The Special Podness: Meet The Special Goodness
|"The Special Podness: Meet The Special Goodness"|
|The Special Podness episode 1|
|Album||The Special Podness|
|Released||July 15, 2022|
|The Special Podness track listing|
"The Special Podness: Meet The Special Goodness" is the first episode of the four-part podcast miniseries The Special Podness, hosted by Patrick Wilson, Atom Willard, and Karl Koch. It was released on July 15, 2022, alongside the vinyl re-release of Land Air Sea.
A description of the episode is given on the Wastoids website:
Welcome to the Special Pod-ness, a four-part mini-series dedicated to the history of The Special Goodness by the three dudes who (probably) know it best: Pat Wilson of Weezer, drummer Atom Willard (Rocket From the Crypt, Plosivs, Against Me!) and Karl Koch, Weezer historian.
As we celebrate the brand new red-colored vinyl edition of the band's third album, Land Air Sea, Pat, Atom, and Karl take us back to the ‘90s and early 2000s to share stories about the ins and outs of the music industry, run-ins with other bands and musicians, and the making of the record. In this first episode, Pat explains the project's origins, and Karl explores the varied cover art that has graced SG releases. All that, plus some quality nacho discussion to close things out.Head over to thespecialgoodness.com to get your copy: but hurry, the record is limited to 1,000 copies.
You're listening to Wastoids.
["In The Sun" by the Special Goodness playing]
Jason Woodbury: Welcome to The Special Podness on Wastoids. This is a podcast about the Special Goodness. I'm Jason Woodbury. Before its official release in 2004, the Special Goodness' third album Land Air Sea existed in many versions. From makeshift CD-R copies, to limited pressings. But the power-pop gem from Pat Wilson of Weezer and drummer Atom Willard, known for his work in Rocket from the Crypt, Plosivs, Against Me!, and many more, has never existed on vinyl. Not until now, at least. Land Air Sea is now available at thespecialgoodness.com. It's pressed on high quality red-colored wax from Hello Records, in partnership with Epitaph. It features remastered artwork, and is limited to only 1000 copies. In this four-part miniseries, Pat and Atom join Wastoids to explore the band's history and ins-and-outs with the one guy who probably knows it all better than they do; I'm talking about Karl Koch, Weezer's official historian. Filled with stories from the '90s alt-rock boom and documenting a time in music just before the internet took over, we're very pleased to share the Special Podness with you to celebrate this vinyl release. Okay, let's meet the crew.
Pat: My name is Patrick Wilson. I play guitar and sing in the project The Special Goodness with my friend Atom.
Atom: Hi, I'm Atom. Atom Willard. I'll be your drummer today in the Special Goodness, with my friend Patrick Wilson. And we were mostly joined by our friend Karl Koch.
Pat: I'm ombudsman.
Karl: I'm the ombudsman, Karl Koch, and I have known these two guys for a super long time. And, I relate to the Special Goodness in the way of having always been kind of at Pat's side, even prior to the Special Goodness having a name. And, then, coming along for the ride, literally, in various vans, and trying to make things happen and keep everybody from getting injured on the road, and having a lot of fun with these guys.
Atom: You've been the principal detail-rememberer, like, and—
Atom: Like, mental archivist. I know that you do have actual archives and files, but also, you're the guy that like— "Hey, do you remember that one time?" You're like "Yeah, but it didn't happen like that, it happened like this." And you, for whatever reason, are able to like access that day, or moment, in your noggin. And pull out like all these details that seem very accurate. You could be making it up, 'cause I can't remember any of it.
Karl: Well, I'll say right now, I am an unreliable narrator. I just have my own ideas, and, it may have happened that way, it may not have, but, y'know, let's just go with it.
Atom: Okay, so let's start making stuff up right now.
Karl: Okay, so in 1971, Pat Wilson busts out with the guitar— no—
Atom: His mom said "Ow!"
Karl: Ow! So, so Atom, thank you for saying that, I feel like because I— as if, y'know, there's different kinds of personalities out there, and I think mine is the kind to kind of observe, and, record mentally. As opposed to jumping in the middle of the stage and being like "Dude, check me out! I'm doing this!" Because, I don't know if I have the confidence to do that, usually. So, perhaps I kind of over-compensate it by then saying like "Well, I'm just gonna observe what everybody else is doing, and watch them say 'Dude, check me out,' and then see if I can remember it all." And, often, you'd be surprised at how much I actually do space out and lose, but that's why I have these endless filing cabinets, because I feel like "If I just save every scrap of paper that comes my way, sooner or later it'll come in handy!"
Atom: Oh my gosh...
