Byzantine

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"Byzantine"
Byzantine cover
Album track by Weezer
Album Weezer (The Black Album)
Released March 1, 2019
Recorded 2018
Length 4:09
Label Crush Music/Atlantic Records
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo/Laura Jane Grace
Producer Dave Sitek
Status officially released
Weezer (The Black Album) track listing
"The Prince Who Wanted Everything"
(8)
"Byzantine"
(9)
"California Snow"
(10)

"Byzantine" is the ninth track from The Black Album.

Overview

Laura Jane Grace's reply to Rivers Cuomo's tweet from May 13, 2018 requesting help with lyrics

Most of the lyrics were written by musician Laura Jane Grace (of the band Against Me!) via text message. Said Cuomo, "She did most of the lyrics, and she sent them to me as text messages, and I turned it into a song." [1] Grace commented on the collaboration in a Rolling Stone article in December of 2019 [2]:

Rivers one day tweeted, “Will someone write lyrics for me?” And I responded, “OK, I will.” And then he DM’d me. It was so fucking wild and such a cool experience. I will forever be in Rivers’ debt. It was a song called “Byzantine” off of the Black Album. I find his songwriting process really interesting and to be let into that in a scientific way was really cool to see from the inside.

According to Rivers Cuomo, the bridge was taken from a 1991 Fuzz track, described as “a very early-’90s grunge Soundgarden-type of song” [3]. In an interview with Billboard, Cuomo explained:

With “Byzantine,” the bridge is from a pre-Weezer band that [drummer Patrick Wilson] and I were in in 1991, called Fuzz. I searched for the key and the tempo and the basic vibe I was looking for, and it popped up. All of my little bits and pieces of music will find a home eventually

The verse melody of "Byzantine" greatly resembles that of the song "Dancing Girl", a track previously co-written by Cuomo for the 2018 album Hometown by Japanese alt-rock band Asian Kung-Fun Generation.

Audio

Lyrics

I want Neil Young on your phone speaker in the morning
And fuck him if he just can't see
This is how his songs are supposed to be heard
No more lectures on fidelity
I don’t believe in mysticism
Only in what science proves
Like the sex appeal of your sick dance moves
Ooh, wee, ooh, wee

Put on your red beret, baby
Moonwalk naked across the room
Do something kinda unique to me
Do something that'll make me swoon
That's how I know that I’m not pretending
I know it's not make-believe
It's only complicated if you want it to be
Do you know what I mean?
It's Byzantine

I want Hi-Chews, playlists, smoking on the roof
And I love the way you look at me
Tennessee Williams in Stuart Weitzman boots
Yeah, you're just too wild to believe
A fetish for athletic fashion
Running shoes and striped track suits
I never heard of Sparks before
But I'm so glad you shared them with me

Put on your red beret, baby
Moonwalk naked across the room
Do something kinda unique to me
Do something that'll make me swoon
That's how I know that I’m not pretending
I know it's not make-believe
It's only complicated if you want it to be
Do you know what I mean?
It's Byzantine

Rollin’, crashin', breakin', splashing
Givin', takin’, makin', breakin' promises
You got me high when I was low
Negative ions, come save my soul

Put on your red beret, baby
Moonwalk naked across the room
Do something kinda unique to me
Do something that'll make me swoon
That's how I know that I’m not pretending
I know it's not make-believe
It's only complicated if you want it to be
Do you know what I mean?
It's Byzantine

See also