Reports are going around that Weezer‘s forthcoming eighth album has received its name from a sponsorship by surf company Hurley. In a recent interview (which you can view yourself after the jump), guitarist Brian Bell implied that Weezer decided to name the album Hurley because the company had funded the recording of the album. This does not jive with frontman Rivers Cuomo’s earlier comments that the inspiration for the title came from a picture of Jorge Garcia, who plays the character Hurley on the hit TV series Lost. Bell has since retracted his comments on the band’s website, claiming he misspoke. Get the entire run down after the jump to decide for yourself.
It may be safe to say that the whole saga began in an Aug. 9th interview with Spinner, when Cuomo made the following comments regarding the title of Weezer’s upcoming album:
We struggled super hard trying to come up with an album title, trying to find some kind of phrase that summed up the whole aesthetic behind the album…I was coming up with all kinds of stuff, but ultimately, we just went with some random word that doesn’t really have anything to do with anything. I just loved this photo of Jorge Garcia — it just had this amazing vibe. We didn’t want to do a fourth self-titled record and we knew people would refer to it as ‘the Hurley record’ even if we left it without that title, so we just called it ‘Hurley.’ No words are on the cover because all we wanted was his amazing face.
It may also be safe to say that the bomb really dropped when Bell recently made the follwing comments in Denver:
The inspiration, um, came from a surf company called Hurley, that was funding the record at the beginning of the recording process, and… We actually did some sort of advertisement — I don’t even know how they’re tied in so much although — We got some clothes, and we did a photo shoot where we’re wearing these clothes, and I think we’re selling these clothes in malls…Uh, so how that’s tied in, I don’t know. And then I think it’s this whole like… tying in different medias and then using Hurley, the character from Lost, which I’ve never seen in my life, as our, you know, mascot, almost…
(For the full interview, see below) Of course, these comments created a firestorm of problems for the band, to which Bell responded with the following retraction:
Just wanted to clear something up. Recently I did an interview in Denver where I was asked why we called the album Hurley. I mistakenly said that Hurley funded the album. I later found out that it wasn’t true at all. Weezer paid for every penny of this recording. The reason the record is called “Hurley” is because Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is on the cover. We thought about leaving the record untitled for the fourth time, but that causes a lot of problems and we knew people would end up calling the record “Hurley” anyway. We got no money for calling the record “Hurley.” thanks folks,
Whether or not Bell genuinely misspoke, or accidentally revealed an embarrassing secret and is now trying to cover it up is still unknown. More likely is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It is no secret that Weezer are in the midst of a partnership with Hurley for a back to school clothesline, and the band is taking no pains to make everyone believe that they have no financial ties to Hurley. The true problem with Bell’s statements arises when one learns of the rumors that Weezer recorded portions of the album at Hurley’s studios in Costa Mesa. For many, this brings into question the actual funding of the album and therefore the integrity of one of the indie movement’s greatest successes. Below is the promised full interview of Brian Bell conducted by Emily Zemler.
Emily Zemler’s interview with Brian Bell