Pat: A treasure trove!
Jason Woodbury: To start our talk off, we asked the guys what it felt like to have Land Air Sea finally available on vinyl.
Atom: I mean, I definitely thought about it coming out on vinyl. Not, like, recently. I had always kinda wished that it would. But, no I haven't thought about Land Air Sea in quite a while, so, yeah, to be approached by you guys to do that stuff, it was, like, "Oh wait, hey I remember that record! That record's really good!" 'Cause there's been a lot of records in between then and now, and, honestly, it's like, it's a happy place to revisit. It's cool.
Pat: Yeah, I was like, "Wow, somebody wants to re-issue that. That's cool." I was pumped about it, I think it's really cool. And then when I— that made me wanna go listen to it, and I put it on, I was like—
Atom: I did the same thing!
Pat: And, like, I have such a volatile relationship with anything that I'm involved in, like creatively, that y'know, you get stoked, and then you're like "Ugh, this sucks," and then you're like "Fuck this." And then, y'know like, a couple months later, you go "It's fuckin' good, man." So, I dunno, I'm the worst at understanding what's going on.
Atom: It's good. You can just— you can just leave it there, it's really— it's great. And it stands up, you know what I mean? Like, going back and listening to it, it's been, what, like, two years since we put that on?
Pat: Yeah, two and a half, two and a half years.
Atom: Two and half? Yeah, two and half. And to go back and listen after all this time, all 27 months, it does hold up. And I'm like—
Pat: It's a weird record, if you think about it. Like, in a good way, like—
Atom: There's an arc.
Pat: It's hard to talk about music, but it definitely, like, if you compare it to the other Epitaph bands and shit, it's like not like that, typically. I don't know. It's just the sound of us playing, really.
Atom: It is very simple in that way. Y'know, that it's not a lot of extra stuff. I mean, with Joe's mix on it, it definitely had a little more sauce, but there wasn't like any additional parts added, y'know. So it was just really, like what you said— you got really good guitar tones. Really good guitar tones on that record.
Pat: Thank you.
Atom: I don't think there's a lot of albums that are just the sound of a band playing, that are really good. Like, there are some, but I feel like a lot of the albums, I always think "Oh, this is a great album, that's a great album." And I'm like, "No, there's a lot of trickery and chicanery on that album, and it makes it great, but, there's not too many albums—"
Pat: Sleights of hand.
Atom: Sleights of hand! And, there's not too many albums that are like, these guys got in a room, they played, they recorded it, and they finished it, and it's great. Like there's some, but, I feel like your's is one of them for sure. Which is kind of a cool accomplishment, I don't know if a lot of bands are able to do that, really. At least anymore.
Pat: I've been listening to a lot of modern music through my kids, and, of course, y'know, XM, and y'know Apple Music and Spotify and all that, and it's amazing, the differences between what we grew up on and a lot of the stuff that's going on today. Like, there's a million differences, but, often the shit that I grew up on really was just that. Like, "Okay, record them. Okay, go!" And then, boom, boom, and then next thing you know, it's "Hound Dog", and then it's done. So like, I dunno, that's the kind of music I like. I don't love the laborioius, like, spending a year making something and, I dunno. That's not what I'm excited by. Like, Van Halen sounds like they just to that shit together, to me. And I love that about them, I love that feeling.
Atom: I mean, it really does feel like— Okay, water is water, right? But then you have distilled water, and there's been all these things have happened to it, and it's not quite the same as the other waters.
Pat: It's too pure!
Atom: It's like too pure. It's, there's just—
Pat: Funny you say that, because I'm told that if you drink— drinking distilled water is actually bad for you.
Atom: It pulls shit out of your body. It like pulls—
Pat: That's what they say!
Atom: They are right.
Pat: And they told me that about the reverse osmosis as well, like "Dude, don't drink it."
Atom: Yes. Yeah, the RO will fuckin'... wreck you. I dunno, I was trying to—
Pat: I'll just drink my own pee, then. What I do is I'll RO, little distill, little shot, little piss, and then it all evens out. It's like I reinvigorate the RO.
Atom: Yeah. You're putting the vinegar in "reinvigorate."
Karl: This is how you have your health— your healthy glow, Pat. You have a healthy glow.
Atom: 'Urine' trouble, if you don't—
Karl: Good yellow, too. Oooh!
Atom: If you're not reinvigorating with Pat Wilson's brand new three-step hydration process.
Jason Woodbury: And on that note, we'll be right back after a brief word from our sponsors.
["You Know I'd Like..." by the Special Goodness playing]
Jason Woodbury: And we're back. You're listening to The Special Podness, with Pat Wilsom, Atom Willard, and Weezer Historian Karl Koch. Let's get back into it.
