Karl Koch Interview Part 3…
Rachel: [00:00:47] Hello everyone and welcome to We are Weezer. My name is Rachel. Before we get going, let me tell you a little bit about our podcast.
Rachel: [00:00:56] We're a podcast about Weezer. So, if you're not into them this might not be for you. My co-host Juliet and I pick a Weezer song. We research the crap out of it. Sometimes we even go to like page twelve on Google, which is you know really far, we find a bunch of interesting fun facts and then we tell you all about it. We rate the song with our special rating system and sometimes we have a fun segment; a guest host, or maybe Weezer news. The possibilities are endless. Welcome to episode thirty-eight which is our third part of our Karl interview, but hopefully it's not the last that we see of him. We were very, very honored to have Karl Koch on our show and I hope you guys enjoy the interview. I know I did.
1: [00:02:23] Hey Karl I just wanted to say that I think you are an incredible photographer an excellent dad and overall a wonderful human being.
1: [00:02:33] Both times I've met you were great experiences. You were super nice and very welcoming and as a new Weezer fan, I really appreciated that. And I think you're an awesome representative for Weezer, and the Weezer fan club, and we love everything that you do for us; and it's definitely appreciated. So, I just wanted to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year's. I'll talk to you later hopefully.
Rachel: [00:03:06] Ok, so questions that I asked you at the Forum Karl's Corner that you answered quickly, but then I was like I don't want to take up too much of Karl time I'll ask you here so that everyone in kind of have some more I don't know.
Rachel: [00:03:21] Are you guys close outside of work? Do you get together and like, are all of your kids like BFF's and play in the backyard while you have beer inside and play Dungeons Dragons.
Karl Koch: [00:03:34] Well yes and no, there's a dynamic to it because, because I don't live in L.A. and everybody else pretty much does. The only time my kid sees anybody else's kids is, well we did it on this last tour in the summer. And my kid and Pat's little toddler got along famously. It was quite an adventure and it was cool, and we hope that they hang out again like, well you know we want to actually go out there and visit again when we have a chance. As for the other guys in the band and their kids they don't often see each other outside of like touring. Again, Pat lives kind of far from L.A. and then you know Scott has his two kids and Rivers has his two kids. But Rivers is, again his schedule and the way his family works it's like they don't see a lot of other people that I know. I mean that I'm sure they see other people but so I don't...
Rachel: [00:04:32] He doesn't keep them locked up in the attic.
Karl Koch: [00:04:34] Right. Exactly. Exactly. They have to have social lives, but I don't know how much you know outside of work, I don't know how much they're really hanging out. And again it's one of those things where like you know, you've got your different circles, you know, and like Weezer is such a family that it's like everybody is like, I may not see you for three months but we're going to hang out again don't worry about it. It's like it's very casual in that sense like nobody's like you know dude when I'm going to see you again. It's like whatever. Like you know we'll see you in October when we go to Spain or whatever like that kind of thing. And so, everybody raised their kids and they're going to school they're doing all this stuff, so it's like, you know L.A. is hard enough to get people to like, go from point A to Point B because everything takes an hour to get everywhere. So it's like, are you gonna like, "hey to have a play date!" it's like, well now everybody's like you know they're all those kids are like you know 6 and 8 and stuff and 10 and it's like they all got their own sets of friends in school and stuff. You know, it's like,
Rachel: [00:05:27] Yeah.
Karl Koch: [00:05:28] But, when there's tours and the families reunite everybody likes each other everybody hangs out. It's fun, it's cool. It's not like anybody's like, "Oh it's that kid." whatever you know it's like we all know each other and you know my kids a toddler so except for Pat's little toddler and his you know his two kids, who are so nice, his older two boys are so nice. They're great kids, just fantastic kids. So, they were really sweet to my boy and that was really nice. So yeah, I mean that's about as far as I can really take it. I don't know. It's like it's kind of it's oddly fractured in a sense but in the other sense when everybody is together it's like oh yeah you know we're hanging out. It's like there's absolutely no awkwardness at all it's just like yep we're all together again.
Rachel: [00:06:09] I just think I had like this like you know like a movie in my head where everyone's BFF and like wearing aprons and the kids are playing...
Karl Koch: [00:06:18] It's not so much that but I.
Rachel: [00:06:22] But it is like that, that's sort of how it is when you have a best friend. Like it doesn't matter, every time you get together it's fine.
Karl Koch: [00:06:30] Yeah. You're not like making a big deal out of it it's just like hey here we are. Yeah.
Rachel: [00:06:35] Does anyone call you Uncle Karl?
Karl Koch: [00:06:39] No, no I have not been called uncle, not by them. I've been called Uncle Karl by other friend's kids but not Weezer guys friend’s kids.
Rachel: [00:06:47] Interesting.
Karl Koch: [00:06:48] Yeah, I think it's because you know it's like to them it's like Oh here's that old guy who is he. You know like you don't see me in six months, but they all know my name. Like, Scott's kids are like you know "Karl!" when they see me the first time, like they know. Maybe Scott's talking me up to them or something. I don't know. And of course, Pat's kids, I've hung out the most with Pat's. I've stayed at his house a bunch of times. His kids know me pretty well. And Rivers' kids, I'm sure know who I am but they're you know I don't, the way I don't see rivers, nobody sees rivers that much socially. You don't see his kids you see his kids the least too. Even when they're on tour. Like they always have something scheduled. So, you know, they're nice you know they smile like they say hi but it's like you know they don't, they're not going to be like, "Hey Karl!" you know, let's do this or let's do that. Like we don't really do a whole lot of stuff in that way.
Rachel: [00:07:36] Also, probably because you're busy when you see them.
Karl Koch: [00:07:38] Well, everybody's busy you know every who's got these different schedules and it's like you know I'm running around doing something...
Rachel: [00:07:44] Plus they're kids, so they're probably like, eh OK well where’s the cartoons? Exactly right now. Yeah exactly.
Karl Koch: [00:07:48] And now they get a bit older and like you know like, Rivers daughter is like she's got her head in a book and she's like and leave me alone. She's like a classic 10-year-old. It's like you know it's like yo stop bothering me.
Rachel: [00:08:00] Like whatever dad, and dad's friends.
Karl Koch: [00:08:01] Totally, totally. It's hilarious.
Rachel: [00:08:06] So this next one, the world wants to know; why is Brian still single? Is he dating anyone? Can you tell us?
Karl Koch: [00:08:14] I all I know is once in a while he'll be like oh, he'll mention a girlfriend, but it doesn't seem to last terribly long. Like sometimes it's like he'll mention the same girl for like a few months or whatever. And sometimes he'll bring a girl around on tour for a couple of days, and other times it seems like you know that one seems to be gone now and I don't know what happened. And so, I don't know. I don't really know how to comment because I don't really know if he's I think he's kind of he either enjoys being a bachelor. Or he's scared to not be a bachelor. Or maybe some combination of the two.
Rachel: [00:08:51] Mm hmm.
Karl Koch: [00:08:54] And I think he'd like people to think he's enjoying being a bachelor and I'm sure he is to some degree, but I think he's also been reluctant to take another step maybe just because...
Rachel: [00:09:03] Oh, has he had a heartbreak before?
