[artist id=”1002″]Nirvana[/artist] to [artist id=”2408193″]Miley Cyrus[/artist]. [artist id=”988″]Green Day[/artist] to [artist id=”651″]Howlin’ Wolf[/artist]. [artist id=”9119″]Jimi Hendrix[/artist] to [artist id=”261″]Jimmy Eat World[/artist]. Obscure sample-happy Queens one-man band [artist id=”2449416″]Kid America and the Action Figures[/artist] to, of course, current tourmates [artist id=”3187642″]Blink-182[/artist].
Those are some of the artists you’ll hear on “Radio Weezer,” the personal radio station the band launched Friday (August 28). The station follows in the footsteps of similar “Artist Personal Experience” radio stations from Christina Aguilera and the [artist id=”1062″]Eagles'[/artist] Joe Walsh — who share management with Weezer — that have debuted in recent weeks.
A dip into the playlist Friday morning revealed some of the usual suspects (Ramones, R.E.M., Foo Fighters, Nirvana, the Pixies), as well as a few unexpected, more obscure surprises (songwriter Landon Pigg, MxPx, Frank Zappa) and, not surprisingly, Weezer’s back catalog, including the band’s toe-tappingly retro-pop new single, “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To.”
“It’s a little insight into the things that turn us on and things we’ve been inspired by,” said rhythm guitarist Brian Bell. “There’s things that have inspired me like classical pieces by Franz Schubert, some soul pieces, some rock things and even things you’ve heard a million times but people should listen to again like the Beatles’ ’Twist and Shout,’ which has one of the most fantastic rock vocal deliveries ever. It embodies rock and roll.”
With several hundred songs on the station, available at Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio.com, the 24-hour channel will be constantly updated with new tunes and anecdotes from bandmembers.
Bell said his bandmates all worked on their own separate playlists, and his hope is that young musicians and fans who look up to Weezer might gain a window into what their icons listen to, like drummer Pat Wilson, who tells a touching story about someone puking on his chair at a Van Halen show as an introduction to the group’s boogie shuffle “Mean Street.”
“I’m embarrassed by some of the things I picked because I take it very seriously, but I don’t want it to come back and haunt me,” Bell admitted. “But I tried not to pick things just because they were obscure and cool.” Then again, alongside songs by early influences like the B-52s, Bob Dylan and the Cars, he did pick some more obscure stuff, like songs by Kid America and the Action Figures, early synth punk act Suicide and the unreleased “Ugly Things” from his side project the Relationship, whose debut is due out later this year.
“I’m sure [bassist] Scott [Shriner] picked some Mastodon, Pat probably picked Van Halen, and [singer] Rivers [Cuomo] probably picked Miley Cyrus,” he said. “Part of the point of this was picking songs that people are not going to hear when they turn on the radio, even satellite radio.”
In fact, the mix includes a wide-ranging menu of sounds that you’d find on a particularly hip college kid’s iPod, or one of those long-lost alternative-rock stations from the 1990s. It bounces from Rise Against one minute to Alice Cooper, Elliott Smith, Frank Sinatra, the Beastie Boys, John Lennon, Mr. Bungle, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Dave Brubeck, Big Audio Dynamite and Frank Zappa, with stops off at unexpected ports of call like 1970s soft rocker Gordon Lightfoot, the Buena Vista Social Club and jazz giant John Coltrane.
Weezer’s next album, Raditude, is due October 27, and the band is currently on the road with Blink-182.