Karl: Pat, I think it's important for the listener to understand where the name "Special Goodness," the Special Goodness, came from. What is the origin of this?
Pat: Okay. So, like, what, '96? Somewhere in '96 or '97, I got a budget from Geffen to make a record, and I— my roommate at the time in Portland, Oregon was Tony Lash, of Heatmiser, and a cool producer himself, and a great drummer. Just a good musician. So, in the basement of this place, we— there was a bunch of recording equipment that Tom Ackerman, from Crux and Skiploader and Sunday's Best had purchased from Elliot Smith and the gang. And so, it was this, y'know, candy store of recording gear. And it needed— the studio needed a name. And, somehow I came up with the "Special Land," it was the Special Land. And then, that warped into the Special Goodness. 'Cause, I was always trying to— I don't know, I am deeply effected by recordings in a weird way, so I'm always trying to get that feeling of being, y'know, really pumped on a recording. I dunno. It's been that way my whole life, so, that's what I was trying to capture, with that. It's— looking back, I think it's a really presumptuous name. Like, we might as well have called it "This is the best! This is the best!" Like, y'know—
Atom: Maybe that's what the record should have been called.
Pat: Maybe I'm being too hard on me, I dunno,
Karl: [Chuckles] "This is the best..."
Atom: I think that should have been the album title. Like, The Special Goodness - This Is the Best.
Pat: "You're the Best!"
Atom: No, we're the best.
Pat: Yeah... well... "You're the Best!"— there's a story about "You're the Best", but not for here. Another time, perhaps when Southern Fried Swing will become actually issued, for the first time, on vinyl.
Karl: Yeah, that's gonna happen.
Pat: I know a guy.
Atom: Now people are interested.
Karl: I'm gonna do it. Pat, I remember, sometime after that, perhaps, with the dawn of digital photography— not the real dawn of it, but our dawn of it, when you had your Kodak that was about this big and took 1MP pictures, and, y'know. And you were getting into taking pictures, and you were always trying to capture this moment when there was like a storm was in the background but the sun was hitting in the foreground, so like the trees in this foreground were like lit up and the background was dark, and at one point you said "That's the Special Goodness." And, I don't know, I think it came after the Special Land obviously, but it was sort of related to that. It was like that special feeling that only happens at that right moment.
Pat: I love that.
Atom: You're like, "Did I say that? Okay!"
Karl: You said it. And you should love it, 'cause you said it.
Pat: It made me think about that, why I had a digital camera in the first place, is because I was gonna put this record out on Geffen, I was just super DIY about everything. And I went— I remember going to the art department— remember when there was like, a record company that had a building, and then like a level that was nothing but the art department?
Karl: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Pat: I went in there, and like I needed some templates, which I didn't know what a template was. But they said "Yeah, you need this template if you're gonna lay it out in Adobe Indesign." And I was like "Yeah, I need some templates!"
Pat: And, they were like "Well, how are you—" the one— the lady in charge of the whole thing was like "So, where did you— where'd you get all these skills? For, y'know— for doing artwork and stuff." And I was like "Ah, y'know, I just 'blah blah blah'." And, I used that budget to buy this Kodak camera that was like the size of a sandwich, and it had a pretty big lense on it. And I wish I had that camera now, because that was like "Holy shit, he has a digital camera. Holy shit, what is— what." I dunno.
Atom: A portal.
Pat: It's a long way to go for a mildly interesting anecdote, but—
Atom: Well, I mean, you turned in the templates.
Pat: [Chuckling] Certainly did! And they went— circular file.
Atom: Stop it, c'mon.
Pat: I'm sure they did, 'cause that record never came out. They were like "Fuck this guy." If only I'd let the art department be involved, I would've had the political support necessary to jam it through the schedule that year.
Karl: Pat, this reminds me very much of the fact that, just about every Special Goodness release has had multiple covers and images associated with it. And, I remember that— I mean, initially, that first album was eventually released in Japan, and had art that somebody did that you didn't even know. That Japanese bunny thing.
Karl: And then later, it was like, we're gonna go on tour, and our first tours we did, back with Mikey, the first run you had a spool of CDs that you had just burned at home. Like, just raw, they had nothing on them, they were just like, y'know, right off the spool, with— they didn't even have logos, and that was cool, they were just like raw, super blank CDs. And, you had like a hundred of them on a spool and said like "Let's sell these on the road." And we had them in the— and I was like "Okay!" And we had nothing else, and so we had a bunch of, like, those little, like y'know, plastic— skinny, plastic cases to put them in, I think.