Karl Koch: [00:09:07] I don't know if he's had a heartbreak or not. I mean he's had breakups. He's had break ups, but I don't know how hard they were emotionally because you know he's keeps private about that kind of stuff. So, it's just been that he's continued to be single and sometimes he has a girlfriend and sometimes he doesn't.
Rachel: [00:09:28] All right. So, are you going to put your cool Karl's Corner stuff and like create a Weezer museum and do that catalog thing? Like a time capture device two. Video capture device.
Karl Koch: [00:09:42] Well to unpack that um, I feel like the only real museum that's going to happen is the tour one this spring. But down the road, I think the thing that makes the most sense to me is to do some kind of a book because I can't I'm not going to create some kind of physical space and call it a Weezer museum. That'd be neat but you know it's unlikely, but I think I could reach a lot more people that would care with something you could you know a book you could get. So that's in my mind. I think I should do that but it's not in the works right now. And as for another DVD. I've always wanted to do another one I want to do a whole series of and really and there's certainly enough footage to do that. But there isn't much interest in terms of like what label and management want to do. It's really not on the radar. So, I did a lot of gathering for a couple of years and I filled up hard drives full of stuff like this should all be part of this or this should all be part of this, and I never got past that organizational stage because when I got to the point of like hey, can we do this. It was like, not now. So, I don't view it as impossible but it's definitely not in the radar at this point. But I have all the stuff to do it you know if I just had time, and like technical assistance to make it happen and obviously a budget, yeah it would happen. It's just I don't know when that's going to happen.
Rachel: [00:11:09] And think of all the cool, like it could be so much more. Because when did you do that first, when did it come out?
Karl Koch: [00:11:16] It came out in 2004 I believe. Yeah.
Rachel: [00:11:19] So, like totally like you could do some cool stuff.
Karl Koch: [00:11:22] You've got everything from Make Believe on that's not been archived in any way. It's a lot. Plus, their stuff from before then that was not on the first DVD that was still cool that didn't make it to the first DVD. And a lot of stuff that's surfaced since then that I didn't shoot. That's like wow this is cool too, you know.
Rachel: [00:11:37] People would want to see. Yeah. Or even just in one place.
Karl Koch: [00:11:41] I mean on one hand I understand where the labels come from it's like they're like, look at YouTube, anything you want to find is probably there. But that's not actually true. It's just. And plus, a lot of times it's like well it's degraded with where's a nice copy of this thing? It's all crappy on YouTube like where you know. I see the demand. I understand the demand, but I also see the point of view of labels. Like these things just don't sell. Well they sell, they just don't sell at millions of numbers.
Rachel: [00:12:05] Immediately.
Karl Koch: [00:12:07] Right.
Rachel: [00:12:08] I think you yeah, you would totally, I don't know. I don't know if you guys have a measurement for like hardcore fans, but I'm pretty sure you would totally sell out on something like a DVD that wouldn't be that expense to sell.
Karl Koch: [00:12:21] I agree and the thought of it for a while was like why don't we go like lo-fi packaging. Like the way we did those audio bootleg CD's, you know. Like if people want that material, why don't we just put it together and make a basic cardboard booklet for it and put it out. And then you can put out another one next year and put another one the year after that. And that was the talk for a little while and I was like yes, I'll do it I'll do it. And then nothing.
Rachel: [00:12:49] It would probably be easier for you because then you could do like little pieces at a time. Instead of this giant thing.
Karl Koch: [00:12:54] It could be like more of an anthology than a you know this is an end all be all statement. Like what if you miss something. Oh, damn I should've been in there. Well if you did a series then you wouldn't have to worry about that.
Rachel: [00:13:03] Like a video Karl Zine. A video Weezine.
Karl Koch: [00:13:06] Exactly. Exactly. So, that's in my mind. It's not on the drawing board currently, but I will definitely do that if the opportunity happens.
Rachel: [00:13:16] The people want it.
Karl Koch: [00:13:18] I understand, and I want to I want it too. I mean...
Rachel: [00:13:20] Crush, come on!
Karl Koch: [00:13:23] Like, why should all this stuff be sitting in eight terabyte hard drives, I got sitting on my desk. It's like, it could be out there.
Rachel: [00:13:31] Well and also like, they're putting out California snow, so you know they're like doing that kind of media now. Right. You know, why not Rockumentary, or, I don't know. Whatever you want to call it.
Rachel: [00:13:49] So, curious if Pat really came up with the idea to move forward with Africa because I think that that's what was said but...
Karl Koch: [00:13:58] Well, I can answer that question, but I have to sort of put it in context. Obviously when a girl originally put up those posts, we were totally unaware of it for at least a couple of months like it was just like a lot of people put a lot of stuff on the Internet. You don't really pay attention to it all. And then it seemed to gain traction. There are re-tweets and this and that and in that I know somewhere and there is when Pat was like hey that's cool and retweeted her or answered her or whatever. Now that didn't mean it was going to happen, that just met Pat was being like that's neat. I like that. You know, good idea girl. Somehow, in a conversation with management, Pat mentioned this or somehow got mentioned to them. And not in a like, "Hey we got to do this" but, like you know you know what people are asking us to do? Can you believe this. And their head manager is a man who goes on the moniker J.D. His name's John Davis or something Davis. I think. I wish I could remember off the top of my head. I'm spacing out. But he's a super nice guy and he's very smart. And usually when he says you should do this or do that he's almost always right. It seems like, you know. He has a very good track record for like having good ideas and or guiding the band toward a song they should try or...
Rachel: [00:15:16] Right direction.
Karl Koch: [00:15:16] Yeah. he's very good at that. So, I think JD mulled that over and eventually got back to Pat, like you know you should try that. You should you know. Yeah, I'll take that suggestion seriously. You should try that. And that's how it started. It was eventually you know studio time was booked and Pat was put in charge and that's how it happened. So, I guess the answer is yeah Pat pushed to make it happen, but I think he was surprised when the answer came back. Go ahead. He didn't think, like this is too crazy for people to actually say yes to. But they did. And when J.D. says yes, it's something, people take notice because he's very smart. I mean the man is almost always right.
Rachel: [00:15:57] So he did all of the behind the scenes work on it too like that production stuff?
Karl Koch: [00:16:02] Yes, Pat was the producer of that and the Rosanna. I think they picked him because Pat has a huge history with like classic rock. Like he knows what stuff is supposed to sound like. Especially from that time period and his ears are amazing. Like when he's in the studio and he says this is what you should tell you should mix something. It's like oh he's always got a sense of what it should sound like. And so, they just let him run with it because it was like we don't know what's going to happen with this song it might go nowhere. So yeah go ahead. Pat see what you can do.
Rachel: [00:16:33] Do it up!
Karl Koch: [00:16:33] He did. And that's what happened.
Rachel: [00:16:37] Yeah, they did such a good job.
Karl Koch: [00:16:40] And you know Pat was proud and pleased that it did so well. Everybody including him was shocked that it did so well as well because nobody expected that. It really was. It was just to be like a fun promotional thing at the start of that tour. It wasn't supposed to be a thing. So, it really took off and it was it was gratifying it was cool. It was cool it did that.
Rachel: [00:16:59] Well even Toto liked it.
