by James Bonisteel
Weezer is a band that has high expectations for themselves and in
what they do. They want to really do something with this music
business, and so far they are their first album is selling
millions. And it's not to be expected, especially after you talk
to them. I had a chance to talk to Patrick Wilson the drummer
for Weezer on their tour bus. He was over in the corner of the
bus playing nintendo when the interview began:
- Let me ask you how you edited the video for the song
- We rebuilt the inside of Arnold's (the restaurant on
"Happy Days"), and we dressed up and we would film a
scene. We bought some film footage of "Happy Days" and
just put it all together. It was really low tagged the
way we did it, honestly, except huh well all they did
when they filmed us they processed it and made it look
a little grainy so it matched the quality of the old
footage of "Happy Days." I mean, you can tell when
Fonzie does his dance then you see us you can tell it's
a different guy and not fonzie. But for the most part
it looked really good. I think the thing that makes it
really come off is the fact that Al is in it also.
- Where did you get the name Weezer?
- One day we just needed a name and that's the one that
came out. It was no big deal.
- It was just a name that sounded good at the time?
- Yes, well actually, no it didn't sound good but we kept
- About the song the sweater where did that come from?
- I have no idea. Rivers Cuomo just wrote it one day.
He has an eight track and just one day he had this
idea. It all started with that riff and he wrote it
all pretty much and we just played it. Rivers writes
pretty much all the music. I used to give him the
music and he would write the lyrics to it, but he does
it all pretty much now.
- So how long have you known each other?
- I've only known Brian Bell since the record was
recorded, I've known Matt Sharp and Rivers since I
moved to LA which has been since 1991.
- LA's getting pretty bad now.
- Is it? I can't tell anymore. I swear to you, I live in
a pretty nice area. I'm right by the beach, the good
part of santa monica, so it's really mellow. But I
used to live in some really crappy areas. I mean
you're right, it is really bad in Los Angeles. It just
depends on where you're at. I might be moving to
Portland, oregon, because I heard it is pretty cool
there. It's supposed to be a really good scene there,
it's better than Buffalo, New York.
- What bands have you enjoyed touring with?
- We did Lush...our first big tour was Lush last summer
and that was great. I mean, they were awesome. I
would watch them every night and they just sounded
amazing. We did that for a month. At first it was
hell because we did not know anything about touring.
We had a van, we didn't know what it was all about. In
fact, I guess we were just like most bands starting
out. But then we went out with Live last fall and that
was much better, but their crew was a bunch of dicks.
After that, we've been on our own since.
- When are you planning on putting out another album?
- We have half of it ready, but it is all up to Rivers.
I mean, if he has the songs happening then we'll do a
record, but like I said we only have a half a record
worth of stuff.
- If you wanted to say anything to people who listen to
your music and maybe are trying to the band thing also
what would you say to them?
- There's two ways to go. We decided that we were going
to go on a major label because we felt we had
commercial products. I mean, it sounds gross and stuff
but in a business sense if you don't envision yourself
on the radio then you should probably go with a label
that a little more sensitive to your needs. I mean,
like the band called Built To Spill I know they are
getting a lot of interest in L.A. at this point. I
mean I don't know what their situation is but I can
know something like that would be better off on a
smaller label because a big label doesn't want to know
about it unless they can sell records. And in some
ways I think big labels get a bad rap because, I mean
don't get me wrong, they're sons a bitches and bastards
but you've got to know that before you get into it.
The guy who goes there and just gets a record deal and
gets his advance and makes a record and his advance is
gone and they're not into his record and they drop him,
of course he's going to be bitter. But if you make a
really good record and you're on a label like Geffen
for being a major label are pretty good people and
they're not going to bullshit you.
Like I was saying, if you make a good record, they will
probably stick with you. But I know a lot of labels
that won't. It happens all the time--a band makes a
record, they're all excited, and nothing happens. I
have seen it so many times. And talking about major
labels just being in it for the money, I think smaller
labels are in for it just as well.
- Well I am sure they want to make it somewhere also.
- They wanna get to the point where they can make a lot
of money. I am thinking about starting a small label,
just putting stuff out that I really dig.
That was it, plain and simple. I have a feeling they will be
around for a long time to come. Buy their album it is very good.
They have a very good original sound.
© 1995 Rational Alternative Digital