VOLUME 1 | ISSUE 17 | COVER STORY: What’s Bringing Weezer to Brantford Hockeyfest?
In 1994, MTV would saturate their airwaves with a five minute, unbroken-sequence music video featuring four guys debuting “The Sweater Song” to an empty venue, save for a few dogs. Later, the same four guys would turn up performing at Arnold’s Drive-In on Happy Days and the video captured from it would catapult the L.A.-based Weezer to international stardom. (“Buddy Holly” would also find its way into the homes of P.C. users, as the video was included as a companion CD in the Microsoft Windows 95 package that year.)
That initial release – aptly referred to as The Blue Album (but, realistically self-titled), spun three top ten singles including “Say It Ain’t So”, certifying Weezer as a triple-platinum album and the band began honing a sound that defined the 90’s generation of alternative rock.
Weezer’s early years weave back to 1992 when the group was simply a Los Angeles indie band performing the strip. But from jamming together to opening for Dogstar, the band would find success early in their career, signing with Geffen in 1993. To date, the band has released nearly ten albums as a group, and a handful more as side projects. In a world where simply writing music together is the Elmer’s Glue recipe to success, Weezer has managed to side-step the fate of other 90’s artists by finding longevity with fans. Now they’re headed to Brantford alongside artists such as Creed, The Trews, Theory of a Deadman, Puddle of Mudd and Sloan to entertain those fans during the three-day Hockeyfest.
“Growing up in Buffalo I consider myself an Honorary Canadian. Or is it Canadien? It said both on my CCM stick as a kid!” says Weezer drummer Pat Wilson of performing at the Brantford festival. “I’m very excited to be playing again with national treasure, Sloan.”
Weezer would hold steady at the top of the alternative charts until their brief hiatus in 1997, dropping their follow-up Pinkerton along the way. The album, despite its failure to achieve “The Blue Album”’s commercial success, would make its mark; arguably attaining a cult status and following. During their brief stint apart, a line-up change and solo projects began to emerge. But they’d return to triumph as 2000 rolled around, this time releasing Weezer (or “The Green Album”) which contained hits “Island in the Sun” and “Hashpipe”.
“Chick singers, from Lana Del Rey to Sinead to The Bird and the Bee and Florence and the Machine,” Wilson says of his influences, adding, “Sirens!”
Given the incredible online push bands are receiving from social media – Weezer themselves taking to releasing downloadable singles from their fourth release online back in 2003 – I asked Wilson if he thought the use of these tools were an essential part of being a musician in today’s industry. “God, let’s hope not!” he remarks. “Think Led Zeppelin would be tweeting?” Good question. He does mention that when Weezer is prepared to release news, they’ll “take to the internets.”
So what is bringing Weezer to Brantford Hockeyfest in June? Aside from a Weezer set Wilson claims fans will liken to “molten metal”, he notes the atmosphere, the rock, and the beer as some of his top reasons for performing at summer festivals. “Save a Molson Export for me,” Wilson says, “although I’d like to see them hop it up some more.”
Aside from looking forward to seeing Creed perform at Hockeyfest, Wilson is also looking towards releasing his fourth studio album with his side project, The Special Goodness (due out May, 2012).
“Do you have anything else you’d like us to plug in the article?” I ask him. “My thing (The Special Goodness) comes out in May,” he tells me. “Woot!”
Weezer Performs at Brantford Hockeyfest June 2nd. Woot, indeed.
June 1 – 3rd, Brant Park Campgrounds