Karl Koch: [00:17:00] Exactly. They loved it.
Rachel: [00:17:01] Even they got something out of the deal so that's good.
Karl Koch: [00:17:02] They loved it. They absolutely loved it. Yeah, yeah.
Rachel: [00:17:05] So, do you know what went into them choosing Hash Pipe and all that stuff, like did you guys talk to them about that at all?
Karl Koch: [00:17:11] I think they were in touch, but they weren't like nothing was like signed off on or approved. They're just like we're going to do one of your songs man. This is so rad. I was like Oh OK go ahead. And then so they did. Oh yeah. They were just like super excited.
Rachel: [00:17:24] That's really cute. You could tell they felt special that you guys were doing that, because well when I saw them, I think I keep telling them Jimmy Fallon. But I think Jimmy Kimmel when I saw them there and the guy came out the guy from Toto.
Karl Koch: [00:17:39] Oh yeah, yeah.
Rachel: [00:17:40] And like rocked out for a little while.
Karl Koch: [00:17:42] Right. Right.
Rachel: [00:17:44] You could tell he was like this is my song!
Karl Koch: [00:17:47] Well I mean again they were there in a situation where they still tour and stuff but like as far as having a new tough new audience like that's really exciting you know when you're like 60 plus and you’re in a band and it's like wow like people care you know this song is 35 years old.
Rachel: [00:18:01] Well I'm glad people still, I mean, I know people cared. But yeah, I think it's nice that like they're getting like a new little surge and if Weezer can facilitate that then that's cool.
Karl Koch: [00:18:12] Yeah. You know it's really neat.
Rachel: [00:18:14] Because those two songs are classic. I mean who doesn't love them. And I love the spin that Rivers did does with um. Rosanna.
Karl Koch: [00:18:23] Yeah.
Rachel: [00:18:24] Just like the little tweaks to make it a little bit different.
Karl Koch: [00:18:27] Some people say that one turned out better and you might be right. I don't know.
Rachel: [00:18:34] I think you're equally just as good a night out and saying like I prefer Weezer is Africa. But I definitely I hear it everywhere now. I was shopping when I was like this...
Karl Koch: [00:18:45] There's like a friend of my grandmothers they're like oh yes, I heard the song. It's like they never talk about Weezer, so it definitely got a pretty big impact.
Rachel: [00:18:55] Yeah, it's the thing now. People that they're like oh I have something to talk to you about. You're the Weezer person. Does anybody else meditate besides rivers like you guys get into that stuff or?
Karl Koch: [00:19:08] Nobody does that I know of. I don't think so. when he was starting. We all tried it with him a little bit. Just you know he was like you got try this out. And I actually went to a couple of personal lessons he took back when he was living in this really austere apartment that had almost nothing in it at the time. And he was like living really. Basically, when he was first getting into it and this yoga master guy would come over and do a guided meditation that included yoga. He's like You should try. So, I came over and did it a few times and I really dug it. It was really cool. It was it was interesting because you were both doing these yoga poses and like then settling down. It's like a you know a seated position and meditating and trying to get everything out of your mind. And it really worked. It was really, really, fascinating. But...
Rachel: [00:19:57] Is it like a diet or like working out where you're like. I like it but I don't do it as much as I should or...
Karl Koch: [00:20:06] I totally see the value in it. I mean it is good and you come out of it like feeling like you know much fresher and feeling like you know things that were on your mind you can process much easier, but you have to stick with it. And I just didn't because I was just experimenting, and you know just Rivers invited me in it was cool and I just never like I was like I'm a believer but I'm not a practicer
Rachel: [00:20:29] You know like I like it, but I don't. Nobody got time for that.
Karl Koch: [00:20:33] You know anything is like you make time for things you really want to do. And I guess I just don't want to do it that bad.
Rachel: [00:20:39] Yeah I do like old lady yoga with my mom on Mondays and we like there's a relaxing thing that you do at the end which I really like so I try to meditate during that portion and I have an app that I do like when I feel like crazy and stressed out and all. I think it's helpful just like not to worry for like two minutes if you can like if you're a worrier.
Karl Koch: [00:21:04] The thing that really struck me about the technique was that when he was the guy would guide us through, and this is stuff you can do in your head that you don't have to have a man telling you. But I needed it cause I never done it. He started, he started going through like you know, you know, focus on this part of your body and this part of your body, and now and he's basically identifying that which distracts you. And it was like if you have you know like if you had to say you had a thought in your head like Oh I had this worry my car's parked out there I wonder if it had put enough quarters in it. Like once you identify and consciously identify that that's like a thought or a worry you can dismiss it because you're not conscious of it like you're outside of it as opposed to it like actually bothering you. And so, you start to like one by one like dismiss these things and then there's like physical stuff like you might feel like an itch in your foot while you're doing this. And it's like once you identify the itch you can dismiss it like it goes away for real. And to the point where like you don't feel anything in your body or your mind and you're like you don't know have any sense of time going by or anything it's like it was really freaking worked out. I was stunned. I was like this really works but you have to really do it or else you not you half ass it you're blowing it because you can't half ass it. You have to completely do it anyway. It was amazing.
Rachel: [00:22:30] I don’t know if I could do it like hardcore like that.
Karl Koch: [00:22:32] like being able to dismiss everything like that was fascinating. I was like holy cow I think you know there's literally nothing in my mind nothing is distracting me. And then that's when stuff would come up from your subconscious that would really like freak you out. Oh, I'd never even thought about blah blah blah. Like they were just you know because everything's out of the way you know. Anyway, it was it was pretty cool.
Rachel: [00:22:55] Interesting.
Karl Koch: [00:22:55] It was pretty cool. And that's why.
Rachel: [00:22:57] I find it relaxing and that's why.
Karl Koch: [00:23:00] He does it because he'll go on these like meditation retreats like once a year and they're really hard core where you're doing it all day, you're not talking to anybody and it's really, really, serious. And he always comes out of those with amazing ideas and stuff. It's part of the process of like you know coming up with stuff because he's like.
Rachel: [00:23:18] Probably because he's so. Go, go, go. He needs to get that clean sweep.
Karl Koch: [00:23:23] He really needs it. Yeah. He needs it really bad. So that's cool. Anyway so.
Rachel: [00:23:30] Interesting.
Karl Koch: [00:23:30] That's the subject of meditation.
Rachel: [00:23:33] So do you think it would be boring or annoying to listen to your podcast being who you are.
Karl Koch: [00:23:40] It would depend on what it was. I remember years ago there's a station in Toronto CFNY and they have this thing. I think he still does it. There's a guy Alan Cross. This is before podcasts were even a thing. But he had this like probably weekly show called the ongoing history of New Music and every week he had it was an episode the talk about whatever artist and get into their history and what happened. And those were always great. And then one time he did Weezer and I was fascinated because I was like I want to hear what this guy has to say of Weezer plus he's reaching like 4 million people in Canada right now. I want to hear what he has to say. And he got some stuff wrong which is great. I emailed him later and said like, well you know I just want to let you know this is wrong, and this is wrong, and this is wrong, and Like it was a great show. But you know these things were a little inaccurate and it made me realize you know like, like why do I know so much about this stuff like this is like really like kind of sick in a way, like how do they know that these things are like these little stupid details were incorrect but I was I listened to that with rapt attention because I just wanted to hear what he said about the story and the history and stuff if it was this podcast of say people like arguing over the merits of this song or that song I don't know if I'd if I'd be that into it because I don't know if opinions like that would carry weight with me so much it's like, like, OK some people feel this some people feel that you know what are we.
