Band hits Mile One tonight
Trippin’ down the freeway, “shredding” bass in the back of a band van trying to get out of N.Y.C., Weezer bassist Scott Shriner spoke by phone with The Telegram about the upcoming night of all-things Weezer at Mile One Centre. He also made note of the band’s next — eighth — studio album.
© — Submitted image
Members of the band Weezer bring their "Raditude" tour to Mile One Centre tonight.
“I want to put it out there that we have a new record coming out, probably about mid to late September and it’s going to be called ‘Hurley.’ Is there an ‘e’ in ‘Hurley’ Jeff? Sometimes. We’re going to do the French version or the Nova Scotian spelling,” he said.
It is possible Shriner, otherwise known as one of those nerd rock weirdos, was pulling my leg. Ripping the name off a T-shirt. We spoke on July 14. On the same day, the Connecticut News-Times — a paper based close to where Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo grew up — quoted Cuomo as saying the name for the release was still in question: "How does ‘Heavy Mental’ sound?"
Whatever the name, Shriner made it clear he is into the new music.
“It’s really exciting,” the bassist said. “You heard that one song ‘Represent’ that we wrote for the U.S. soccer team? It comes from the same sessions as that. It’s going to be really over-the-top and exciting and bombastic and I’m really excited about it.”
He was then asked how many “tracks” would be on it. “I’m going to say 67 tracks, compressed into probably 11 songs,” he said with a laugh.
The band has not found it any more difficult working together as the years have passed, he said, so scratch infighting off the potential list of headlines.
“I’d say it’s easier now. I think the channels are more open now than ever,” he said. Beat. “That’s what she said, anyways.”
The van filled with background laughter.
Weezer is about fun and good times. Yet don’t let the sweater vests and button shirts fool you — often it’s about immature good times.
Their 2009 release “Raditude,” the album being supported on their current tour, includes the single “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” with the story of a party hookup turned summer love leading to meeting the parents. … Then there’s lyrics like “my blue jeans need a patch” in the song “Put Me Back Together” and random references in other tracks to Shirley Applebee and Kiki Dee (“She’s hot. And her name is really fun to say,” Shriner said.).
“I can’t stop partying, partying/I can’t stop partying, partying/I’ve gotta have Patron, I’ve gotta have the beat/I’ve gotta have a lot of pretty girls around me, oh,” Cuomo sings in the aptly named “Can’t Stop Partying.”
“It’s really exciting.” — Scott Shriner said
It is all layered on the upbeat California-flavoured sounds mixed with power-chord numbers that popularized Weezer, beginning in the early 1990s (remember “Buddy Holly” and “Undone: The Sweater Song”?). Even so, the band’s current band members are not angst-filled teens or twenty-somethings. Cuomo turned 40 this year. Of course, he won’t care what you say about that.
“We don’t have anybody harping on us to grow up and be mature, I don’t think. I think there’s a lot of harping going on, but I have not heard that one yet,” Shriner said. “There’s so many different kind of schools of Weezer fans and a lot of them are waving different kind of flags. You know, I mean, we try to cater a little bit to everybody, but ultimately we’re just following our own excitement and just trying to do what it is that we love to do.”
If you’re going to look closely at the “Raditude,” he said, the leaping dog is key.
“It actually belongs to a couple somewhere in a small town in a nice little house and I think we found the dog on YouTube and thought that that expressed exactly what we felt about ‘Raditude,’” he said. “The dog sums it up. It’s like airborne, jumping on you with excitement. You might love it. You might not be a fan of dogs, but it’s coming at you anyway.”
While Newfoundland and Labrador needs a little Weezer-style good times, it apparently also needs more Wuggies. That’s Weezer Snuggies — the blanket pouches you slide into.
“I have a couple at home that are in my garage that need a home. I should have brought them with me,” Shriner said.
But why, Weezer, why?
“We loved the commercials. The people were so odd and the commercials were kind of campy and fun and I think that we thought that Weezer and Snuggies would be a great match.”
More Wuggies — and Weezer — at Mile One Centre tonight.