kessler before the show, and we worked everything out. The show was awesome, and we had a great time. Invisibleland even paid us, so props to them.”
Jernigan defends her own actions, stating “Our sponsors are the ones who made it possible for us to promote our show. We told them we would give them props. But thanking them four times? I don’t think so.”
As for the diva play, she’s flippant: “I’d like to put out a formal apology to anyone I may have hurt in my ‘overly dramatic entrance.’ That show was right after the Olympics, and I was trying to light the fire from within.” Bottom line: “We’re putting on a show. Dramatic entrances are a must. Music is the first priority, but it has to be interesting.”
Perhaps, but one relevant question does rise out of the muck: Do Cosm’s actions detract from its musical worth? Does all of this matter in the grand schematic?
Nope, says Cosm. That’s for the listener to decide.
“We have a plan for our band,” asserts Jernigan. “Settling doesn’t do us any good.”
Chimes MacIntyre: “Hey, as long as we’re stirrin’ things up. Isn’t that what music is all about? Creating revolutions of the mind?”
“The proof is in the pudding,” says Day. “Come see us and judge for yourselves.”