Karl Koch: [00:24:59] What are we getting at here. But anybody that was getting into like deeper stuff or song meaning or song structure or recording information, it'd be, that would be pretty interesting you know you get into like the nuts and bolts of it. I'm not trying to pass any prejudgment on what you guys do at all because I you know I'm sure it's all great. I just, just talking very abstractly here.
Rachel: [00:25:21] No it's o--it's [sigh], I asked there's a, uhh. Because I'm in a podcast group because I just like podcasting and there's a guy who actually studies music and I wanted to get him on as a guest so we could kind of like really analyze one of the super rivers-y like detailed songs. And uhm, I was thinking about doing the greatest man that ever lived for that show. Like is there another one that you think would be good for that subjects like to get crazy on like the setting of the music aspect.
Karl Koch: [00:25:57] Well that's definitely like the craziest one.
Karl Koch: [00:25:58] But I think you should do work-- you could do future scope trilogy that's some there's some heavy stuff going on there. Musically.
Rachel: [00:26:06] I love me some future scope trilogy.
Karl Koch: [00:26:07] Yeah. Um, also from that record. There are a couple pretty intense songs like I mean foolish father's pretty Uh. It's got some really cool stuff going on in it. I think you should, I mean obviously everybody raves about Pinkerton I would think about there's some very some very musical stuff that's pretty advanced in both falling for you and uhm, across the sea like they're pretty they're not simple songs. You know there's a lot going on there. So those would be my suggestion, I guess.
Rachel: [00:26:40] And Pinker. PINKERTON's very interesting. It's very different from any other. It's got its own individual sound. I would say, like starts and finishes to all the songs and.
Karl Koch: [00:26:53] Yeah, yeah.
Rachel: [00:26:54] So, you're right that's a good idea. Thank you. That was a random question.
Karl Koch: [00:26:58] Okay, okay.
Rachel: [00:26:59] So you don't really listen to the podcast, do you? Or do you listen to any podcasts?
Karl Koch: [00:27:02] I really don't.
Karl Koch: [00:27:03] I. All my friends always suggest ones to me and I'm sure they're great. And I've heard some in cars like somebody was playing one that I was driving with them and stuff and I, it's like this is all good. Like I have no, nothing against any of it. It's just I never sit down and devote time to it. Not yet anyway.
Karl Koch: [00:27:22] It's nothing personal it's just I just like my lifestyle doesn't.
Rachel: [00:27:25] Probably because you don't live in L.A.
Karl Koch: [00:27:27] Well it's that and it's like I just you know I just feel like I'm just busy and I just don't sit down and listen like that.
Rachel: [00:27:33] Yeah.
Karl Koch: [00:27:34] But I'd like to. I mean I'm sure there's some good ones I want to hear.
Rachel: [00:27:36] I listen to podcasts like on the way to work because I drive an hour. I, when we were working on the house.
Karl Koch: [00:27:43] If I commuted more often, I'd probably get into it more because there'd be like these times where like there just you got to fill it with something, and I love music but there's also that. So that's probably what I would do.
Rachel: [00:27:53] Yeah. Music or there's also like audio books or whatever you're into. My last question was the, this there is always a Bob Marley tapestry up when you guys are in your greenroom [Karl laughs] I think is what you call it. So, I was curious. What's the story behind that guy?
Karl Koch: [00:28:13] [sigh] You know tapestry's in this room have been the same for several years now. They travel with us that come out of the case and they get put up and I think he did have a little phase where he was like checking out reggae and stuff for a while, uhm.
Karl Koch: [00:28:28] He had a couple little phases like that over the last couple tours like there's a there's a point where he was only listening to kind like of almost like punk music which is really not like him usually and reggae is definitely not in its usual wheelhouse. I think it was just like I want colorful you know like I think it was like put up stuff that you'd see in a dressing room, like it's kind of like you know trippy things so you can get these on Amazon like these like big tapestries that just look like all like tripped out or you know spaced out or whatever. So, he got it just that's what they found and he, and he's like that's good. You know [Rachel laughs] I don't think he's like Yeah. Bob Marley You know, but he's you know he appreciates that he's a great songwriter and everything it's just, he's not, you know he's not normally a reggae listening dude. [Karl laughs]
Rachel: [00:29:07] Interesting. OK. I would not have guessed that. Well I wouldn't have guessed that you guys were like you know backstage smoking a doob, but I figured that maybe there was like some kind of fan,
Karl Koch: [00:29:17] I think it start...
[00:29:17] Like yeah, who doesn't like Bob Marley.
[00:29:20] It's one of the things like I don't think he listened to him much but he's acknowledges that he's great but he just, it just, it was just like, a good tapestry to have on the wall it just gives the vibe of like all right we're backstage now that kind of thing you know, like. I don't know.
Rachel: [00:29:33] It's probably better than like the gross dirty walls that are in there.
Karl Koch: [00:29:38] Oh, anything's better than freaking, like, you know basketball team locker room walls and stuff like that.
Rachel: [00:29:42] [Laughs] Alright.
Intermission: [00:29:50] I really like watching video capture device still and always gives me a good laugh. And I was really disappointed I wasn't able to talk to you much at Karl's Corner during the last tour. I just really want to ask you about all the crazy stuff you'd seen at shows throughout the years. One of the coolest things I've really come to appreciate is uh, your photos. Uh, I'm a photographer and I really you know I've come to enjoy the concert. Concert photography when I've been able to do it. So. Just by seeing the photos that you've been taking it shows it really inspired me to get out there and go take some concert photos. I also think it's pretty cool how you give a sense about releases and stuff early and organizing meet and greets whenever you guys can. So hopefully I get to get, uh. I get to meet you and uh, the guys soon.
Intermission: [00:30:57] [The Good Life]
Rachel: [00:31:13] So, I have co-hosts questions.
Karl Koch: [00:31:16] Yes.
Rachel: [00:31:17] Sue Ann. So, she actually wrote two pages of questions and I was like OK. Let's see. Let's see what we got here. PINKERTON diaries. Everybody wants to know like, what happened to the Web site. It's not there anymore. Is there going to be more? Is it done?
Karl Koch: [00:31:33] I don't know if the Web site's coming back. Honestly, I don't also know if the book is sold out or not officially. It probably is but uhm, yeah as far as I know there's no plans to reprint it at this point. But with Weezer I never say never. Like you never know.
Rachel: [00:31:51] Interesting. OK so we missed our chance.
Karl Koch: [00:31:54] Well, for now. I mean I imagine you know it's not impossible. Nothing's impossible with Weezer. It's just, again if it's not on River's radar at this moment, it's not going to happen currently, but it could be later, you know.
Rachel: [00:32:07] Ok so we all really, really, really want to cruise. But let's say that nobody else wants to make a cruise happen or let a cruise happen. What about like a camping, or some other kind of like resort thing know like Foo Fighters did that Cal Jam thing. What do you, what does Weezer think about that, or crush?
