Karl's Corner - Spring 1997
Transcribed from original Weezine #10.
Hello again folks! For you newer members, I'm Karl, Weezer's longtime buddy, guitar tech/roadie etc. on the road, and assistant, archivist and question answerer while off the road. Every issue I rant and rave and answer as many questions as I can, so feel free to write in and spout off (with questions or not, on Weezer related things or not!)
Well, this may be for the spring issue but it's not spring where I am yet! Western New York is very reluctant to 'give up the ghost' of winter, and always is. I hope you're all well 'round the world! I had a great 3 week visit with Pat Wilson that I just got back from. Much hanging out with him and Jen, and of course Mykel and Carli was had. I gotta say Portland's where it's at! (what "it" is I don't know) Me and Pat did a lot of snowboarding and it ruled! Big Air!
Anyway, space is limited due to "my interview Pt 2: Brian and Matt", which ended up being much longer than Pat's and Rivers's last issue. So here we go...
As you must know by now, we're going on the road again! This after tearful "farewells" in Madison in January. The 'bad' news, if it can be called bad, is that we're opening for No Doubt. Say what you will about them; I feel the bummer for fans is the size of the shows (huge) not who's headlining. So, I hope you can deal. The guys will do their best to put on a good show in the "Shadow of Gwen." The big mystery is regarding Matt. Regardless of what rumors you've heard about his tour participation, or lack thereof, all is still up in the air. In Januay "Pinkerton" was seemingly over, so Matt started planning for the Rentals to tour. (He's still in London now, trying to finish the new Rentals album) So of course all kinds of doo-doo has hit the fan now that Weezer is touring, and no one is sure what's gonna happen. I think he's gonna make it. We shall see...
Q & A
Jairo Almanza asks if Weezer was once called "Fuzz". Well, no. However, Rivers and Pat were in a short-lived band called Fuzz in L.A. many months before Weezer happened. They played about 2 shows. No Fuzz songs developed into Weezer ones, so really the 2 bands are unrelated.
Rachel Larsen sent in a photo of the Weezer "shrine" at The Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco. It appears to be a random signed guitar. Hmmm... thanks Rachel, at least the mystery is cleared up! As for your Space Twins questions, see the Brain interview following.
Angel asks for keyboard notes from Tired Of Sex. Well, these and all of the notes from Pinkerton are still unpublished I don't know, it can't be that hard to figure out! "deeee, da dee do dum, dum! da da da da dum!" And as for what jobs, we'd all have if Weezer didn't exist... think "Texaco." No, no, but who can say? Fate is weird. Thanks for the enthusiastic letter.
James Dreiling asked many things. In a nutshell; I respond: yes, the Pinkerton artwork has a Japanese theme, b) Rivers switched his major from music to English, c) Pinkerton shirts should be in stores by now, d) I think Pinkerton has gone gold(?) e) Rivers's stratocasters are custom, but have Warmouth necks and bodies.
Kylee Morris asks about the Italian words on the Pinkerton map, how they're too small to read. Most of them are just place names from the original map, a few are changed by Rivers. If they're too small to read, even with a magnifying glass, then they're not significant.
Jasmine Powers sent in a xerox of a weezer "flat" and asked its purpose. A flat is an album (LP) sized cardboard poster used solely for promotion by a record company. They passed it out to you at that show so you'd buy the record. Like with radio, Mtv and magazines, record companies are really just advertising the album. And how else to do it?
Lacy Ellington wanted to buy the merchandise I listed in my "Merchandise History" a few issues ago. Well, good luck! That wasn't a catalog, just information. Some of those items might be near impossible to find now. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try!
Several fans wrote regarding the first bootleg Pinkerton shirt sold outside the Palace show in L.A. (December '96). Thanks for the info. The shirt had a drawing of a house in the front and a band photo on the rear. I hope you held out, as much cooler shirts than that are coming!
James Ross had a million good questions... "Why aren't I, Karl, in more Weezer videos?" A: Tense directors. The guys live in : Brian-Los Angeles, Pat-Portland, Rivers-Boston, Matt-???. Weezer on Mtv Unplugged? They don't play enough acoustic material. Aren't those things like an hour long? Weezer home video: we'll see, not for a long time though. Thanks for all the product ideas, I want Weezer argyles too!
