?Why are Weezer considered a band for nerds?….If anyone can explain Weezer?s reign over the nerds, I appreciate it.?
Thanks to my broken ankle, I?ve had a lot of time to think about things like this. And Jen, considering that you?ve seen me in action at a Star Wars convention and opening night of Episode 3, it shouldn?t surprise you that I?m a Weezer fan. While I wouldn?t say that Weezer is a band that appeals exclusively to nerds, it is an interesting question.
I wouldn?t classify Weezer as ?nerd rock? or ?geek rock.? And there are certainly more intellectual rockers out there (Ted Leo blows anyone else out of the water). But I think the answer to the relationship ca be found in something someone told me about nine years ago; ?Weezer fans are the nicest people.?
I don?t remember the name of the person who told this to me, but I took it as a compliment- even though there are some people getting roughed up in the pit at Weezer shows. For the most part, Weezer fans just want to enjoy the rock. The band?s sound somewhat heavy, but melodic and their songs have meaning. Consider the following:
In the Garage: A song about enjoying role playing games, comic books and being alone in the garage.
Buddy Holly: A song about platonic friendships.
Pinkerton: An album themed after the opera Madame Butterfly
Beverly Hills: A song where the singer admits that he doesn?t fit into the ?cool world? and that being okay.
Hash Pipe: A song about transsexual prostitution.
Well, most of their songs are about nice, innocent subjects.
In addition to the songs, the band also has an interesting personality. Maybe the band consciously added to this image. Two of their early t-shirts included phrases like ?If it?s too loud, turn it down? and ?drink your milk and do your homework.?
Overall, they?re a bunch of goofy guys, with some serious nerd cred. Yeah, it?s common knowledge what Rivers attends Harvard. He gives off an intellectual vibe. And while in interviews, he sounds like an overly-shy weirdo, but in real conversation, he sounds like a regular guy. But he doesn?t like the rockstar life- and when the band first made it big, he wrote a series of essays for Details about being uncomfortable with the whole ?rockstar? thing.
The only band member who probably wouldn?t be accused of being a nerd is the bassist, Scott. And that?s only because he used to be the bassist for Vanilla Ice during Ice?s gangsta-rap phase.
With all this in mind, I can see why you?d think Weezer automatically appeals to the nerds. But I don?t think they?re a nerd-only band.
They?re just a bunch of nice guys who make good music. For nice people.
Tom has been to eight Weezer concerts and is the chair of the department of rock at Weezer University. Visit Tom’s blog at kingtom.thejamootz.com.
Winamp Playlist for the transcription of this article:
The Beatles- Birthday
Dynamite Hack- Dear Kate
Ozma- Wake Up
Oasis- Come on Feel the Noise
Nada Surf- Inside of Love
Bruce Springsteen- Kitty?s Back
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists- The High Party
Rilo Kiley- Wires and Waves
Weird Al Yankovic- King of Suede
Weezer- Say It Ain?t So