Les Claypool and Sean Lennon Named Their New Album After This Mysterious Moon Rock

An investigation of the 'Monolith of Phobos'

claypool lennon phobos

Photo via The Claypool Lennon Delirium

The Claypool Lennon Delirium is the new project of Sean Lennon (solo artist and progeny of John and Yoko) and Les Claypool (Primus frontman & bass guitar freak of nature). The band will release a full-length album titled Monolith of Phobos on June 3rd. Lennon claims that the album will deliver abundle of devilish tunes about monkeys, outer space and sexual deviancy.”

The title Monolith of Phobos refers to an actual space oddity that is the source of some fun conspiracy theories – the type that do seem like they’d be great fodder for psychedelic prog rock inspiration. Strap on your tin foil hat – here we go!

Phobos is a small moon/lumpy space pebble that revolves around Mars. In 1998, a U.S. satellite called the Mars Global Surveyor took a photograph of the surface of Phobos (see below), revealing the structural feature now known as the Phobos monolith. The object appears almost rectangular in shape and its shadow gives the impression that the structure may be very tall. According to a technology company that proposed an unmanned trip to Phobos in conjunction with the Canadian Space Agency, the monolith is a “building-sized object that appears to be a boulder exposed relatively recently in an otherwise desolate area of the asteroid-like moon.”

phobos monolith

The Phobos Monolith (center)

So it’s a tall zit on a lumpy space rock. Who cares? Wacky Internet conspiracy theorists writing on websites of dubious veracity, that’s who!

Phobos Conspiracy Theories

As I wasted my precious time Googling this subject, I visited some depressing corners of the Internet and become mildly irritated. However, I learned some fun theories about the Phobos monolith that I will share with you now!

Some people think that Phobos itself is “artificial” or hollow and is actually a defunct alien craft. Isaac Asimov apparently once wrote a story where he imagined that Phobos was a spaceship. Joseph Shklovskii (Carl Sagan’s Intelligent Life in the Universe co-author) apparently deduced that Phobos might be hollow due to its density or something. This has led some readers to jump to the batshit conclusion that Phobos is a “hollowed-out space station of huge proportions.” Also, a Russian satellite once got lost in space – but not before beaming down some blurry photos that surely portray an alien mothership. Oh, also: in Greek mythology, Phobos was the personification of horror, so that is trivia of grave portent.

2001 monolith kubrick

Don’t forget this space monolith, from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

What does astronaut Buzz Aldrin have to say about all this, you ask?

During a television interview (see below), King Buzzo made some insanely cryptic remarks about the monolith.“We should visit the moon of Mars, there’s a monolith there, a very unusual structure on this little potato shaped object that revolves around Mars once every seven hours. When people find out about that they are going to say, ‘Who put that there? Who put that there?’ Well the universe put it there, or if you choose, God put it there.’”

What are you getting at, Buzz? If you know that the Phobos monolith is a 7-Eleven for Martians, just say so!

In a separate radio interview, Aldrin called the monolith “very, very curious.” It’s the kind of cryptic remark that any armchair alien aficianado worth his salt understands to mean, without a doubt, that the Phobos monolith is definitely a Duane Reade for spacemen.

Learn more about the Claypool Lennon Delirium, including tour dates, at the band’s website.

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