Toby asked if "American Holiday" (the bootleg CD) was made before the 1st album. No! Sure, it says '94, it came out in early '95 and includes stuff from late '94 shows. The first album was released in May '94. The bad titles on that CD are wrong 'cos they didn't even know the correct titles. That's how much they cared.
J. Graham wanted to know Rivers's brother Leaves's high school name. I believe it was James.
Ashleigh Ellsworth wanted to know everyone's marital/relationship staus. Last I heard Pat was married to the lovely Jen, I was living a Yoda-like existence, Brian had a girlfriend in L.A., Matt had one in Spain and Rivers was in Harvard (that counts as a relationship)
Nate Potter was confused about Cory and Zach's story in #9. Well, I can only say: some of that story was made up. Um, a lot of that story was made up. But, they did cut Pat's lawn!
Beth Ruberry asks if I have all the stuff in the discography and where to find them. Well, no, I don't have everything, but I've got quite a bit and after a certain point it's like: "I don't need everything. I have too much!" Me being a record collector did not help the situation. As for finding some of it... even I had to crawl and scratch my way for a few of those items. I would only say good luck... try posting in a record collecting newsgroup ("looking for...") on the internet, or a classified ad maybe...
Jason Lemke had a ton of questions, I'll try a few... "How do the guys feel about going 'wireless'?" Bad. That would be good for me, but really, wireless systems are uh, stupid looking. (apologies to the 9 billion huge badns that use them)... Rivers has but 2 pickups in his guitars, both humbuckers by Seymor Duncan... "Are you guys on exercise programs?" Pat is on the "Fit For Life" plan, and Brian is an all natural foods man. All but Pat are vegetarian. "B-sides - what to expect?" The 3rd single will probably have 2 or 3 new b-sides - 3 songs are on tape now but unfinished. The Australian "The Good Life" single will have 2 acoustic songs on top of the 2 regular b-sides (see discography).
And finally, to the many who wrote in expressing concern over what they read in the Alternative Press article... As you can see, Weezer is rocking onward. It's too bad that trouble had to happen, but there is now better communication happening because of it. I advise all to chill out and come on out in the summer!
Discography Update - Spring '97
I decided to save some space and list everything in an 'essential only' format, as very little new stuff has been added since last year, and the Pinkerton (an on) stuff is still a big mess.
older stuff: "How to get all the songs"
●"Weezer" (10 songs) CD, Cassette, UK LP
●"DGC Rarities Vol. 1" contains "Jaime" CD, Cassette, LP
●"Undone" singles. Australian CD version has "Mykel and Carli", "Susanne" (version A) and "My Evaline" (says "Sweet Adeline")
other countries have no "My Evaline". cassingle and 7" exist
●"Buddy Holly" singles: all countries CD's the same, with "Surf Wax America"(live) and "My Name Is Jonas" (live), and "Jamie" from Rarities. cassingle and 7" exist
●"Say It Ain't So" singles: all countries CD's the same, with "No One Else" (acoustic), "Jaime" (acoustic) cassingle and 10" exist
●"Angus" soundtrack contains "You Gave Your Love To Me Softly" (version A) CD, Cassette, LP
●"Mall Rats" soundtrack contains "Susanne" (version B) CD, Cassette, LP
The Rentals : "Return of The Rentals" CD, Cassette (LP exist?) (10 songs)
"Friends of P" singles with "So Soon" (CD, Cassette and 7")
"Friends of P" singles with "Naive", "The Love I'm Searching For" (old version) "Friends of P" (4-track demo)
"Kevin and Bean KROQ X-mas cassette" contains "Silent Night"
Space Twins: "No Show" b/w "A Brief History" 7"
Pinkerton and beyond... the essentials):
●"Pinkerton" CD, Cassette, LP (all U.S.) (do foreign LP's exist?)
●"El Scorcho" singles-note: tons of different "El Scorcho" promo singles exist, some with art, some without, some with b-sides, some with 'clean' (no "goddam") versions.
The UK/Australian/etc. CD has "You Gave Your Love To Me Softly" (version B) and "Devotion"
●"The Good Life" U.K. CD has "Waiting On You" and "I Just Threw Out The Love Of My Dreams" (with Rachel Haden on lead vocals - accidentally uncredited!)
The Australian version additionally contains "The Good Life" (acoustic) and "Pink Triangle" (acoustic) - live from the 'cafeteria' show in Seattle, at Shorecrest High School. And Rachel is given her due credit.