[00:32:30] I think Rivers was originally the one that sort of talked up a camp idea and I think that and even a cruise is not impossible. It's like this isn't a band that has like red lines and we won't do this, and we won't do that. There really aren't hardly any of those. I mean there's a few that I can't think of right now but those aren't on that list. I think if it's something where, you know somebody, it gets proposed by a professional firm like we can do this for you we can put you here. This is how it's going to be. You know, do you want to do this. It's a matter of you know if everything looks right and the band has time to do it, they would never just automatically turn something down. It would be to be considered at least; you know. And that goes for a third cruise too. it's like nobody's saying I'll never do it. It's just that you know there were some missed expectations at least the second time around. And you know everybody had fun and it was like well let's just put this on the shelf for now and we'll talk about it some other time. And it just hasn't been talked about since. It's just you know you have to be a really good proposal that everybody was behind, and they had the time to do it.
Karl Koch: [00:33:39] And you know that was that's what it would take.
Rachel: [00:33:41] That the worlds would have to align?
Karl Koch: [00:33:44] Yeah, it's really, yeah. There's really nobody saying, "No I'll never do that." That's, that's not true at all. Not, not at all.
Rachel: [00:33:50] Ok. So, we just have to like collectively plan a cruise and submit the idea to rivers.
Karl Koch: [00:33:57] Right.
Rachel: [00:33:58] Via Twitter.
Karl Koch: [00:33:59] Right.
Rachel: [00:33:59] And [Karl laughs] So we get a fan club app? That's really cool. Who, like,
Karl Koch: [00:34:07] Yeah, it's, it's...
Rachel: [00:34:07] Can you tell us anything about it?
Karl Koch: [00:34:08] It's coming soon. It's, it's basically.
Rachel: [00:34:10] Testing it?
Karl Koch: [00:34:11] Yes. We're testing it. It's. It doesn't have a ton of features currently. But the idea is that as we go forward, we'll expand it we'll make it do, it, it'll have features that will crossover into stuff that happens at shows maybe and like they'll be there'll be ways to use it you know. But the main thing it is, it's going to be a direct way to get fans, well members of the club, unique presale codes for, for shows so that we stop having people freak out when something goes on sale and it's like wait a minute where'd all the tickets go. Like that kind of B.S. It's like it's much more controlled because it's like everybody gets their own code. It's going to work. You know I mean like you guys have the first access and you know then once you guys are done it goes on to the other sales or whatever.
Rachel: [00:35:02] the scalpers can go take up all the robot tickets.
Karl Koch: [00:35:05] Right, and this has worked really well. The idea came about initially a company came to us and they're the same company that actually runs the VIP room last summer in the spring.
Karl Koch: [00:35:17] They also have a division that kind of does this digital stuff. And they said you know, do you want to adapt your fan club to have an app? And I was like. Sounds good. Tell me you know tell me why I should do this. And they said, "well don't you think that most kids are on their phone all day. And wouldn't you want to have an app on your phone?" I was like, yes; I would like that. That's a good idea. And it all started from there. I was like OK. Now you tell us what you want to do, and we'll try to make it happen. And so that's where it's been going since then. So, you know so the presale thing was kind of like well obviously it has to have that. And the thing about it is it's going to be an app for everybody. Like it's going to be a free app except you can't get presale codes and you can't get certain things. Unless you're a member of the fan club and it will have a way to sign up for the fan club within the app.
Karl Koch: [00:36:07] And if you're already a member which there's you know several thousands of people that are currently members everybody's grandfathered into it for life just the way they are currently lifetime members. So, whereas the app for new people will be a monthly a yearly renewal if they want to stay in it they'll get a push notification a year your memberships coming up do you want to spend another whatever to stay in but existing members will just be in, permanently. And so obviously there's going to be a bunch of rigamarole transitioning into it and stuff but we're going to keep know the fan, the Facebook page will stay because that's a unique that's kind of like our message board almost in a way. It's like kinda like our little place to hang out. But the app will be. It's kind of one sided in that it's not going to have, you won't be able to like comment or have a presence in it. At least at first. Like we're going to talk about that down the line. Initially it's just going to be a place to receive a, a news feed that will include both the stuff that you see coming on the Weezer dot com you know to say announcements and stuff but then there'll be stuff that I post that you can only get a few if you're a member because you have to put in a code to get to unlock it so that. So that would be like a way like if your members. Then you're going to get additional content. And this is kind of like where I've been like wishing we could do something like this all along. It's like I want to provide this stuff but if I just throw it out there and Instagram 90, percent of people are like What the hell's this. You know. The other 10 percent are like "Yeah!" but.
Karl Koch: [00:37:37] But I want those people.
Rachel: [00:37:38] You mean that the non-fan club people are like. I don't I don't get it.
Karl Koch: [00:37:41] Right. I mean not that I want it to be weird but I'm saying like it would be more appreciated. So, it's like All right. So, there'll be that there'll be uh, your membership card. There'll be like a virtual version of it in the app so you can like hold up the phone and that'll be your card. They're kind of.
Rachel: [00:37:57] That's cool.
[00:37:58] I think you'll be able to build it yourself kind of. Or I can't remember. There's a lot of stuff working out little details on right now but, there'll, that'll be in there. There'll be a few side pages and stuff, it'll be like the history of the fan club, which is also like to draw people in, for if you're not, if you're not a member and you haven't paid. Maybe you'll read this and be like "Hey, well I do want to get this because I can get this, this, this a B and C and this has a long history that goes back 20 plus years, and this is cool." So, you'll have a tour section which have, we'll have all the links directly to tickets for any upcoming show which again, you have you know fan club members will have unique presale codes for that.
[00:38:36] Or if there is no presale or if that's expired or whatever it will just be a way to get the tickets directly through the app and you won't have to be like screwing around in Ticketmaster or whatever it'll just be part of the, part of the app which is I think a better way to do it overall from what I can tell.
Rachel: [00:38:51] Yeah, I think everyone would appreciate that [Karl laughs], cause everyone's really tired of like, waiting in a virtual waiting-
Karl Koch: [00:38:59] Right.
Rachel: [00:38:59] -line, that you'll never get through it.
Karl Koch: [00:39:03] Right. There's some other there's some other things, uh, but I can't, not I can't talk about it but I.
Rachel: [00:39:07] And special content would be cool.
Karl Koch: [00:39:09] Yeah that's the thing is likely to be there'll be things that you only get if you're a member and I'll be posting those. I don't know how regularly but you know it'll be a place for that to go as opposed to like I wonder if I just put this on Instagram or just put it on Facebook group or you know it, it would be like here's where it is here's where you can get it.
Rachel: [00:39:26] Mm hmm. Well, let that makes sense because it's kind of like hard to do it on the website though too.
Karl Koch: [00:39:31] And I don't really mess with Weezer dot com now because it's basically like an official announcement page. So, the things I push to there it's like,
Rachel: [00:39:37] Their store.
Rachel: [00:39:39] Yeah, it's official.
