The Vancouver Sun article - March 10, 1995

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Print interview with Brian Bell
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Publication The Vancouver Sun
Interviewee Brian Bell
Interviewer Katherine Monk
Date March 10, 1995
Title Bell tolls for couple of bands
Format Print
External link Archive via
Associated concert Weezer concert: 03/13/1995
Weezer concert: 06/26/1994
References See where this interview is referenced on Weezerpedia

Bell tolls for couple of bands
Author: Katherine Monk (The Vancouver Sun)
Published: March 10, 1995

Weezer is a 100-per-cent pure pop phenomenon. But Weezer guitarist Brian Bell is a person who never figured he'd be looking at life from the inside of the mainstream bubble.

In fact, he says, if he were offered the chance to join Weezer now, in the wake of the band's wild success worldwide, he might just say "No."

"It would almost be too weird to join the band now," he says on the phone from Los Angeles before the band's one-night stand in Vancouver Monday night at the Commodore.

"In a way it's good that I had no idea that the band was going to take off. I've always been a really shy person," says Bell, who joined the band after the departure of original guitarist Jason Cropper nearly two years ago.

Before Weezer, Bell was one of the L.A. floaters - settling into spontaneous combustion bands like Carnival Art (on Beggar's Banquet) and Jerkwater USA one at a time, but constantly keeping the door to creative opportunity open.

"I really never thought I would ever be in this place. I've always felt like I was more on the fringe than in the mainstream - but it was one of those things that when you get the call, you have to do it.

"So here I am," says the sudden pop star.

But Bell isn't beyond finding a golden nugget of irony in the whole situation.

If anything, he's pocketed the surreal experience of being in a top-40, platinum-selling band and is slowly reshaping the amorphous blob into something personally relevant - something beyond the big-ego glory of being insta-famous.

"Really, it does feel like a big adventure most of the time. Even though parts of this existence are things that make me really uncomfortable-like business talk and money - but once you do them, you get used to it and you get better at it."

And for Bell, that's saying a lot.

"When I left Tennessee for Los Angeles to start a musical career, people couldn't believe it. They didn't even know I played guitar because I didn't tell anyone."

But being in Weezer, a high profile band that's bounced its slap-happy pop anthems into nearly every living room in North America with hits like Buddy Holly, has forced Bell to move past his own apprehensions.

"I sing in this band. I've never thought of myself as a singer. I lied through my teeth when I told them I could sing really well. The truth is I've always known I had pitch, because I'd sing by myself, but now that I sing like every day I've gotten used to using my voice."

And that voice doesn't just back up Weezer leader Rivers Cuomo, it fronts another band of Bell's, Stage Twins. [sic]

"Stage Twins [sic] is where I can really try things. We wear antennae and dress up and do really strange things. That's the whole point of that band - it gives me a chance to move outside and be creative in ways that Weezer never will be.

"That's not what Weezer is about." In other words, Weezer is about major chords and catchy choruses. Or as Bell puts it: "It's kind of like a nursery rhyme... familiar the first time you hear it."

There's a satisfaction to reaching people so quickly, says Bell. But he clearly hasn't stopped questioning why.

"There seems to be something very attractive about things that are familiar for people. I guess because it's easy."

Bell prefers the mysterious.

When he's not recording with Weezer or Stage Twins [sic], he spends time - watching classic mysteries by Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock (his grandmother's cousin).

And when he's onstage, he contemplates the unexplained as well. "I'm looking forward to Vancouver because we had a great time there last time. We were the opening act, and for some reason, like, every kid in the room was sitting on the floor. We couldn't figure it out at all. Why did they do that? Didn't they know that the next time we came to town they wouldn't be able to get a ticket?"

Weezer plays the Commodore Ballroom with Archers of Loaf, Monday, March 13. for an early show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are soldout.

See also