●New Bootleg? - apparently there is a 2 CD set from Australia called "Weezer Plus Ruckus Vol. 1" If anybody has this or has seen/heard it, please write in with info. I'd venture a guess it contains live recordings from the tourdates in Australia last fall.
The next single, which will probably be released to coincide with that No Doubt tour, is "Pink Triangle". There are 3 b-sides currently unfinished on tape. I hope they make it... "Wanda", to answer J. Lemke's question, is not one of them, nor, is it 'officially' a Weezer song.
My Interviews Part 2: Brian and Matt
Here we go again... these were conducted on the tour bus headed toward the last show in January (Madison, WI). Somehow they got real long. Ah well...
Karl: Number one question... You had great changes in your personal baggage system recently and you wanted to tell me what you finally settled on, as a man on the go?
Brian: Originally I got this bag from my parents for Christmas - a Hartman, and I guess they spent a lot of money on it, they were really proud of it. So, I felt obligated to use it, and it turned out to be a wonderful bag and I have it to this day - although I had an incident when I had a set of keys in the side pocket, and there was a hole in it, and I dropped it in the front yard - and I couldn't find my keys so, I had to search the yard on my hands and kness.
K: A sign of lower quality.
B: Yes, So while on tour - at the St. Louis Mall I decided to opt for the Samsonite hardcase carry-on bag. And I found it's more effective to pack lightly - 1 weeks clothes only...
K: So, no more lugging bags all over creation...
B: Yes! And I found another bag over in Japan - they have these highly efficient bags there.. And then my favorite is my toiletry bag, that is like a leather doctor's kit. I got that at Macy's... and I spent $80 on it, but by god, I think I'm the Toiletry Bag Hero of this band!
K: You gave gone through more toiletry bags than anyone 'cos you've left so many behind!
B: That's the thing on tour - the less you pack the less you have to lose.
K: O.K.... So, name a few CD's you've gotten into recently.
B: I really like "Everybody Digs Bill Evans" [Bill Evans, piano jazz] and Thelonious Monk... Last tour, it was John Coltrane 'cos I was learning bass clarinet, and I'm really more into more instrumental music... I'm really into this record from 1995, called "Barry Black" and it's the lead singer from Archers Of Loaf. Very interesting array of instruments... banjos with synthesizer and cellos and clarinets and "Dr. Seuss" instruments...
K: So, no "Guy with guitar and rocks songs" stuff...
B: Bauhaus! And it takes me right back to those years when I worked at this record store off of Hollywood Blvd. called the "Rock Shop" - it was geared toward the goth scene at the time.
K: A lot of black t-shirts with white designs on 'em...
B: exactly, a lot of Smith, Cure, Bauhaus people came in, and I was like: "I must get on this tip"!... um, I'm waiting for the new Built To Pill record to come out...
K: Oh yeah!... okay... have you been reading anything lately and if so what?
B: I started reading Groucho Marx's autobiagraphy, until you, Karl, got me a Tom Waits biography I'd never seen, and... I savored every paragraph. It was one of my favorites of that style... and I started reading Matt's "On The Road" by Kerouac,... um, I bought a bunch of books, some plays, like "UberRoy"[?] about a guy who eats himself to death... I'm buying a bunch of books 'cos I'm really looking forward to getting back to my apartment and buying a bookshelf... I realized I have hundreds of books and nowhere to put them...<br< K: Somebody said that it's never a crime to buy a book and not read it.
B: You'll read it someday, that's exactly right... I like to re-read things, go back and look up words that I underlined...
K: Okay, last question.. we're moving into a 'break period' for Weezer here, and I wanted to know if you have any plans for the Space Twins?
B: Thanks for asking - I'm highly excited about it. On the last 10-day [x-mas] break, I rehearsed 3-5 hours a day, either individually or the group.. I'm working with Mike Elliot on drums, and 2 brothers, the Maloof[?] brothers, who played in a band that I played with in high school, the Blue Shrooms.
K: So you did this in Tennessee?
B: No in L.A., they were originally from California and moved back. They moved to Tennessee when I was a teenager and they were from 'CALIFORNIA' so they were immediately "cool". We both got our instruments the same day. Glen got a set of drums and I got a guitar, and we started playing right away. He switched to guitar 5 years ago, he's self-taught, and a leftie, he plays with a right handed guitar, strung backwards.