Karl Koch: [00:39:41] And, and the stuff I push there because of the hashtag #Karl'sCorner it's cool. I just don't know how many people are really viewing it there like who's really you know logging on and checking out Weezer dot com on their, on their other browser it's like I don't know maybe it's-.
Rachel: [00:39:53] To find the latest Weezer news, no, they're there probably going on like, Instagram or.
Karl Koch: [00:39:57] Yeah it's just it's just it just feels like I just feel like not many bands have their own app and it feels like we kind of pioneered a lot of stuff back, you know, when we did the, the Web site originally. And it kind of feels like there's kind of a new generation we kind of need to go here like it's like we don't know exactly how it, where it, how it's gonna go but we know we need to do it you know. So, we're-
Rachel: [00:40:19] Kind of keep up with like the world-
Karl Koch: [00:40:21] we're taking a leap forward and I think we're a little ahead of the curve because only a few bands that really have this and are doing it well so we're going to kind of see what we can do.
Rachel: [00:40:30] Yeah. The gorillas I think they had an app and I was like. I don't want to do this... like, play games and like.
Karl Koch: [00:40:36] Oh, right.
Rachel: [00:40:37] text pretend people and I don't know but maybe the kids I don't know.
Karl Koch: [00:40:42] Right, maybe yeah that's the thing it's like we didn't want it to be like some kind of like it's a fun thing, like, no, it's just this is like our little HQ you know-.
Rachel: [00:40:50] Utility.
Karl Koch: [00:40:51] Yes, this is our little headquarters you know. and you don't have to have it but if you do then here's the benefits.
[00:40:58] Very cool. I am really excited. I think everyone's excited that knows that it's happening. So now there's like maybe a hundred more people that know. [laughs]
Karl Koch: [00:41:10] Well It'll be like a big announcement and stuff.
Karl Koch: [00:41:12] We'll be-
Rachel: [00:41:13] When it happens, happens.
Karl Koch: [00:41:13] It'll be, it'll be put out there and then everybody who's already a member will get information on how to get the, you know, here's where you get the app and here's what you do to log in and make yourself... I don't know what that's going to say yet but there'll be a way to do it.
Rachel: [00:41:27] Cool. Is there a craziest, favorite, funnest, fan encounter that you can share or? I know there's so many I'm sure like there's hootenannies, and. Is there any that stands out. Have you ever heard of the tree guy? I don't know. We had a story about a tree guy.
Karl Koch: [00:41:45] Tree guy?
Rachel: [00:41:46] Like, in Florida. There was a guy in a tree, and I don't know... [laughs].
Rachel: [00:41:50] There's a lot.
Karl Koch: [00:41:54] Oh there's, god... There's, there's unbelievable amounts. Yeah, it's sort of like it all blends together. But if somebody told me a specific, asked me a specific moment I'd totally remember it but it's one of those things where there's just so many things running through my head. Some a little weird some a little hilarious but yeah that's a that's one of the most impossible diffic-difficult questions you could ever ask.
Karl Koch: [00:42:20] I mean fan-.
Rachel: [00:42:22] Do people follow you to your hotels and like stalk you after shows.
Karl Koch: [00:42:28] That does, that has happened for, I mean many, many, times and it doesn't happen much these days because but uh, there are occasional ones and especially in certain other countries too like, they still are kind of like there's times you like, there's people at an airport and it's like you don't have a ticket to go anywhere. How did you know we're gonna be here? And it's turned out somebody at like the you know the booking agency, or somebody babbled to somebody, one of their friends and tipped somebody off and it's you know something slipped out like that. So it's, it's, sort of like this endless cat and mouse game where you know you're trying to like you're trying to book hotels that are like they don't let people hang out outside the hotels like they're like they're too like they just don't allow that. They're like they will make people leave if somebody's hanging out in the lobby. It's like you don't belong here. We don't know why you're here, but you don't belong here. So, it's gone down a lot from the early years because earlier there was no... it was just wild, like nobody knew anything. It was just like OK you know oh there's 50 fans in the lobby I guess we have to talk to them because nothing we can do about it. And you know we'd have to be nice because they're fans and the hotel doesn't seem to care. So OK here we go then.
Karl Koch: [00:43:39] But other times you know... there's, there's just crazy stuff like they're just different for this period like in the early 2000s around maybe like two thousand one to like 2010 there was this thing with like eBay guys and they're still out there here and there in some cities but they're kind of gone and it'll be dudes that would come up like Hey I'm your biggest fan will you sign these 14 album covers for me. And they're all the same and they're all like they're all blue albums. It's like Dude why would you why would you be doing this. You don't actually care about us. And then you know sometimes one member be like not even noticing he'd sign them, so they don't have Brian on him or whatever. But then the next day I'd be like No I'm not signing those. So, it's like the guy gets so pissed off because he only had one signature that kind of thing.
Karl Koch: [00:44:24] So like those aren't fans at all but that's it.
Rachel: [00:44:26] He's like I'm not going to get them--the same money for this one now or any that anybody wants just Brian on the Blue Album.
Karl Koch: [00:44:32] Nobody wants just one. They don't they don't even know who the band members are. They just want all the people they know there's four guys on the cover they want all four guys.
Rachel: [00:44:39] That's such crap.
[00:44:39] Yeah so that would happen for a while. So that was like that kind of turned you off to like anybody approaching you because it's like well is this guy a real fan or is this a freak or is this somebody who's trying to make money off of this and that kind of spoiled the, spoiled the party a little bit but that used to happen a lot and there'd be guys that as soon as you called them out on it they instantly turned, they'd instantly, I remember a dude literally saying like calling us every name in the book and calling us communists which is weird. Like, what does that have to do anything and shouting and sputtering and spitting and being all pissed off because basically you're saying like, "you're selling our stuff on eBay.", they'll be like, I'm your biggest fan, you mother... was like well if you're our biggest fan why are you calling us this because we wouldn't sign your thing.
Karl Koch: [00:45:21] It's like whoa.
Rachel: [00:45:22] Yeah.
Karl Koch: [00:45:23] So anyway those are not fans at all but those are some crazy encounters that we've had. And it's led to a more strict policy of like how the band moves and what they're exposed to which sucks for genuine fans because it's not you know it's no fun to be like well I can, I can't even get close to 'em that's no fun. You know and it used to be a lot easier in the old days. But you know they're out there they're out there. [laughs]
Rachel: [00:45:48] I can I remember like being one of those crazy people. Like I had friends that would sneak into elevators and parties in hotels, cause like you could. But.
Karl Koch: [00:45:58] Yeah, yeah.
Rachel: [00:45:58] I never, I was always too afraid but uhm, I can imagine-
Karl Koch: [00:46:03] If it's all in good fun and you're actually a big fan like the worst thing can happen is it's like an awkward encounter you know like oh oops-
Rachel: [00:46:11] Like, oh, you're weird.
Karl Koch: [00:46:11] We had to, we had to leave Oh well you know. but like if somebody is actually like psycho it's like OK this is scary. And it's those people that you have to watch out for because you just don't know who's doing it especially these days. So, it creates a situation where you kind of have to have high security and it kind of makes everything kind of a bummer. It's not just fun.
Rachel: [00:46:30] How did the nostalgia set come about for the recent tour. And like I know you had to have a transition of some sort. But whose idea was it to come out for you to come out and kind of like do the laundry like you do in "Say It Ain't So".
