Brian Bell Fan Interview 2006

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This interview was conducted in August 2006 via email, with Brian A. of acting as go-between/editor, choosing and assembling a set of questions sent in by fans. The questions and answers have been assembled en masse here. The interview was first posted at Many thanks to all the fans who participated.

Casey: What can you remember about the songs that Weezer rehearsed and recorded in late 1998? This was around the time that "Velouria" was recorded as well as some of your songs that later became Space Twins tunes (i.e. "Butterfly Collector"). This is a hazy period of history for most Weezer fans.

Brian: There was some metalish sounding thing with alot of energy. I can't remember the title, it's foggy to me too.

Casey: What was a favorite experience from your many years on the road?

Brian: Any involving Brazilian girls.

Question: Rivers has talked about a song called East Coast or West Coast where you and him trade vocals. could you give me some more info how this song would sound?

Brian: Never heard of it, but I'm glad he included me.

Question: have you been writing any new material for weezer?

Brian: No, but Rivers and I co-wrote a song which I titled "Hand to Hold" for The Relationship record, which I don't think I'm going to put on it, but it'd make a great B-side.

Rather Dashing: Since you have been singing some of the classic weezer songs on tour this past year. Would you have a thought on singing new weezer songs in the future?

Brian: If River's wishes, I'll give it a try.

Joey: Brian, could you describe to me your rig ( amps, pedals, strings etc.)?

Brian: My thing now is a Silvertone amp called a Twin Twelve. I have some secret weapons in my arsenal which I used on The Relationship recording but then it wouldn't be a secret.

Joey: Brian, you and Rivers were both Fender Stratocaster guys in the Blue Album era, but Rivers switched to a Gibson Explorer briefly and now only plays Gibson SG's. Yet, you have stayed loyal to the Stratocaster (with the exception of the Les Paul you use time to time). What causes the changes in Rivers' yet you don't change you axe?

Brian: The important thing to remember is technique and your ear. But by far my best electric is my 67 Fender Tele Thinline I acquired during Pinkerton. On The Relationship album we used Luther's 67 Gibson SG.

Millhouse: What is the most memorable Weezer show to you?

Brian: Playing in Taiwan, when rock starved kids rushed the stage.

Millhouse: How does it make you feel to see the giant crowd of people cheering for you as you walk out before each Weezer show?

Brian: Nervous.

Millhouse: Do you think you've changed at all as a person since 1994 and the release of the Blue Album?

Brian: Of course, I was in my early twenties then and have learned to separate celebrity BS from reality.

Alexander: I know that you fingerpick opposed to using a pick. As a guitarist I use a pick but find it alot less awkward to fingerpick, however with alot less clarity and crispness. How do you keep your sound so crisp?

Brian: In Weezer during "Jonas" I use a pick. I do what the situation calls for, but my favorite guitar playing is finger style country blues a long the lines of Mississippi John Hurt.

Shane: What was your first guitar/first song you learned how to play/first role model growing up?

Brian: Metallica's "The Four Horsemen"

Question: Who/What have you been listening to lately?

Brian: Dylan's new album "Modern Times"

Rachel C.: Which is your favorite song both weezer and outside of weezer?

Brian: Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower"; Weezer "Suzanne"

Question: What advice do you have for aspiring young rockstars according to your experiences? Thanks!

Brian: Stop trying to be a rockstar and work on musicianship instead.

Laine: there are a bunch of space twin songs that never saw a real release. songs such as "forgot to ask", "burn in black", and "final voyage" (final voyage being amazing!). there are also songs out there we never even have heard like "seventeen" and "lara." will these songs see the light of day for fans. before you decide though, please consider that while they may be tunes that to you that are "unfinished", to fans, these tunes make us feel, yet all we have poor quality recordings of these tunes that we listen to repeatedly. fan of yours appreciate these efforts, don't let these gems die. keep in mind, releases can be in many forms, such as an mp3 release with profits going to good cause, or simply home to help pay the bills for more good touring and material.

