Weezer.net interview with Karl Koch - 1997
Name: Karl Koch (pronounced "Cook")
Birthday: September 15, 1969
Hometown: Buffalo, New York
Spare time: Working with Pat on The Special Goodness
Who is this Karl guy everyone talks about? Karl is not only one of the coolest guys to ever walk on this planet, but he also =w='s assistant, roadie, manager (call it what you may), and the guys in Weezer's close friend. He has been with the band since the get-go in early 1992. This page is dedicated to Karl, the defender of truth and right (and good music), our hero and our friend.
Anuj recently conducted an interview with Karl. here is a transcript of that interview:
Where and when were you born?
I was born sept 15, 1969 in Buffalo, NY
What was the name of your high school? Year of graduation?
I graduated from Nichols School (Buffalo) in '87. Oh gross, that's 10 years ago! It was a dress code preppy school. I was a quiet rebel.
What were you like in high school? Were you a metalhead like the rest of the band?
I was turned onto the Clash, Devo, Wall of Voodoo, Talking Heads and Bob Marley in 8th grade. By 10th grade it was all about skateboarding, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Minutemen, etc.(Quite radical for Buffalo in 1985!) This is all the fault of Pat Finn(now of The Special Goodness) who was sent to S.F. for 9th grade and came back bearing good things. As far as metal goes, we could not deny "Reign in Blood" by Slayer when it hit in '86. What an insane album. And on Def Jam too! That whole Ratt/Poison/Motley Crüe thing was for "pussies." Due to school/parents, I looked totally ordinary during this time, except whilst skateboarding (Misfits Fiend Club t-shirt, etc...)
what's your favorite food or style of food? Are you vegetarian?
I am vegetarian but not really for the healthy, crunchy, PC reasons. I just started getting grossed out by eating dead stuff. I'd never make it as a vegan - I eat tons of cheese...pizza rocks, as do Mexican, Italian, peanut butter on toast, ...you get the idea. Junk food vegetarianism.
Have you ever played in any bands, if so, what were the names? Style of music?
I've never actually played in a band,though I've "jammed" a lot, mostly on drums, my least pathetic instrument. I've put in countless hours on the 4-track, frequently with Pat (the results of which will someday be unleashed) but thats definitely not "playing in a band," as that would imply "playing" actual music, which it may or may not be...
What kinds of guitars/amps do you use?
I have a sparkly red Sears Silvertone guitar from the late 50s/early 60s, and a Kustom amp on a Marshall 2x12. It sounds kind of bad.
Which character from Star Wars do you remind yourself or others of?
I'm unable to self compare with SW characters...I do feel a strange affinity with Y-wing fighters though. Yeah, I'm weird.
Which is your favorite character?
When growing up - Han Solo. Now - Obi-Wan.
Which instruments do you know how to play? I'm fairly bad at all instruments..."best" on drums, and most enamored of keyboards, then guitars. I actually know hardly any music theory, and it shows!
How did you get your job with the Weezer family?
I got the "job" purely by circumstance. These guys(save Brian)were my acquaintances and roommates and when Weezer started doing shows, I,really liking the songs, offered to take them and their gear to shows, as none of them had a car. This grew and I started doing fliers and helped put up posters and such. When the highly unlikely happened, and they were signed, it was decided to "keep me on" as an all around assistant, which on the road means "roadie." I learned everything from van maintenance to amp rewiring simply by trial and error. I feel fairly confident at guitar work, long drives (no longer needed due to bus) and dealing with club owners and such now, all by just doing.
Did you know any of the other band guys before Weezer was formed?
I was introduced to Pat W. in Buffalo by Pat Finn, shortly before they took off for L.A. A year later I followed and Pat (Finn,again) introduced me to Matt, Rivers, and Jason. Pat and Jason were very messy roommates.
Have you ever played/sang anything on a Weezer album that we don't know about?
I believe all my inclusions were listed in Weezines...("Buddy Holly," "Undone," "Across the Sea," "Butterfly")
What other bands besides Weezer have you been the roadie for?
that dog. and The Rentals. I could only work for friends. It would suck doing stuff for a stranger, but thats how relationships in the industry are formed I guess...
Do you get as many chicks as Rivers does?