Karl Koch: [00:46:46] That was... Well the whole thing I think was designed by, we had a lighting guy back in 2000 for about five or six years named Dan Hadley and he's a great guy and a really smart dude, he. He works for Foo Fighters now. I mean he's like world class great lighting designer. He will design the hell out of your stage. He knows how to do it. So, we kind of handed the keys to him and said "What can you come up with? You know here's our plan."
Karl Koch: [00:47:12] And so he knew the early history of the band and he was a big fan and so he knew the kind of visual touch keys that should've been onstage like you need this. You need this you need this graphic you have to have that and here's you know here's how we're gonna make Arnold's here's how we're gonna make the garage you know here's how it's gonna look and... But Rivers came up with the transition. It was it was it was like I need somebody to rip this shirt off. And he said and he said You know Karl can you come out and literally rip my shirt off and we'll have this. They had this washer and dryer just like in the video and saying so and you go wash the shirt. Sure, I'll do that. He just came straight up asked me and so we practiced once. I think before the first show, and I was like "Eh, this comes off pretty easily we can do this." and so we just kind of developed it from there. [laughs]
Rachel: [00:47:58] This past this show was like, really, really, good. So, to everybody who planned it and all the thought that went into it, I know the fans really noticed and appreciated it like it's something that I think we wanted and kind of, I mean there was a show for White Album but not like that .
Karl Koch: [00:48:17] Yeah, yeah.
Karl Koch: [00:48:18] This was this was a big step up. I mean that was that tour was kind of the trial run. It was like OK we're gonna go out with Panic, who right now are blowing up, so there's gonna be a ton of people at these shows and it's gonna be a big stage and you know let's put on, you know, something but it didn't have like it didn't have acts you know. So it was like OK, if you're gonna headline, you have to have acts and that's one of the things Dan Hadley I think brought to it is he knew the theatrical aspect of like how do you develop-How does a show move, you know, part 1, part 2, and Part 3, plus the encore. Like that's how that's how it has to feel. He was right. I mean that's, I'm glad people liked it because there was a lot of thought put into it and it really was fun. I mean I thought I thought it worked out pretty well.
Rachel: [00:49:02] Yeah, I know I know everybody really liked it a lot. And even if you saw it because I saw it twice. I, just being in a different venue it felt different. And like you know that performance was still a little bit different. It was very, very, entertaining and I'm happy about that.
Intermission Thank You: [00:49:28] Thank you Karl. Thanks for all your hard work in taking the time out to answer all of our questions.
Rachel: [00:49:42] Ok. We're going to move on to Juliette's question. So, what do you think about the success and longevity of Weezer? And did you ever think that you guys would be this big?
Karl Koch: [00:49:53] No. Nobody predicted this. Definitely not. The initial hope was that the band would sell 20 thousand albums. That was the initial hope.
Karl Koch: [00:50:08] And I remember thinking, naw, they're wrong. It's gonna be I bet it's gonna be fifty thousand, like I was secretly like optimistic. So, everything that happened since that point blew all those things out of the water. And in terms of like getting this big it's part of the longevity it's like the two are tied together. It's like if you stick around long enough and you keep going and you don't rest on your laurels and you don't you know rely on what you did before all the time, but you don't dismiss it either. If you have something good which they do it can really last a long time. And we've seen this now for years where people are bringing their kids and the kids are into it and then they're getting older and it's like we're seeing people who are like grandpas with long white beards and like seven-year old’s at the same show and they're all rocking out. And I think everybody is very aware of how fortunate they are to be in the situation and they're all very conscious of like you know this is a really rare thing to have. And so, don't screw it up. You know let's just stick together and do this because this is it's really amazing that this has happened.
Karl Koch: [00:51:17] But yeah there was never... I mean, I knew this was great songs I knew Rivers had great songs way back in their earliest days, like these are really cool songs. And that's the only, that's the reason. you know it's like I loved hanging out with Pat, and his songs are great too and it was like, these guys are great and I'm gonna hang out with them and I want to help them out but I was, I was, I didn't know anything about the music industry I didn't know how to manage anything I didn't know how to do anything I didn't know how to... you know all I could do is pick up gear and drive a van at that point and drop flyers. That was it. And it was just a sense of like I don't know where this is going to go but this is the kind of music, I would be into like I would like. I wouldn't want to work for a band I don't care about you know I mean.
Rachel: [00:51:59] Right.
Karl Koch: [00:52:00] So, that was my perspective. And since everybody became aware, like kind of got through the growing pains to this point of like, hey we're still standing you know. All right well let's not screw it up. Let's keep going. You know that's kind of where we're at now.
Rachel: [00:52:14] Let's not do anything crazy. But let's still try new things and be ourselves.
Karl Koch: [00:52:20] We have to yeah you have to. You have to be, you're either, you're either like you can't be a nostalgia act and you can't totally throw everything away that you did before you know. You have to do something. You have to do something in between.
Rachel: [00:52:35] That makes you happy too. Yeah.
Karl Koch: [00:52:36] Yeah exactly.
Rachel: [00:52:37] So how you kind of touched on this how has your job changed from when you started back then, to now?
Karl Koch: [00:52:45] Drastically, the initial years were, I was tour managing which meant I booked them I get the money at the end of the night and go back, you know, check them into the motel drive the van move the gear around. I learned how to, you know, Pat taught me how to tune guitars so I could tune guitars I could set up the drums and that was some version of that for the first five years. I mean we took on more staff where we had a guy doing the sound. We had a lighting guy. We got a tour manager, so I don't have to worry so much about like you know, checking us into hotels and all that kind of stuff. Then everything changed around the Green Album when Rivers basically said you know we can you work on this website you know we should be doing this website can we do this? And I was like, "Absolutely." And it took off like crazy because he was directly feeding exclusive news to me to put on his website. So that's why it exploded. So, when that happened it was like I didn't have time to tune guitars anymore. I was like, answering hundreds of e-mails a day. So that was a huge change.
Karl Koch: [00:53:52] And you know since then it's-.
Rachel: [00:53:53] So you're like managing the website and the information. It was like going in and out was there like a merch store on there or was it just like, are we talking like super, pictures, and...
Karl Koch: [00:54:08] Sure initially. Initially there wasn't a merch store. Well we took the site over from. There were some fans that started Weezer.net back in the 90s. And so, we basically bought their site and then we got the Weezer.com domain from another kid that had it for whatever reason didn't use it for anything. And once we've got the Weezer.com attached to that site then we made it the official site and they had a little merch store section but we, but that was kind of like, uh, it was really rinky-dink and small the time. and we're going through several different merch companies back then for like you know we went through giant and Winterland all these ones and eventually it got to the point was like OK we have an online store but that's. That took years. Took a long time to do that it wasn't a nobody trusted online merch back then like Amazon wasn't a big thing. So, it's like people are like people like I'm not gonna give you my credit card number you can't have that. You know like it's just nobody, nobody did that back then.
Rachel: [00:55:05] And now you're kind of like a jack of all trades. You're like a jack of all social media is and. And.
Karl Koch: [00:55:14] Yeah, I mean it's...
Rachel: [00:55:15] Like helping wherever.
