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Brian Bell, 2005
|Birth name||Brian Lane Bell|
|Born||December 9, 1968, (age 45)
Iowa City, Iowa
|Instrument(s)||Guitar, Bass guitar, Drums, Piano, Harmonica, Vocals|
|Website||The Relationship MySpace page|
Brian Lane Bell (born December 9, 1968, Iowa City, Iowa) is an American guitarist and songwriter. Active since 1989, is best known as the rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist for the American alternative rock band Weezer. However, since The Red Album, he has taken over lead guitar. Bell joined Weezer in 1993 following the departure of founding member Jason Cropper. In addition to his duties in Weezer, Bell also has his own band, Space Twins, as well as a new project called The Relationship.
Brian Bell was born in Iowa City, Iowa to parents Tom Bell, a geography professor at the University of Tennessee, and Linda Menasco, an elementary school assistant principal. He was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. He first gravitated to music at the age of four when his parents took him to an Elvis Presley concert at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. Soon after, Bell became obsessed with his father's record collection, playing them constantly. At a young age, Bell asked his mother to let him take piano lessons, refusing to let him take guitar lessons until high school because she "wouldn't believe that he would practice." Eventually, during his freshman year in high school, his parents allowed him to take guitar lessons from Knoxville musician Ben Bolt.
At the age of eighteen, Bell moved to Los Angeles, California, and enrolled at the Guitar Institute of Technology. Soon he became a member of Carnival Art, a fledgling alt rock unit who had already released an indie album in 1989. After Bell joined as the bass player, the group released two more albums, two EPs, and several singles through 1993. Unfortunately, the band had extremely small record sales and were eventually dropped by label Beggars Banquet.
It was around the time Carnival Art was disintegrating that Bell became acquainted with the members of Weezer, "They started playing on the scene, and I instantly saw something unique in them. I didn't necessarily want to be in their band. They were for some reason, were in with the wrong crowd and playing at the wrong venues. I wanted to help them out any way I could and I wanted to play a show with them." Bell particularly found himself amazed with "Say It Ain't So." He believed it possessed a rare "classic" sound and expressed surprise that songs like that were still being written.
One night in the late summer of 1993, while driving home, Bell decided once-and-for-all to quit Carnival Art. When he got home he found on his answering machine a message from Weezer bassist Matt Sharp. Sharp called again the next day, "Matt was just beating around the bush, and Rivers took the phone from him and said, 'Do you wanna join our band?'"
Bell then joined Weezer in 1993 during the recording of The Blue Album, replacing Jason Cropper. Since then he has remained a member of Weezer. Besides doing backup vocals and playing rhythm guitar (as well as lead guitar on the Pinkerton classics "El Scorcho" and "Why Bother?"), Bell takes on many of the multi-instrumental duties during live shows. When songs call for the use of a keyboard or harmonica, Bell often plays them.
For several years leading up to 2009, Bell has been writing songs and recording for a side project called The Relationship. Demo recordings have been posted on the band's MySpace (which were later copied and shared by fans) over the last couple of years, and The Relationship opened a few California shows on Weezer's 2008 Troublemaker Tour. It is rumored that an album has been completed as of December 2008.
The album title has not been confirmed, however, id3 tags found in some officially released MP3s list the album title as Release Me. It is unknown if this is a real title or if it is a joke, commenting on how long the album has taken to finish.
Bell and Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson, collaborated on a cover of the Velvet Underground song "Heroin", for the 2006 film Factory Girl.
In November 2006, Lyon introduced a limited edition guitar series called "the Brian Bell Limited Edition guitar package," each of which had been hand-signed by Bell, and were in the same "strat" body style that Brian prefers to play.
Bell is looking to release his own solo album which he states will come out sometime in August of 2010. There are no details of the tracklist or what label it will be released on just yet.
In 2006, Bell made his on-screen debut, playing Lou Reed in the Edie Sedgwick, Factory Girl. Fellow bandmate Patrick Wilson also appeared as John Cale, another member of the Velvet Underground.
- Weezer - 1994
- Pinkerton - 1996
- Weezer - 2001
- Maladroit - 2002
- Make Believe - 2005
- Weezer - 2008
- Raditude - 2009
- Hurley - 2010
This discography lists only Weezer's albums. For more detail, please see the Weezer discography
With Carnival Art
This discography lists only Brian's albums with Carnival Art. For more detail, please see the entry for Carnival Art
With The Space Twins
- No Show single (1994)
- Osaka Aquabus single (1997)
- TV, Music & Candy single (1998)
- The End of Imagining (2003)
- Meet the Deedles Soundtrack (1998) (backing vocals on "American Girls")
With The Relationship
- The Relationship (2010)
- Main article: Brian Bell interviews