Pat: Yeah, there— I remember, there was very thin, and those were cool. Like, "Oh, wow!"
Karl: Yeah. You probably went to Fry's Electronics and bought like a hundred pack of them.
Pat: Hell yeah I went to Fry's.
Karl: [Chuckles] And, and it was like "What are these things gonna look like?" And it was like "Uhhhh." And, one of the first shows I remember, we walked in, and on the ledge of the window, near the door where you came into the club, was a stack of like 200 Handsome Boy Modeling School stickers. And it was like Dan the Automator and, what's his name, Prince Paul or whatever just standing and looking all cool with this, like, blue background. And I was like "I'm just gonna take these. I think we might need this."
Karl: And then, there was like, this box of like, "Free CDs to anybody who wants them!" And it was like, demos and stuff that people had just thrown— y'know, given to the club, and they didn't, like— so I just took some art, I found something that was like a Gene Clark record, I don't know why it was in there, and—
Pat: Oh, I vaguely— I'm remembering this now.
Karl: And then there was like, a Chinese restaurant that had this, like, weird art or something on the menu, and we— and it was like this guy, like, giving somebody a haircut. Like, this Communist China thing. And so we just like, gathered—
Pat: Oh yeah!
Karl: We just like gathered this stuff, like "Uhh, we need art, uh— er— uh—", and at the time Mikey was super into, like, doing his collages and stuff.
Pat: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Karl: Like, he just loved— he'd just sit in his motel room at night, and just like, chop things up and, like, smoke all night. And, so he was super into the idea. So, we— I would just sit there while you guys played, at the quote "Merch table", which was like, basically like, one of the— y'know, like a stool, with like, a box next to it.
Pat: Also the dressing room.
Karl: [Chuckles] Yeah.
Pat: Also, just, backstage.
Karl: [Chuckles] And, I would just assemble discs by pasting— like, taking the— cutting out the stickers of Dan the Automator and— what's his face, y'know, Prince Paul, and just like, pasting him on this art. And then we'd go to, like, FedEx or— and, Kinko's, I guess at the time, and would start making color photocopies of them to make more for the next show. So, initially, I don't know how many of these covers got out, that were just like one-of-a-kind, like I don't know, there was just collages. And then, after a show or two, we started getting into this pattern where we were like "Okay, we've got the two guys in the car, we've got the guy giving the guy the haircut, we've got like, these like themes.
Karl: [Chuckles] And like, those were— that was that whole tour, but it was the same record as the Bunny Record. And then the next tour, a few months later, you came up with, like, "It has to be the amp." And we had the one with your—"
Pat: Yeah, the tone king with the script of the Special Goodness on the grill. I remember that.
Karl: Right, so all those ones had the same little cover inserted in the case. Although, I think the discs were still raw CD-Rs, that we just like, would draw on.
Pat: Totally, totally.
Karl: With sharpies.
Pat: And by the way, we weren't "pressing" these, we were literally, like, "Alright, put it in the thing. Okay, go. Burn."
Karl: Yeah. [Chuckles]
Pat: It was— we would literally burn it. Like, that's not how you make CDs.
Atom: File's done!
Karl: And then we were, like—
Pat: I love it, I love it.
Karl: And then it was like "Sixteen times speed, yeah! We're doin' good now!"
Pat: "Woah! Sixteen!"
Atom: Then it would do the, "Da-ding, files done."
Pat: Oh yeah. [CD eject sound] There you are. And it's a little warm.
Karl: And if we ran out, 'cause we were on the road, we coulnd't make more. But, and then later on, the first Land Air Sea you guys did with— I forgot his name, Scott—
Atom: Scott Parker.
Karl: Yeah, Scott Parker, that had three covers too. So it's kind of this nice tradition where, like, everything had lots of covers.
Atom: Well, that was like, to, like, sort of echo the name— the "Land Air Sea", and there were like three different—
Pat: Oh, right, I remember that.
Atom: And there wasn't just "land," "air," and "sea," there were, like— it was a cityscape, and then, that—
Pat: One was LA, one was a farmhouse in Västerås, Sweden, and I don't remember what the third one was.
Atom: The third one was that, kind of, like— what Karl was talking about, with the lit forefront, and the dark background. Like, kinda stormy weather situation.
Pat: Okay. Wow, I can't picture it.
Atom: Wasn't it?
Pat: It was— so there's, right now there's like, I dunno, two hundred and fifty versions out there—
Atom: Of the same two records.
Pat: Of highly collectible Special Goodness CDs.
