Reddit Q&A with Jason Cropper - May 2020
Q&A with Jason Cropper re Weezer - ask away my friends...
What is a funny story you have from a live show you played?
I like this question! One time I played a benefit concert at a horse ranch outside los angeles. the fundraiser was hosted by a retired sports star (I forget his name) and a Kung Fu master who had been my kids' instructor. The benefit was for kids who are disabled and benefit from being near and riding horses. All the families of the children where there. It was an outdoor concert. Right before we were to go on - the Kung Fu teachers son - who was a born again Christian Hip Hop Rap artists, and had rebelling against his Jewish father/ family, jumped up on stage and did his set, unplanned. All the people, with their disabled children in tow literally ran for their cars in horror at the sound of the hard core rap music and left us to play our set - to a few horses after dark at a deserted horse ranch. The Kung Fu Master and the sports star and my kids were the only audience remaining. Good times and Rock and Roll Forever.
hi jason, i just wanna ask a few questions
how was it like in the early days of the band? and how did you get involved with the song writing process on van weezer?
Hi Mug - the early days were quite magical as you might imagine. As far as song writing for Van Weezer - IF anything i wrote with Rivers or Pat is on there - it's from old music we worked on back in the day - and they are dusting off and finishing for release now. I am waiting to see and hear myself what the final product will look like. Since everything has apparently been pushed back a year - we will just have to enjoy the suspense together.
I would also like to ask if you like most of Weezer's material as of late?
Everything i hear from them is sweet to me. In a personal way that I guess is just my own perspective. Having been there at the beginning - and before the beginning, May of 1991 is when I met Rivers and Pat and Matt - i just love this band. it's a very important part of my life having been a part of the original, early years. So yes - I always listen when something new comes out. I am the original fan boy of =W=. Before even Karl got there - i was watching and supporting and collaborating and learing from Rivers and Pat and Matt as well. probably tmi here - but it's the truth.
Thoughts on Weezer’s “Raditude” album?
I think what Rivers and the guys did here with Ratitude is really fun and continues to hold up well over time. They took things to a new evolutionary, highly produced stage for the band creatively. It's interesting to me both personally and as a fan of the band that the conversation about Weezer's evolution over the albums causes controversy and arguments amongst those loyal to the guys. They have to change and grow as artists in order to not grow bored. Sometimes they come back to the unique signature sound they have created after trying new things - and it gets better each time they do so - in my opinion.
Thank you so much for responding Jason! Thank you also for hosting this Q&A for the sub.
One more additional one if I may ask...you mentioned in another reply that Van Weezer has been pushed back for a year. Is this true?
I don't know anything official. but i saw this - [link to Google search result for "when does van weezer come out"]
another Van Weezer question here: are you allowed to tell us any info about the song you co-wrote from '92? Specifics like the title and such?
I will tell you that I was asked if it would be ok - and I was so happy to hear that some of the early work we did together might come out soon. This might sound crazy but I think that were Rivers and Pat and I to write songs together again it might be really cool.
I honestly hope you're able to work with the band some more in the near future. Hoping for something crazy like Vegeterrorists.
That is very kind - me too! You never know what kind of adventure lays in store...
Blue Album or Pinkerton?
I love these two records - how often do you have a sophomore slump become one of the most influential records of a movement the way Pinkerton has? - Emo music, in my humble opinion, would not exist in its current form, were it not for Weezer's first 2 records.
do you have a favorite weezer album? what about song?
I am a big fan of the Blue and i really like Say It Ain't So. Call me a purist.
Oh crap what’s up Jason, you’re my favorite ex weezer member! Hope you’re doing good, what music have you been listening to lately? Hope it isn’t cheating to ask 2 questions lol, what’s a favorite memory you have with the band? I’m sure you get that one a lot but it’s first thing I could come up with haha
Great questions Beemondo! You are too kind! I am doing well, thank you, I hope you and your loved ones are also! A fav memory - have you seen the video where Rivers and Matt and Pat and I are all playing in a back yard looking place while kids are dusting up the ground, no stage, pit dancing etc? That was from a tour we did before the Blue Album was even a real plan or idea. It was near the Russian River in Sonoma County, where I am writing to you from now. Super fun early shows with kids going off because the music was great then too. What have I been listening to lately - UFOF by Big Thief struck a chord with me recently and I also like Marigold by Pinegrove. I hope you like these too!
