Members of Wilco, Cheap Trick and the Mavericks Play Good Pop
Although Ken Coomer is immersed in tedious tasks - packing and labelling boxes to move into a new house in Nashville - the Wilco drummer gets downright giddy when discussing Swag, his latest musical endeavour with his Music City pals. “It feels like you did when you first started a band”, he says. “It’s exciting, you know?”
Swag was conceived in various hotel rooms by the Mavericks’ Robert Reynolds and Jerry Dale McFadden, who would hole up and write pop tunes while on tour. The pair recruited Coomer and solo artist Doug Powell, a few singles and compilation tracks were dashed off and it was good. When McFadden met Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson in an elevator and convinced him to join, it got better. Swag’s recently released Different Girls EP *(Space Baby) isn’t only pretty on the outside, it’s a 10-inch picture disc - it’s inner grooves are gorgeous, too, sporting a few up-tempo rockers and “Different Girl”, a lost-love ballad that believes in Paul McCartney, Pet Sounds and not much else.
“That was a definite tip to the Beach Boys”, says Coomer. “I mean, everybody does it, so why not come out and say it? It’s fun, because no one feels like we have to prick the finger and be blood brothers. We all do other things and we get together when we can. We laugh.”
Jovial and prolific, the members of Swag recently recorded seven more songs, adding up to an album worth of material. After Coomer settles into his new digs, he’s off to Chicago to record the new Wilco album which he describes as somewhere between Being There and Summer Teeth. As for Swag, Coomer’s highest hopes are “three square meals a day”, he says before breaking into laughter. “Oh, that was good. That was like Indie Rock 101 wasn’t it? I’d like to see someone pull out the record and for us to go to Japan.
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