Blue Album (DGC)
Jon Garcia of L.A. indie-pop outfit Transviolet told us about his love for Weezer
Jon Garcia: I think most people who know me well know that my all-time favorite band is Weezer, so I’m going to follow my heart and say that my all-time favorite album is The Blue Album by Weezer. When I was younger, my brother, Matt, who’s 10 years older than me was constantly introducing me to new bands from metal artists like Zao, to bands like Jimmy Eat World, Damien Jurado, Modest Mouse, and many others. There was something so special and unique about Weezer and the way the songs were written. The first real concert that I ever attended was Weezer at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY when I was like 9 or 10 years old. Don’t even get me started on their performance of “Only In Dreams” which I’m pretty sure was their encore song. Let’s just say the bridge crescendo had the whole place in tears. Hats off to the lighting crew — that shit was epic.
I didn’t get into producing music until much later in life, but I always felt like I had a decent understanding of the structure and why certain parts of songs worked and others didn’t. I believe a lot of that came from listening to early Weezer records religiously, specifically The Blue Album. From the hits like “Undone – The Sweater Song” and “Say It Ain’t So” to the less promoted songs like “No One Else” and “Holiday”, every track takes you on a journey filled with distortion and feedback, beautifully pitchy vocals and harmonies, and obviously a ridiculous guitar solo which can be found in basically every song they’ve ever released. I loved that every song was simple, yet bombastic and chaotic at the appropriate times.
I think the biggest takeaway from my early years of dissecting these songs is how the vocals always evolve throughout the progression of the song. You can almost guarantee that the second chorus of any Weezer song will be sung slightly different than the first chorus, or at the very least there’ll be a new harmony or some sort of accompaniment to give it a slightly new feel. Then without fail, the final chorus will be sung differently hitting those “pay off” high notes (listen to “Holiday” for an example) with some supporting harmonies, often with some lead guitars mimicking the vocal melody. This became a golden rule for me as a songwriter and now as a producer alongside my bandmates. If a song doesn’t evolve in emotion and shape throughout, it becomes stagnant. Sometimes it can be as simple as one lyric being sung differently which gives the listener a new experience when the brain assumed it would hear the same thing. Thank you Rivers Cuomo and band for sending me to Music School every time I pressed play.
Transviolet’s “Drugs in California” single is out now.