Plasma Rag interview with Karl Koch - April 27, 2004
Say it aint so: Karl Koch on Weezer's Blue Deluxe Edition
By Stephanie Kitts
EXCITEMENT, KIDS. I recently had the opportunity to conduct an e-interview with Karl Koch - webmaster, archivist, and close friend of the band Weezer - about the newly-released Weezer Deluxe Edition. The Deluxe Edition includes both the rock masterwork of the album known as "Blue" and a rad selection of previously unofficially-released excellent Weezer songs. But I'm not biased on behalf of the band or anything. Yeah, so I went out and bought my copy the day it was released. You can stop laughing now. No, really.
When did the idea of re-releasing Weezer with added tracks come about?
About last fall - I think in September the idea came up.
Who suggested it?
Actually, it was offered by the Universal Music Group, who have been doing those Deluxe Editions for a couple years now. They did Sonic Youth's Dirty and were looking for other "classic" 90s albums to do.
What was the band's initial reaction?
Generally positive, but Rivers was skeptical at first. He has always been one to consider past works "finished", and not something that can be altered. I think that once he learned that Disc 1 would be the same, just remastered, he was fine.
I thought it was a great idea, better than doing a "Greatest Hits" or "B-Sides" album, because it allowed a re-examining of a specific era - not a catch-all with all sorts of random stuff thrown in.
How were the tracks for Disc 2 chosen?
Basically by listening. The b-sides were pretty much a shoo-in and then a lot of demos were listened to and the ones that sounded the best were chosen. The idea was to create a collection that could stand the test of time, as opposed to a catch-all "box set" that has every little thing. Though I personally did push for including a few more old demos that I liked. But that didn't go over so good, heh heh . . . (Here I snorted.)
How was the track order for Disc 2 decided?
Todd Sullivan (the band's A&R guy) worked with the ordering, and the band and I chimed in with our suggestions.
How long did production take?
A few months. I was mostly involved with the uncovering of old photos and archive stuff, working with the art team to get it right, as I was able to I. D. the correct photos and stuff, and writing the info about the Disc 2 songs. Todd made sure the discs sounded as good as they could, and wrote a cool story of his signing of the band. Once the pressing plant has the art proofs, it all comes together really fast.
Was the band very involved with the process, and if so, which parts?
Well, originally, Pat helped discern which old demos were too rough sounding to be included. Mostly the band checked everything out, and approved or offered suggestions as we went along.
What was Weezer's artistic purpose in The Blue Album the first time around?
They were trying to make a great album, which was a challenge because they were still growing as a band and as musicians. They were trying to make something that would stand up artistically, as they were sure that it wouldn't sell, and that they'd be dropped before being able to make a second album on DGC.
Do you foresee the re-release of other classic Weezer albums (such as Pinkerton) in the future?
Very hard to tell, though I see Pinkerton as being an album that could work for, and very deserving of it.
Hmm, Weezer: Pinkerton Deluxe Edition. . . hear, hear!!