What's your favourite guitar to play
Great question! I am more of a "right tool for the right job" kind of guy in this regard. Meaning I love my acoustic guitars - 6 or 12 string - if that's right for the song or the part. And same with my electric guitars - my Les Paul is super groovy and I will never let it go. Its a 1958 VOS reissue Les Paul Standard. It has the really thick neck that Gibson slimmed down later in 1959 ( think Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Peter Green, Jeff Beck ). My hands are big so a thick neck doesn't really bother me. I think more wood sounds better than less in an electric guitar. plus i changed the tuners and it just won't go out of tune.
what is it like writing with rivers, and what is your favorite weezer song you have had a hand in writing?
Writing songs with Rivers is truly a magical experience. It always has been for me and I hope it happens again. My Name Is Jonas.
Hey Jason, thanks for doing this. I know a lot of people are wanting to know your stance on this. Pineapple on pizza?
THIS IS MY FAV QUESTION SO FAR!!! i know its controversial. when i was a kid i hated the idea. until i tried it. it was a Round Table pizzaria in Oakland California. I resisted. My friend whom I trusted deeply in all things pizza related - told me i would love it... I was terrified. I thought - no way - and then i ate some and it was really good. i don't order it. if it's served, i might have a peice. but usually - i will pick vegetarian. Great Question!
Hey Jason! So cool! How have you been passing time in quarantine? Pick up any cool hobbies or music related stuff?
Great question - just eating right, exercising and trying to get rest. I am writing and recording lots of music and that is fun. come check out my acoustic ( and soon electric ) performances on Thursdays on facebook.
hey jason; love your work, touch my fuzz is one of the best powerpop songs ever but i gotta ask; the beatles, beach boys, or velvet underground?
I have always really loved the Beatles. nothing wrong with these other bands - I just have always loved coming back to Beatles albums years later and discovering them as renewed to my ear. Such inventive and simple and smart songwriting.
When can we expect more music from you? My name is Zoltan and Perfect Dream are great and I can't wait to hear more!
Thank you so much! See above for the Golden Hour facetime invite and you will hear acoustic versions of what will come as full band production on the new album from time to time. We are planning to release the first song here on apple/ amazon/ spotify etc., on or around June 12th...
This first song will be called "Goodness Knows".
Hey Jason! I have two questions:
- Recently we've found out you contributed riffs to Surf Wax America and The World Has Turned, are there any other contributions to these Blue Album era songs that we might not know about?
- How involved was the entire band in the songwriting process? I know Rivers wrote a lot on his own but how often were you, Pat, and Matt contributing?
Answer to 1. Yes - i have talked about parts for undone the sweater song and only in dreams before a little in podcasts where this was asked. little ideas here and there on these. Maybe more here and there on blue - i'd have to listen to it all again to make sure.
Answer to 2. Rivers really took charge and found his voice for Blue. Pat contributed a lot that was used and even more that wasn't. I contributed a little which was utilized.
Do you think that original Weezer (You, Rivers, Matt and Pat) might ever play a show as Weezer? (Say possibly on a Weezer cruise in the future)
Keep asking this - of them - and maybe. I would like to.
Fliptop and how that project came to be (or came to NOT be, as it were)? In doing research for Weezerpedia I only found a few recordings from the unreleased EP and a couple obscure pages in the Internet Archive acknowledging it. Otherwise, it seems to have been lost to history.Is there any info you can divulge about
Josh Freese is a wonderful human being. Truly. He is one of my all time fav musicians and a really good person. He made that happen.
How did you end up rekindling your relationship with Rivers after the Blue Album split? Always been really interested to know.
Rivers is a good friend. I think one might be lucky and fortunate and grateful to have good, true friends that would number 5 in an entire lifetime. Rivers is one of those for me. We don't see much of each other or talk often. When we do - it's always real, authentic and to the point - and we pick up right where we left off as if no time has passed. That is the feeling. And i have always loved that about him. There have been a few times when he has asked me for help or clarification re our relationship, as I have him. There have been a few moments where we got together to socialize and have fun. There have been a few others I will leave to your imagination. I asked for tickets to his acoustic concert in SF in May of 2018 (if memory serves) and he asked if I would perform a few songs.
I was, of course, thrilled beyond words.
If Weezer approached you and asked you to be the third guitarist, how would you respond?
Hey jason, in the footage from early bkue album studio and stuff we see you playing withe the band. I was wondering what the recording process was like, and if there were any interesting stories during that process, especially involving gear
This could be a documentary film and book and ongoing podcast series. There is a lot to potentially unpack here. So I am going to just plant that seed now.