K: exactly like Jimi Hendrix! (laughter)
B: Yeah! and it's difficult to show him chords or see what he's doing... but once he gets it... he plays a hollow body guitar through a Falcon Reverb and a twin reverb amp... he plays very neat "spaghetti western" type guitar parts, and I don't have to play guitar constantly... and his brother, who was the guitarist in Blue Shrooms, plays bass, and he's a great musician and an artist.
B: We got t-shirts already, a great design, and I hope to get it to Mykel and Carli soon...
K: Are you planning shows?
B: I'm renting rehearsal space for February, and in March we'll start playing shows, maybe record something... mostly I just wanna get out there... It's great now, 'cos I'm not working with my ex-girlfriend Susan anymore. So, I don't have to compromise on anything. I've been making the songs more complex and it's been a lot of fun for me...
K: Excellent Brian. Thank you
*editors note, when Matt's words are italicizied it indicates him speaking in a very silly English accent. This is not to say that he was being insincere in his statements, only silly-sounding. Also note that Matt was in rare form at the time of this interview.
Karl: Here we are with Matt Sharp and -
Matt: ... and this f***ing restaurant it's brilliant, right? it's f***ing ace! In there with these big breasts right? and we're f***ing doing cocaine on these breasts! Anyway, what were you saying?
K: Ahem... your luggage situation was in flux for many months have you solved it?
M: F***ing hate it I always hate luggage my bag ripped! sob!! it's crazy being on the road with these animals! Rivers, Pat, you shoulda seen Pat running down the hall naked right? with jelly on his Pe-
M: And he's saying, "Somebody find me some Peanut Butter quick!"... Anyway!
M: The luggage is great!
K: But you were having big problems!
M: No No No from the get-go I've always had really good luck with my luggage, and in today's society I find that good luggage is the mark of a good man, and, you go into a swanky hotel and they say, "hey, who's that guy with the duffel bag - get him outta here! We want our clientele to be the highest level of clientele, people that are success, movers and shakers."
K: You're starting a luggage store?
M: No, I think that luggage says a lot about a man or a woman,... It says more about a man than it does say about a woman... but if you think about it really, what is luggage? It's something that holds your clothes that sez "Hey. This guy has important clothes to wear tonite, he's got a place to go, has places to be, he's got a show to put on, this guy is gonna need his shirts nit to be touched, ruffled or anything, 'cos he's gotta play in front of a crowd, of maybe, 600 people!" (laughter)
K: In just a few days your life is gonna take a dramatic turn, -
M: Well I find that -
K: C'mon! This is the last day of the Weezer tour, now -
M: We didn't get to the Back Pack, I mean the...
K: well, if you wanna get to the back pack we can -
M: No, no... it's for... scumbags, that's all...
K: I will print that
M: I find that uh, now is the time to take a clean break to look to the future and say "It's good. Life is good. People are good. It's time to jump into the beauty." It's not a black and white world, Karl. It's the beauty of grey.
K: Ahh! what exactly are you do -
M: What I'm trying to say is that it's not: white Weezer, black Rentals. It's the beauty of grey! It's just like Ed Kowalczyk [Live] said on "Beauty of Grey" he said, "Weezer is not black and white world, Weezer is the Beauty of Grey" it says a lot about us a as a band. The fact that I can do both things, and jump around naked with, uh, jelly on my penis is.. uh...
K: So, what exactly are you doing in a couple of days?
M: We're looking toward the future. We're thinking "how do we make people happy?" "How can we please both sides?" I'll tell you! What I wanna do in this world... is go away... jump for joy in a land of happiness where there are no evils, think about the people that I love, sing about being a good man in today's society, I wanna sing positive songs, be surrounded by positive people with positive energy and positive shows, jumping up and down; I'm talking about going on the cruise, I'm talking about long haul, the big daddy. What I'm saying is we're going all the way. And '97's our day. And we're here to stay. And there ain't no way that I'm gonna say "Schnay" to a guy who's gay, not too a guy who's not gay! We're talking about not opposing the gays, not embracing the gays, letting the gays to their own thing letting the heterosexuals do their own thing., letting everybody be happy. You know? I mean, I don't wanna... be an a**hole, study "being an a**hole", study other a**holes being a**holes, and a**holes being a**holes and "hey I can be an a**hole, 'cos that guy was an a**hole" y'know? A**holes aren't art! You don't have to be an a**hole to be a great artists!... I am an a**hole, but, I can make sh*tty art! I -
K: Let me rephrase the question...
