Weezer and Scott Goldman (right)
Photo: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage.com
Weezer: How "The White Album" Mixes Bright & Dark "Required Listening"
With a backlog of hits like "Buddy Holly," "Hash Pipe," "Beverly Hills," and "Pork And Beans," Weezer have proven their ability to serve up catchy melodies and chunky guitars with a high-gloss power-pop sheen. On this week's episode of the GRAMMY Museum's "Required Listening" podcast, the quintet reveals the sonic recipe they used to cook up their eponymous 10th studio album (aka "The White Album").
While the LP recalls some of the band's earlier work on hit albums such as 1994's Weezer and 1996's Pinkerton, it was also influenced by Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys.
"For me, there's pretty much a dark side wherever I am," said frontman Rivers Cuomo. "There's bright and dark. I like to mix it up. Traditionally, I guess beach music is considered pretty bright and happy. But I also appreciated when the Beach Boys put some melancholy underneath it all. I was very excited to do Weezer's take on the whole beach thing and see what we could find on the other side."
Weezer was the first LP the band worked on with producer Jake Sinclair, who has worked with the likes of Taylor Swift, Pink, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. Sinclair, who once played in a Weezer tribute band, proved to be a perfect sounding board to craft new Weezer classics such as "California Kids."
"I had about 10 ideas for each song," said rhythm guitarist Brian Bell. "Jake was good at arranging those ideas in ways that I might not have thought of. Once we started on that kind of working pattern, it came really easy."
The 30-minute-plus conversation with GRAMMY Museum Executive Director/host Scott Goldman also broaches topics such how Weezer respond to critics' reviews, their interactive relationship with their audience, and how spreadsheets play into the songwriting process.
"I'm constantly changing [things]," said Cuomo. "I do have things that I come back to — a stockpile of lyrics and, yes, now it's on a Google spreadsheet. … It's giant. I have thousands of lines now."