Last time around, [artist id=”440″]Weezer[/artist] went all in on the modern pop game, larding tracks on 2009’s Raditude with guest spots from Lil Wayne and production and writing help from the All-American Rejects, Dr. Luke and Butch Walker. But for their upcoming (September 14) debut for punk stalwart label Epitaph Records, Hurley (alas, not Heavy Mental), Rivers Cuomo and company are dialing things all the way back to the 1960s.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, the band’s eighth studio album is nearly finished and it will have a much different sound than their previous effort.
“At this moment in our career, it feels like we don’t need a major label, and the major-label culture isn’t inline with our values,” Cuomo said, explaining the switch from the Universal/Interscope label group, where they’d spent almost their entire career. “We like [Epitaph head] Brett Gurewitz and it feels like a smaller and more appropriate operation for what we like doing at the moment.”
What they’re doing includes hooking up with notoriously prolific songwriter Ryan Adams and country legend Mac Davis, best known for writing the Elvis hit “In the Ghetto.” Davis was recommended by a mutual friend, and singer Cuomo said they worked on a song called “Time Flies,” which he described as a “classic ’60s pop song with huge crunchy guitars.”
As for working with Adams, Cuomo recently told MTV News that the song they collaborated on is inspiring. “It’s a very stirring and emotional and powerful Weezer song,” he said. “He was really inspiring to work with. … He has a lot of wild and crazy energy. It’s gonna be on the Weezer record. He plays lead guitar on it, but it will be on the Weezer record, for sure.”
With the hip-hop and teen pop flavors of Raditude pushed to the side, Cuomo said Hurley will instead focus on 1960s-inspired pop songs such as the first single, “Memories,” and the tracks “Ruling Me” and “Hang On,” which he described as sounding like “Frankie Valli but mixed with Metallica guitars.”
There is, however, one song that has a thoroughly modern inspiration. “Smart Girls” is an homage to all the young ladies who have been hitting up the married frontman on Twitter lately. “I was really getting into Twitter a year ago, and suddenly there were all these really hot girls that were hitting me on Twitter,” said Cuomo. “I was like, ’Where’d all these hot girls come from now that I’m totally married?’ ” He compared the song to the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” in that it sounds like someone writing a “cheesy Beach Boys type of song.”
The band recently started mixing the album, which should be completed within the next two weeks.
What do you think about Weezer going with a ’60s sound for their new album? Tell us in the comments.