Brian: I haven't given it much thought, but after "The Relationship" album gets its due maybe. I've thought about trying a psychedelic children's record with the Space Twins' recording of "Nico", "Flowerpot", "The Clown Song", and "Birds In The Street" then writing an some new ones with Tim Maloof from Space Twins.

Laine: what's the deal with the space twins? do you check the website's message boards?

Brian: I'm not persuing "Space Twins" presently only "The Relationship", but look at the previous question and there's a chance.

Alex: Brian, did you prefer taking the lead role during the Make Believe tour (such as singing songs or playing lead guitar) or being rhythm guitar?

Brian: Doing anything in Weezer feels rewarding, I'll play drums if they wanted me to.

Question: hey i just wanted to know why weezer have never toured to new zealand? we all love weezer down her, and our little hearts are crushed every time the tour dates are announced and we arent a part of it. :(

Brian: We did play in Auckland during Pinkerton.

April: Will there be any updates [songs, tours, ect.] with the space twins soon?

Brian: No, maybe The Relationship will tour though.

Travis: I love the song Superfriend! I've been anticipating any news on this song ever coming out. In your opinion, will the good version this song ever be released?

Brian: Don't count on it, I've never heard Rivers mentioning it.

Mike: what have you learned from playing with Ringside?

Brian: That I need to focus on The Relationship.

Michael: The Velvet Underground cover that you and Pat recorded seems to utilize something that Weezer has rarely experimented with---pure improvisation. I think what you guys did on the Velvets cover sounds the exact opposite of how typical Weezer songs are created. The Enlightenment Tour featured extended intros/outros that allowed room to "jam" (f***ing hippies) and you guys had some moments of improvisation based on the already written parts in the song (Only in Dreams, Death and Destruction), but that seems to be limited to that era. My question is, as a musician seeking out new ways of playing and writing music, do you see pure improvisation as something you want to incorporate into your future musical excursions. Does music made spontaneously have more to offer you creatively than sitting down and methodically planning out musical ideas that are hanging around? If so, do you think improvisational music has a place in the world of Weezer's typical songwriting formula?

Brian: I think it always has been a part of the formula and there needs to be a balance of planning and letting things just happen.

Mike: do you think rivers has a lot of good material kept in the vaults? stuff like lover in the snow, the organ player, modern dukes, etc. we know how the fans love the blue album and pinkerton and some of the stuff that rivers has wrote that is close to that stuff has been kept off the albums. do you think there is some good songs kept away from an album release that shouldnt be?

Brian: I think sometimes Rivers doesn't know what his best material is, but in the end he has to make himself happy and these vaulted ideas will resurface in something that hopefully does please him.

Question: How long did it take you to learn how to play guitar?

Brian: Good questions. Answer: I'm still learning everyday.

ryley: Brian, what is yours and the rest of the band's relationship with former weezer bassist mikey welsh at this point? It seems as if the band has done thier best to forget about him.

Brian: Tell him to give me a call, I had a great time with Mikey during his time with us.

Angelica: What do you think of women in rock?

Brian: Usually they embody the spirit of rock way more so than guys.

Bryan Hurst: I just wanted to know what you did to get by when you first moved to California. Did you have a lot of time to play guitar? That is all, please and thank you.

Brian: I spent 8 hours a day on guitar, I went to a guitar school after all.

Question: What's your personal favorite Weezer album, and why? Please be a little more commital than Rivers was and actually choose one.

Brian: I think they all have there merit, but I'm mostly proud of Pinkerton.

Mark: Where was the 'Island In The Sun' video filmed?

Brian: Somewhere in LA. [note: more specifically, at the top of Browns Canyon, near Chatsworth. -Karl]

Mark: What was filming that video like?

Brian: Like a zoo without cages.

Amy - Fairfax, VA: What is your favorite rock artists of all time and what is the one cd you can't live without on tour?

Brian: Jimi Hendrix, "Are You Experienced?"