For the follow-up to their smash debut “Blue Album”, Weezer went out on limb. Rivers Cuomo’s heart-heavy, bare lyrics on Pinkerton will forever be central to the band’s reputation, but just as important is their shift away from the power-pop radio-friendly unit-shifting sounds of their debut. Whereas the “Blue Album” was produced by Ric Ocasek – The Car’s frontman and guitarist as well as a noted producer – Weezer self-produced Pinkerton with the engineering help of Joe Barresi and a long list of others. None of the engineers could meet the band’s vision though… sounds they had in mind inspired by The Flaming Lips…
…So midway through recording they hired Lips long-time producer Dave Fridmann to engineer half the album. In this video Dave explains how he came to work with Weezer and what it was like recording them – particularly album’s delicate standout, the harshly intimate “Butterfly”.
Dave’s involvement with a hit, major label band coming off a smash album at the peak of the industry’s investment in “alternative rock” in turn help financed his future work with other groups. Because of working with Weezer, Dave – who was building his own Tarbox Road Studio at the time – was able to buy a quality of equipment he and the bands he produced could never previously afford. In this sense, Pinkerton fed into the sonics of Dave’s next projects, including the Lips’ Zaireeka and Mercury Rev’s Deserter’s Songs.
If not for Weezer wanting to sound like the Flaming Lips so much they hired Dave, who knows what The Soft Bulletin might have sounded like…
Follow twitter.FutureHeartDay for the latest music news and updates in Psych Exploration of the Future Heart’s countdown series to next week’s Weezer/ Flaming Lips Extravaganza at NJ’s PNC Arts Center and NY’s Jones Beach…
Subscribe to youtube/psychexfutureheart for more “making of” videos, interviews and rare songs (including every track from The Flaming Lips’ limited-edition, monthly releases and June’s Soft Bulletin live album).
Also check out
- Get Psyched for WeezerLips Extravaganza
- Flaming Lips 2011 Collaborations – Studio and Live: Neon Indian, MGMT, Weezer, Edward Sharpe, Panda Bear, Nick Cave…Ke$ha?!
- Weezer’s best melodies of the past decade
- 18 Reasons to Love Weezer and The Flaming Lips! (WeezerLips recap)