Interview: Weezer’s Brian Bell On New Music, From All Of His Bands

By Michael Cerio

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “It’s sort of a weekend warrior thing in reverse” says Weezer guitarist Brian Bell about the band’s summer of festival shows across the country.

They call them “one offs,” flying from the home hub of Los Angeles to Boston, or Alabama, or Delaware – whichever scenic stage calls their name.

The festival font has gotten larger and the set time a little later in recent years for Weezer. It’s a side effect of having really good new material to pair with their legacy of two decades of genre-shaping music. Last year’s “White Album” adds nicely too that arsenal, as does this year’s infectious “Feels Like Summer”.

During the week, the day job is recording the new record.

“He’s very humble” says Bell of band leader Rivers Cuomo as they work on their “White Album” follow-up. “I congratulate him for these new songs. I’m like, man I don’t know where you come up with these ideas.”

The relationship seems strong between Brian and Rivers as Bell meticulously describes their process – working through demos, bringing in counter-lines and hooks, and finding offbeat ways to fall between the cracks of Cuomo’s writing.

“He plays it down, but the guy is a complete maniac when it comes to making music, just a genius at it” exclaims Bell. “It never ceases to amaze me and it sounds so fresh. I’m so excited by the new stuff.”

When asked about the tone and texture of the new album though, Bell was more mysterious.

“I don’t know if I’m at liberty to say yet” he answers coyly. “All I can is that “Feels Like Summer’, is a good barometer.”

Another relationship for Bell that he’s much more loose-lipped about is The Relationship.

The Relationship is the band that Bell has dabbled with for about a decade. It’s one that he started with one of his first California friends. They record and release music “between the cracks” of the Weezer work schedule.

“Through my schedule it hasn’t been like a full time thing. I hate to call it a side project but that’s what it’s sort of been” explains Bell. “In a way that is a good thing because you have time to evaluate what you’re doing. There’s no reason to put anything out that’s not ready.”

“We have two records in the span of ten years but, they’re quality” he laughs.

That second record is called Clara Obscura and is packed with pop anthems, sounding like sunshine with a sixties sensibility. It’s a tight, fun album that already has Bell excited to work on the next one.

“Basically it’s me trying to encapture an emotion that I’m feeling while I’m writing the song” he says. “Which sounds esoteric but that really I think is the heart of what’s happening.”

You can check out The Relationship’s Clara Obscura at all available music outlets, and see Weezer back in the area on September 17th at The Meadows Music And Arts Festival in New York City.

To hear much more from Brian Bell, check out the full interview above.

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