interview with Pat Wilson and Brian Bell - July 10, 2001

From Weezerpedia

By Chris Heath

Back in '94 Weezer became unlikely stars singing about Buddy Holly and sweaters. They might not have looked the part, but they wrote brilliant pop songs and three million of their countrymen and women agreed. Now, in 2001, they are back with arguably their finest hour (well their finest 30 minutes to be exact) in the shape of The Green Album. Last weekend their latest single "Hash Pipe," the first from the new album, was a new entry in the UK chart at No.21.

In between three sold out London shows (read the review), dotmusic sparked up with Weezer's droll Brian and Pat to hear all about the new album, the tour, feeling exhausted, hotel floors and the metric system.

Read the edited highlights below.

dotmusic: Was the break longer than you anticipated?

Pat: It depends on how you look at it. Sometimes I thought we'd never come back and sometimes we thought we should be doing something that day. So pick a day and that's how we felt.

dotmusic: What prompted the return?

Pat: I have several theories, but my main theory is that we got offered a sizable show in Japan a while ago and so that got us together and playing again and one thing led to another. We did the Warped Tour and that was pretty cool. And that got us back in the studio and since then we've been building on each previous step.

Brian: And our fan base seemed to grow.

Pat: The more we stayed away the more fans we had. So I'm voting at the next band meeting to stay away and we'll just get bigger.

Brian: It's a lot easier.

dotmusic: Were you apprehensive about returning?

Brian: As long as there's communication. There was communication between Rivers and myself and I knew we were going to get back together. I never know what he's thinking but the little he did give me he was always contemplating world domination. When the time was right was the question.

Weird things happened within the label, the label merged, radio was playing nothing but nu metal. We waited out a trend in music and it started playing our type of music again.

dotmusic: Has it though?

Brian: It's started playing Weezer!

Pat: Actually I don't [think so]. It's still pretty strong towards the rap metal thing but we're a beacon of hope shining brightly!

dotmusic: Did the creative floodgates open when you got back into the studio?

Brian: Creativity came before that. We spent a year rehearsing and working on material. We have a surplus of songs. When we got into the studio we had it all worked out so we pretty much finished the record in a week but spent a month because we had the time. So it was pretty cut and dry before we got there.

dotmusic: How did you narrow it down?

Pat: We tracked 20 and as the process went on we started seeing which ones were standing out.

Brian: Taking everyone's opinion including the person who went and got coffee. The problem probably was that we had too many opinions.

Pat: We were supposed to have 13 songs but the record company were like you can't have 13 songs it's unlucky. Hotels are the same way. No 13th floor, but guess what? The 14th floor is the 13th floor.

Brian: We wanted to base the record on the decimal system.

Pat: It's almost entirety based on the unwillingness of America to accept the metric system. It's based on the circumference of the earth. How can you argue with that?

Brian: But I'm never going to understand how many stones I am.

Pat: I think it's better to be conservative rather than make like a Smashing Pumpkins record with 48 songs.

Brian: I just think attention spans are so short now. I know mine is.

Pat: Me too. What are you doing here?

Brian: I don't know. But I have about 30 minutes focus time and that's about it. I hope people don't feel cheated for buying a full price record for 30 minutes. I think that's plenty. We could do a double record right away.

dotmusic: Critics are saying this new album is as good if not better than your debut. How do you react to that?

Pat: I can accept that!

Brian: Wow. Our first record really is good. I like that it's compared to the first record. It's similar. We went through a lot of musical changes in the five year period about what the next album was going to be like. We had a trance like sound, a harder sound and somehow we came full circle and sounded exactly like we did when we came out. A bit more mature but not much though.

dotmusic: Have you ever felt pressure as a consequence of the success of your debut?

Pat: No, I feel like it's a fresh beginning actually.

Brian: If The Green Album had come out as our second record that would have been more of the case, yeah.

Pat: Because we came out with such a weird record for our second record we said, "We're not going to have a sophomore slump from you, we're going to have our own slump and make something on the street that will have more creditability but won't be as successful."

dotmusic: Why are you taking a break?

Brian: It is very strenuous. We had the whole year blocked out for promoting this record and we're pretty spent, so we're gonna take a break - maybe just a few weeks. It'll be well deserved.

Pat: We've been touring nonstop since February.

Brian: It gets hectic and it's quite a shock. We sat around for a long time and we know what that is all about.

Pat: It's one extreme or the other with us.

Brian: It seems very natural now. Success and public recognition was very a foreign concept when we first came out because we were so young, but we've had time to reflect and grow as musicians and performers. It's almost second nature to perform in front of thousands of people. We feed off the energy of the crowd. It's bizarre. We grew into it.

Pat: What we've gained is perspective. I think when we played back in the day a lot of times it was four guys playing four different shows and not really thinking about what was coming out as a whole. Now we're a little more savvy.

dotmusic: What are you looking forward to for rest of the year?

Brian: Make enough money to buy a house this year. That's what I'm looking forward to this year, honestly.

Pat: I'm looking forward to coming back here in the fall and doing America in the fall.