Weezer (The Blue Album) press kit
My name is Karl Koch and I have been Weezer's "multifaceted" assistant (driver, roadie, visual artist, historian) for over two years, since shortly after their conception on February 14, 1992[Note 1]. Originally I was just doing them an occasional favor, but somehow this has become my main occupation, causing me to quit several "real" jobs and to indefinitely shelve my own artistic endeavors in favor of putting all my efforts into Weezer. I think my devotion is the direct result of the band consisting of very good people who write and play very good music. I wouldn't be helping them if I didn't believe in them.
In June '93 Weezer was signed to DGC, making my duties official (okay in Mom and Dad's eyes) and giving the band a chance to get their music out in public after 17 months of near-complete obscurity in the L.A. club scene meat grinder.
It was now time to record the album and there was much doubt about finding a good producer who wouldn't try to change everything. Due to a strong admiration for the sound of the Cars, Rivers had a tape sent to Ric Ocasek, who we all figured would never be interested. (I mean, come on!) However, Ric was very enthused (to our astonishment and gratification) and off we went to New York for two amazing, exciting, fun, busy and exhausting months that we will never forget (especially thanks to numerous late night videotapes I shot at Electric Lady!)
Since then we've been back in L.A., busy with shows, practicing, photographs, album design, countless meetings and the subsequent touring for as long as possible. We are extremely impatient to get out there and see what people think. Personally, I hope somebody likes it, that way I'll have a steady job.
Oh yeah, if you are attempting to get a "handle" on Weezer, perhaps the following list may help. All of these words are officially forbidden from use in describing Weezer. Hopefully, after studying this list, you will listen more carefully and find your own non-trendy descriptions:
My name is Rivers Cuomo. I'm 23 and I sing and play guitar in Weezer. It's hard to talk about myself without sounding like a jerk, but apparently I have no choice, so I'll try to be as simple and as honest as I can.
I grew up in various little farm towns in upstate Connecticut, completely sheltered from anything remotely "cool." At 18, I freaked out and moved to Los Angeles to become a rock star. I soon realized that I was an idiot, and gave up. At the same time, my girlfriend broke up with me. I was really sad and started to write songs. Most of them sucked, but it became a habit that stuck with me. Because I'm so terrible at expressing my feelings directly, and because no one really cares, and because anything real is almost impossible to talk about, I've come to rely on music more and more to express myself.
This album is like a diary to me; each song tells what I was feeling and thinking during a particular experience. "Jonas" explains how "the plan" is reaming us all, especially my brother. It's a good introduction to the album. "No One Else" is the jealous-obsessive asshole in me freaking out my girlfriend and "The World Has Turned" is the same asshole wondering why she's gone.
"Undone" is the feeling you get when the train stops and the little guy comes knockin' on your door. It was supposed to be a sad song, but everyone thinks it's hilarious. "Surf Wax" is a totally sarcastic call to hedonism, so sing along, drink and be merry. I hate drinking and only do so when I absolutely have to (which these days, seems to be quite often). "Say It Ain't So" is also about a beer.
"In The Garage," "Buddy Holly" and "Holiday" were written in a sudden burst of confidence and optimism right after we got a record deal. Those positive emotions have since dissipated — along with our cash advances — but I sill like the songs.
None of these songs are perfect, but I think you can hear that we're trying hard to be honest and real. Pat really kicked ass on the drums and Brian, Matt and I sang with a lot of feeling. The record sounds kind of weird, but if you turn it up extremely loud and lie down, it can be rewarding.
My name is Matt and I play bass in Weezer. This is the first band I've been in and the first album I've played on, both of which means a lot to me. I also sang the falsetto vocals on the record, which is probably most easily recognizable on "Say It Ain't So." (These were, oddly enough, the first notes I sang in front of anyone). The falsetto stuff is pretty much on all of the tunes except for "In The Garage" and "Holiday." Singing can be pretty rewarding even when you're not that good at it. For me, it filled a gap in my life that was there until the band started. I'm not exactly sure what we four have in common, but I do consider Pat, Brian and Rivers to be good people and good friends that I am glad to be associated with. Also, the opportunity to work with people as talented as Ric and Chris was an experience and an honor that will be with me forever. If I had to make a list of music I care about and have been listening to lately, the things that come to mind first are: the last three Talk Talk albums, old Gary Numan records, the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, and all of That Dog [sic] songs I could get from Tony and Rachel. I hope when people listen to these ten songs, they will enjoy them as I have enjoyed some of the music I just mentioned. Besides that, I think my story is just not that interesting and I should probably stop.
Raised in Tennessee, little Brian knew he wanted to be a rock star at an early age. Lucky enough to catch an Elvis (Presley, that is) concert at the age of four, he wanted nothing else but to be a hounddog.
Studying "geetar" pickin' on TV from such fine eastern Tennessee programs as "The Barneyloo and Buster Show" and, of course, "Hee Haw," little Brian learned how to pick 'n' grin on a ukulele his grandma won at a bingo game. Brian's dad, a wacky absent-minded professor and ex-college DJ, turned him on to cool music he had from the 50's and 60's. So, armed with his first turntable, a Fisher Price lo-fi stereo system, little Brian managed to scratch and destroy most of Dad's valuable 45's.
As Brian grew older, he began to feel isolated and out-of-place with the other reindeer. While the "normal" Tennessee boys were out hunting possum, chewing tobacco and making up fishing stories, he preferred to stay home and watch Billy Mumy movies.
Ah, movies, music and show biz. Why was it all based in one glorious place -- Los Angeles? So, just like the Clampetts, Brian packed up my bags and moved to Yucca St., Hollywired (cause everyone he met at first was on crystal meth). Not at all like the movies.
My name is Patrick Wilson and I play drums for Weezer. As I write this on a Friday morning, I'm listening to our CD. It's a good feeling, but very strange. Four years ago I was a guy with a bad haircut from Buffalo, New York. The music scene there is lame, consisting largely of cover bands and bat metal. It seems that musicians in small towns have a gunslinger attitude that is also faintly bitter. Some of them just have attitude. I decided to quit my day job and move to Los Angeles with my new friend Pat Finn (Pat is responsible for us knowing each other. He currently fronts an amazing band named Winkler in Buffalo).
After many growing pains, Weezer was formed. Since then, I've tried to understand what it means to be in a band. All I know about music is instinctual or from a record; I haven't witnessed much live music. As far as I can tell, being in a band can be just as important as any other occupation -- and so far, it's far more rewarding
We recorded this with Ric Ocasek and Chris Shaw at Electric Lady in N.Y. I loved the experience and feel honored to have worked with them. The record sounds the way it does because the drums aren't the loudest thing in the mix. Somehow, Phil Collins' style of recording has taken over, and we didn't want that. The only effects used are fuzz bass on "In The Garage" and a little compression here and there. Certainly not as much as they put on Ringo.
Our live show is different from the record in terms of sheer power, so c'mon out when we roll through yer town. Thanks for listening.
- The Story of Making the Blue Album, a brief history written by Koch
- The "official" date of Weezer's first rehearsal has since been corrected to February 15.