I am frequently presented with "chick opportunities" but I never do more than chat (so far anyway)...I think, with very rare exception, that fooling around with a near stranger is bad. Also, I can't bring myself to "take advantage" of my position. That's gross, and 90% of the girls I come into contact with on the road wouldn't hold up against a Neal Stevenson novel or Frijtof Capra book. The other 10% are tempting, but it hasn't happened so far...
How many times a week do you work out to prepare yourself for loading and unloading?
I never work out. I have an extremely fast metabolism and am always full of energy. Moving gear is an engaging task. Plus there are always big goons supplied to do the tuff stuff.
Are rumors about you and Christy Turlington true?
Yes, Christy once stole my pet flounder. It was an epic battle getting it back.
Star Wars, Star Trek or Babylon 5? (Better be Star Wars.)
Of course Star Wars....by a looooong shot. The 2 positive things I can say about Star Trek are:
- The colors in the original series rule. That lighting designer was a genius.
- Certain episodes of Next Gen. were entertaining . 1st season (?)...Oh yeah, the computers voice (60's series) ruled, too. THE POSSIBILITY OF ATTACK IS 68.986%...
Babylon 5 is a piece of unholy shit.
Which bands influenced you the most when you were younger?
Hugest early influence: The Clash! Also, Devo, Wall of Voodoo (first two albums), The Specials, Bob Marley, Minutemen, Black Flag, Talking Heads, Husker Dü....(those bands supplanted an early early tendency towards The Doors and (shudder) Supertramp!(I blame my older brothers.)
Which bands do you currently listen to?
Current bands I currently listen to: Pavement, Built to Spill, Blur(whose new album rules - out March 11), Sebadoh, Heatmiser, Cardigans. "Electronic bands" I currently listen to: Aphex Twin, Björk, Orbital, Photek, Spring Heel Jack, DJ Shadow, Tricky old stuff I'm currently into: 60's ska/rocksteady, Bill Evans (jazz pianist), John Coltrane(1958-1967 stuff).
If Matt can't tour with Weezer this summer, could we maybe see Karl playing the bass?
I'm not good enough on bass to fill in (I would temporarily.)
Is it true that you have been cast to play Anakin Skywalker in the upcoming Star Wars prequels?
No, Lee Majors is Anakin "The Fall Guy" Skywalker. I play young Aunt Beru.
Did you or do you still have a major crush on Princess Leia?
Leia was cute in her snow outfit, but ever since seeing When Harry Met Sally the whole C. Fisher thing's gone awry...
Do you ever use the force to move crates from the bus to the venue?
I had to stop using the Force to move gear cos I was being seduced by the Dark Side (Stryper).
Did you see the special edition on opening night?
I don't like little (or big) kids shouting in theaters,(I want to hear and see it ALL), so I waited and went a week later to a late late showing. Practically deserted, perfect seats, and LOUD.
What did you think of the new scenes? Especially the updated encounter between Han and Greedo? (Personally, I think they should have left that scene alone, but the rest of the movie was awesome.)
I was impressed by the new stuff. the Greedo thing wasn't a big deal to me. I was way nervous about the Jabba thing, but that was actually the smoothest work of the lot, in my opinion. Mos Eisley rocked. The space battles made WAY more sense.
Do you have a horde of Weezer merchandise in your basement?
Yes, my "Weezer archives" are overflowing with everything...the coolest stuff are the early fliers and advertisements...the real "original" stuff...not to mention Rivers's 8 track masters from 90-94! It all takes up perhaps 3 cubic yards, all compressed.
What kind of car do you drive?
I have an 88 Bronco 2 (black) that I half bought, half received upon completing college in 91. It's only now starting to decay...it bears many scars on the inside from Weezer equipment.
What's the strangest object that you have seen thrown on stage?
Many inexplicable gift type objects have been thrown on stage. I recall a stuffed sheep thing in Denver that Matt booted around until it disintegrated...also nasty bits of food and garbage....nothing really sticks out...it's all weird.
On average, how many bras are thrown on stage during a show?
Average 1 bra/night(range from 0 to 3).We generally abandon them. Who wants a stinky sweaty bra? Interestingly, at Bogart's in Cincinnati,they apparently save them, as there were about 40 nailed to a wall just off stage.
What is the meaning behind the "Karl Koch:Karl Koch" in the liner notes of Pinkerton?
"Karl Koch:Karl Koch" came about cause my job description on the Pinkerton sessions was too varied and difficult to label. I did what I did, thus the crediting: "I am what I do." Kind of a joke.
Karl, we love you. Keep up the good work.