M: I will tell you one thing we're doing... Carli and I, we'll we've really put some deep thought into this, and we're thinking about doing... a cookie special. And we wanna know what the weezer/rentals people think about a new dish every month. Wherever I go, what recipes do I find? What are people in Portugal eating these days? We're gone be on the hottest tips, the biggest tips, the quickest tips, the newest tips, a way to get a tuna casserole done quicker than you can [snaps] spit on a monkey!
K: Would you say that your time is almost 100% consumed with thinking about and doing music and stuff related to music (tape cuts off)
(side 2 - argument in process)
M: No! you got to print that, you can put: "Jelly on the dot dot dot dot"
K: Jelly on the dot dot dot dot?
M: This is our new single! [sings] "Jelly on the dot dot dot dot dot!"
K: So... is there no concentration on -
M: I just tried to explain! It's all about a good cruise! K: New question. Is there any excitement for you on things such as media outside your own doing? As opposed to saying some energy for whatever you go see or read...
M: Oh, I'm reading a lot!
M: The last 4 books I read... this Picasso book; "On The Road" 'cos we're on the road, "Catcher In The Rye", and that "Perfume" book...
K: Is the Picasso book helping you?
M: I was trying to read about people that were enjoying themselves and did some pretty wonderful things in the meantime... I wanna have some positive experiences in life... and this record I'm recording right now is the most f***ing positive thing you've ever heard! Once it gets in your ass it will make you jump for joy. It will make you love yourself, and your friends and family, It's a recipe to take care of everything.
K: In a perfect world, what would happen? For you in the upcoming months...
M: In a perfect world, I wouldn't know what would happen. Which is what the world is like right now.
K: So it must be perfect!
M: No! But I don't wanna know what's gonna happen !?!
K: Well what would you like to have happen, even if it's not specific.
M: I want it to continue to be interesting. I just don't want it to be boring.
K: I think you're very good at making things not boring -
M: No, I'm saying that in today's world, this is what I want! I want to not know what's coming and be in some interesting situations, with some wonderful people, and not be in too many shi**y situations with shi**y people who sh*t on me and sh*t on my friends, and sh*t on my family, get rid of those people, kill those people. No penis on the jelly!
K: So you actually live for... the uncertainty
K: 'cos a otta people don't!
M: I like the fact that I don't know what's going on day to day and end up in London and end up - this is gonna sound like an art fag, but I am an art fag - so! I like it! I may live in Spain or not, I may live in New York, and I don't really know, and I'm here [Wisconsin], and I'm recording with people I never thought I'd record with and just meeting interesting people and having a good time and everything's great and I sold 5 billion records on the second Rentals record and everybody's happy, my parents bought cars and I'm hanging' out with Bobby Brown!
K: I thank you for this, Matt
M: I need that whole thing printed or you can't print it!
Addendum: To be fair to Pat, whom I'd forgotten to ask what he's reading, I know he's recently devoured both "Snow Crash" and "The Diamonds Age" by Neal Stephenson, and "Idoru" by William Gibson... and about 700 Hot Rod realated magazines..
Things You'd Like to See #3... thanks to all who contributed!
-Autographed Weezer merchandise for sale (I disagree! Don't ever pay for someones's autograph!)
-Short people lining the stage
-The universal takeover of The Young Ones and The Kids In The Hall (who takes them over?)
-Valium passed out to all potential moshers
-A Space Twins tour
-Pinkerton on KROQ, L.A. (now don't get greedy)
-Rivers's head on Mt. Rushmore (????)
-Rare color vinyl stickers made for collectors items (?????)
-Foo Fighters/Weezer double headliner tour
-Matt have his own comedy show: "Sharpshooter!"
-A Weezer photo book
-Brian have his own clothing line "Burlesque by Brian" (!!!!)
-A biography of the band (wait 20 years)
-A life size reproduction of Rivers's leg brace "for our own personal enjoyment" (you are sick, you know that?)
Anyway, take care of yourselves, and I'll see you this summer on the road again!
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for writing in!