Le Soleil interview with Brian Bell - November 22, 1996

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Print interview with Brian Bell
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Publication Le Soleil
Interviewee Brian Bell
Interviewer Philippe Kezzonico
Date November 22, 1996
Title Weezer a pris un coup de vieux
Format Print
External link Via BAnQ Numérique
Associated concert Weezer concert: 11/23/1996
References See where this interview is referenced on Weezerpedia

Weezer is getting old
Author: Philippe Kezzonico (Le Soleil)
Published: November 22, 1996


The arrival of Weezer was like a breath of fresh air in 1994. A flawless pop song (Buddy Holly) backed by a fabulous video propelled the band to the top of the charts, where they placed three songs from their self-titled album. Two years later, the surprise is gone, and Weezer seems to have grown old and serious. Admittedly, Pinkerton includes a host of melodic tracks, supported by good guitars, albeit less present than two years ago. But it's clear that the energy has waned, and that the goal is not the same.

"The first record was essentially our demo," confirms guitarist Brian Bell from Cincinnati, where the band continues the first leg of its North American tour, which stops at Métropolis tomorrow. For Pinkerton, the work was completely different. "Rivers (Cuomo) came into the studio with his compositions and, after a few practice sessions, we recorded the whole thing, but in three separate sessions because of his schedule."

Cuomo shared some of the writing work, notably with Patrick Wilson (drums), on the first disc. But for Pinkerton, he took the whole floor. A group decision?

"You know the expression 'too many cooks in the kitchen'? Well, this is exactly that." — Don't you feel like people are going to say that Weezer is a one-man band? "Weezer is indisputably Rivers' band." — If you're comfortable with that... "I didn't say that." — Then.... "Listen. If we were against this principle, we wouldn't be together. We have other projects outside the band. Besides, just because we're not involved in the writing doesn't mean we don't have a say in the rest."

For Pinkerton, Rivers Cuomo wanted to tell a story — his own — to the extent that the ten tracks present are delivered in the chronological order of composition, apart from two exceptions.

"We wanted to have a common theme, which wasn't the case with the first record. That explains the acoustic ballad that closes the album, a nice way to put an end to our salad."

Thanks to its leader's sharp pen, Weezer had plenty of other songs at its disposal, which will be the subject of an unreleased CD soon. The title has yet to be determined, but the band hopes it won't cause as much trouble as Pinkerton.

By naming their new album after a character from the opera Madame Butterfly, the guys from Weezer wanted to tip their hat to another culture, but they didn't think they'd get into legal trouble.

"The album hadn't even been launched when we received a formal notice from the American security company of the same name," notes Bell. "We never found out how they learned that our record was going to be called Pinkerton. Their lawyers filed the demand letter with our record company's office, who sent theirs to argue the case in court. We won after two days, but I still can't believe it. Anyway, lawsuits are now a national sport in California."


Translated with DeepL.

See also