VOX article - May 1995
Tourbus Tales: Weezer
Ding Dong! Madison Square Garden. Next stop: Northampton Roadmender. How do bands keep their sanity and their sense of humour on the road? Weezer volunteer to open VOX's series of tourbus tales, and reveal the little luxuries that make life worth gigging...
Last year we toured America, we decided to learn French together because we were getting pretty bored on the road, so we watched this 24-hour video collection French Made Easy. Did we get anywhere with it? Not really because we gave up after about three weeks and started watching French movies instead.
If you're in a super-romantic period, it's good to read DH Lawrence, because it takes three-quarters of the book before the characters even get to their first kiss. We're into classic authors, and one of the books that's lying around at the moment is The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, which is perfect to read after you've just been through some horrifying personal relationship. It's good to be heavily fucked with by books and movies. That said, the dictionary is always pretty useful to have with you one the road.
Rivers Cuomo: Apple Juice
Brian Bell: Sparkling water, Tea with honey
Matt Sharp: Lots of Coffee and tea with cream and a touch of sugar.
Patrick Wilson: Still water
Some of us are into getting to sleep with Unisom sleeping pills and waking up with Nodoz, but generally we're pretty drug free- caffeine and an occasional drink before is as far as it goes.
Rivers: Special K - it was on our rider, for some reason, so now we've got about 23 boxes of it traveling around with us.
Brian: Kiwi fruits and bananas
Matt: I'm more into salt than sugar, so I prefer cashews and peanuts
Patrick: Candy bars, especially Crunchie
We all travel light, so the luxury items are Video games, speakers that you hook up to your Walkman and a keyboard that you can play on the bus. It's a luxury to wear winter clothes, because you don't need them in California-it was really exciting to buy a scarf when we got to England, though it didn't have any tassels.
When we played Asbury Park, New Jersey about six months ago, all these kids were standing in a line outside the club because they were under 21 and weren't allowed in. As our bus pulled into the parking lot, they got down on the ground and spelled out "Weezer" with their bodies and started screaming at the door men to let them in. That's when we realised things were getting pretty weird.
When we were at a gas station in Nevada, Matt bought these water pistols and squirted them at the radiator of our van. The whole engine went up in smoke, so we were stuck there for about 6 hours. We played on the slot machines until our roadie eventually rigged the engine together so that we could reach the next town.
ROAD TO PITTSVILLE
Everyone had always warned us never to play in Florida, and we understood why when we got to Jacksonville. All you have to do is open up the phone book and see the huge chapter on churches to realise that the KKK isn't too far away.
BEST SERVICE STATION
The Chevron Food Mart on Olympic and Bundy in West Los Angeles is where we often eat after we have played in LA. It has everything from really terrible egg-salad sandwiches and bean burritos to fruit drinks, cappuccino and lots of candy bars. You'd probably be able to get a good deal on beer, and they have magazines too.
THE TOURBUS TAPE
- David Byrne "Angels" - Just because it's really great song makes you feel good.
- Cardinal "Cardinal" - This is really beautiful track with three- and four-part harmonies; it's just piano and vocals, but it sounds amazing.
- Talk Talk "Heroin" - Lots of Talk Talk records are unworldly, and this is really on-it song from a pretty wild album.
- Lisa Germano "Not Too Cool" - It's hard to talk about music—you either like something or you don't—and this is another quiet, beautiful track.
- Morrissey "Ordinary Boys" - Morissey probably wrote this about people who were going nowhere in England, but it's a really accurate description of people we've known at home. It's a good feeling not to be like the boys in the song - plus it's a good track.
- ELO "Sweet Is the Night" - ELO are a big favourite at the moment. It's good music to listen to before you go in the studio, because their records are so ridiculous and over-produced and 'Sweet Is the Night' is a particularly good example.
- Gary Numan "Films" - We all respect the early new wave recordings a lot and anything that has an overload of Moogs on it is always worth listening to. Gary Numan took new wave as far as it could go and it just kind of went downhill from there.
- George Harrison "Isn't It a Pity" - This is a really inspirational song. It's sad, but not too morose, and it doesn't have distorts guitars, which is good because now that we are constantly on the road, we're always listening to really heavy music and it's good to be able to get away from it.
- Foo Fighters "For All the Cows" - This is Dave Grohl's new band, which is going to be so undeniable that people who don't like the record should be punished. It's super rock and really over the top, but completely melodic and will definitely take over the planet. Is he a Weezer fan? Yeah, that's how we met. He just came up and said he liked our band and gave us a tape of his new stuff.
- Dusty Springfield "Son of a Preacher Man" - This is just a great track; her voice, the song and particularly the production. When we played in London, our soundman put it on as we came on stage and it was great to end on such a beautiful smooth note.