Pat: But like, anyone who came across them would be like "Nope. Nah, fuck this." It doesn't look like anything, it just looks like—
Karl: Yeah, like, this was—
Pat: It looks like that bin of shit that you saw at that first show, like—
Karl: Right, it was like "Okay here's a burned CD that somebody wrote on with a sharpie. I can't see— I can't read what it says," 'cause it was probably dark when I wrote it. And, it was— "Oh, there's a sticker of Dan the Automator on the CD, I wonder why. And, oh, here's something it says, I think it says 'The Special Goodness', but the handwriting's pretty bad." And "Oh, it's a— it's a guy getting a haircut in a Chinese barbershop. I'm gonna throw this away." [Chuckles]
["N.F.A." by the Special Goodness playing]
Jason Woodbury: You are not going to want to throw away your brand new vinyl copy of Land Air Sea. Head over to thespecialgoodness.com to get your copy. But hurry, it's limited to only 1000 copies. We'll be back next week here on the Wastoids feed with more from the secret history of the Special Goodness, including the inside scoop on how Atom and Pat first teamed up, what Atom thought the first time he heard Weezer's Pinkerton, and that time Jay Leno knocked on Pat's door. Trust me, it's a wild story, and it involves an Elvis costume. The Special Podness is a Wastoids production, written and produced by me, Jason Woodbury. Our executive producer is Sam Means, who also does art for the show. George Santacruz and Gems help produce things here at Wastoids as well. Alright, we'll be back next week, but as we head out, a few thoughts on corporate gigs, and nachos, from Pat and Karl.
Pat: It was interesting, I walked out and there was, like, some nachos, so I got some nachos.
Pat: It was— I think it was a corporate show, if I'm not mistaken. I don't even know, it was just this— it was a lot of people, they sorta shut off this outdoor mall area, and, I really do remember eating nachos, it was great. Like, people were milling about with plates of food.
Karl: We call it the "Food Sun Fest." "'22."
Pat: Food bakedown Arizona-style.
Karl: I've been making nachos for many years, I've perfected the formula.
Pat: You need a chip, and some cheese.
Karl: Well, yes. But you have to be more specific than that, it turns out. But, that is the start.
Pat: Hot Costco chips, and Costco cheese.
Karl: No— you've already gone— now we're— we have to correct Pat again.
Pat: It is surely aimed to please.
Karl: Well you have to have, like, Tostitos, but you get the hint of lime, and if you can find them, you get hint of jalapeño. And, then, you get the scoops, but the multi-grain scoops. So, those are the three chips that you're gonna blend into your layers. And, cheese has to be a combination of pepper jack, and hot habanero cheddar, and you shred it, and then you kinda do, like, chips, layer of cheese, then you throw in, like— y'know, banana peppers, and, like, maybe some jalapeño slices—
Pat: Dude. That's all too much. This is too much.
Karl: Then— then, you gotta have your sauces. You gotta have the cholula, you gotta have, like, the Tapatío, you gotta have the, y'know, the RedHot sauce, you gotta have the— and you just do, like, a layering. And the sriracha too. And, so it's like, layers, so it's kinda like chips, stuff, chips, stuff, chips, stuff— but you can't have it too tight, cause in the oven, it will just be all slimy in the middle. You gotta have, like— kinda like— almost a donut shape. The donut shape is what does it, cause you give it some air in the middle.
Jason Woodbury: Hmm. Okay, yeah, yeah.
Karl: Bake that shit until the chips start turning brown and black on the tips, and then you pull it out, and you're good. And then you add salsa.
Jason Woodbury: Pat, I imagine your nachos were— the nachos you had at the corporate festival thing were less involved?
Pat: They were thrift!
Pat: They were super thrift.
Karl: But they can be good, though, right? Like—
Pat: They were.
Karl: Like, they give you the bag of Tostitos, and a little cup of yellow cheese at the movie theater. That's good.
Pat: Powdered cheese.
Jason Woodbury: Yeah, that, that super gloopy movie style— movie theater style nacho cheese is, like, absolutely— it's not something you wanna eat every day. But, when you do eat it, it can be a pretty good treat, for sure.
Karl: It's a special treat.
["You Know I'd Like..." by the Special Goodness playing]
- "The Special Podness: Meet The Special Goodness" on Wastoids
- ↑ Wastoids. (July 15, 2022). "Show Notes". The Special Podness: Meet The Special Goodness. Retrieved from https://wastoids.buzzsprout.com/1811884/10928203-the-special-podness-meet-the-special-goodness. Archived from the original at https://web.archive.org/web/20220715153442/https://wastoids.buzzsprout.com/1811884/10928203-the-special-podness-meet-the-special-goodness.