Karl Koch: [00:55:17] Kind of I mean like, like this, like this museum thing is a perfect example it's like I don't think anybody else could do it. Nobody else nobody else is the archivist that I am and nobody else can tell the story like I could and nobody else has the stuff. All the stuff anyway. So that was like, you know, Karl would you do this? And it's a good move for the band. It's a good move for the fans. It's like you know it was kind of win-win and I was like yeah, I'll do that. That's, that's, that's up my alley. Putting together a DVD would be up my alley. You know I did do. I did do it the one time. art directing different releases like I did the blue album deluxe and stuff like that. Anything where it's like hey you know there's a kind of a historical aspect to this. It usually goes to me, but as far as social media goes now that's, you know management does a lot of that stuff too. So, there's a lot of like it used to be that I did everything. So, like if somebody's like Karl we need to announce blah blah blah tour I'm like OK I'll prepare that, and I'll put it up. Now it's like they just do that stuff because it's just like this is kinda like the humdrum like you know hey check out this hey check out this hey check out this.
Rachel: [00:56:19] Yeah.
Karl Koch: [00:56:19] It's like that's not.
Rachel: [00:56:20] Like, you don't need to be doing that.
Rachel: [00:56:22] Yeah, I, so that. So even that change like that's kind of what I did for years and now I don't even really do that. It's like it's like this other thing it's like so much more. so, doing the fan club was a perfect extension of that. So, we, we got back into that in 2014 it was like Yeah. You know it's, now we can really do this again. Like I have time to do it and people want it and there's a lot of things we could do with it. So, it's just these are. it's been evolving. It's been an evolving journey.
Intermission Thank You: [00:56:56] Thank you for the frisbee. Thank you. Thank you for the frisbee, frisbee, Karl!
Rachel: [00:57:09] So finally Jen. I think, I just had a guest host on from the Mt. Rushmore podcast, Michael. He didn't know who you were. He's a giant Weezer fan. He, he came on the podcast to talk about in the garage and I was like wow you know even a big Weezer fan might not know you know your story. And so I think it'd be really cool if you could kind of tell us and I know we can read about it on Weezerpedia in detail, in-depth which you know I have done but I think you know it'd be cool for you to kind of just tell us in your own words like you know. What, what happened and like how did, how did you become Karl?
Rachel: [00:57:56] Like Weezer's Karl.
Karl Koch: [00:57:58] Yeah well, the shortest way to answer that, is saying that I was in the right place at the right time, but I was also the right guy because there were other people there too that weren't Karl. and they couldn't they wouldn't have done whatever it was that I did to get in the position I was in. And I have to say also I absolutely did not know any of this was going to happen. You know like most stories you hear it's like there's no you cannot predict or look ahead and be like I know what I'm going to do. It's gonna be this you know. It's impossible.
Karl Koch: [00:58:31] It's hard to sum up exactly but I have to give huge credit to a mutual friend of mine I've known since I was like 10. Same as Pat Finn and without him I wouldn't have moved to L.A. Without him, Rivers wouldn't have met Pat. Pat wouldn't have met none of them would have met Jason. Nobody would have met Matt. They all met Pat first. Everybody met Pat first. Somehow this one guy, was solely responsible for everybody knowing each other. No one person knew somebody else on the side and then met everybody else. Pat Finn met this guy Pat Finn met that guy, Pat Finn met that guy, he met that guy and they all met each other because of him including me. I don't know, he doesn't know how it, how that worked out. He just had. He's had a natural knack for picking out good musicians and people that were interesting. He just like this is one of his natural talents outside of being a great, a great musician himself.
Karl Koch: [00:59:27] And so I went out to L.A. and I moved in with Pat Wilson, Pat Finn, and Jason Cropper, who is, you know, the original guitar player. and living about a mile or less away was Rivers and everybody knew him but Weezer didn't exist yet. What existed was this proto typical band called 60 wrong sausages that Rivers hadn't even joined yet when I moved out there. They kind of convinced him to join because Rivers had his bands were kind of not going anywhere. And a long story short I was just a roommate and I'd moved out to L.A. not knowing what my plan was I'd finished art school in Baltimore at the Maryland Institute College of Art. So, I had a painting degree and you realize how useful a fine art painting degree is. It's not.
Rachel: [01:00:14] I used to be an art major. So yes, I do.
Karl Koch: [01:00:18] So you know exactly what I'm talking about. and this isn't today or it's like hey you can have social media and promote yourself and get all this stuff going on. It was 1991. Nobody had a computer yet. It was like there was nothing.
Karl Koch: [01:00:30] It was like OK what are you going to do.
Rachel: [01:00:32] I can imagine.
Karl Koch: [01:00:32] And I didn't want to stay in Baltimore because I got to be 110 degrees every summer and I hated it. that part of it, I like the rest of Baltimore and that's where a lot of my fellow students stayed on and started studios are like that's what, I should be doing that, but I don't want to stay in the city.
Karl Koch: [01:00:46] And meanwhile our friend Pat Finn was like move out to L.A. You know I've met a lot of cool people we'll make, me and him were gonna make a comic book because we had this idea, we're going to be comic book artists.
Karl Koch: [01:00:54] It's like, yeah, I'm in bands, we're, you know come out here. It's a thing. And I don't know how he con-I don't know how he convinced my parents to go out there. They're like "You know we just put you through college now you want to go out to L.A. and do what?" You know like what are you doing. So, there was this ultimatum.
Rachel: [01:01:10] You're like, "Actually I don't know."
Karl Koch: [01:01:11] And I had, I don't know what I told them but. there was this kind of like ultimatum like it's implied ultimatum if you don't figure it out and you're not supporting yourself in a year or so you know you're going to come back. And I was like alright you know it's fair enough. Naturally I got that extended a few times because in the first year nothing was really happening.
Karl Koch: [01:01:29] But it was an extremely exciting time, just because we were going out to see shows all the time and everybody was like, all these guys are in this band. It was a bizarre band. It was... It wasn't destined to be a success I don't think. But it was a fascinating band a very strange combination of stuff and of course Pat was a crazy drummer. He's so good. And you know Rivers was bringing these crazy songs he was writing that were not Weezer songs they were like really funny, but they were good like they were actually humorous. They were like bizarre and they, this band rocked. It was like really heavy. It was really heavy. Anyway, I just had like random jobs you know I was working at record store as we're going camping supply store. Just doing whatever just to just to make rent, basically. we all shared these apartments like six people to an apartment, so it was cheap as hell and you know, just. the Hollywood scene and you know doing stuff, skateboarding, just you know just doing.
Rachel: [01:02:23] Being young.
Karl Koch: [01:02:24] Being young. and when Weezer formed Pat Finn was not part of it. And at the time he was going through some emotional stuff and he just wasn't. People were like wow I don't think we, he didn't really pick him to be in the band and he didn't mind because he wasn't really ready. He was like he was in a place where he was kind of bummed out. He was thinking of leaving L.A. and stuff. But I loved the music that Pat Wilson and rivers were coming up with like, they were just demoing like crazy. They had four tracks, and they were just demoing, demoing, demoing, and all these songs were like so cool. I was like, whatever you guys are doing I'm down and this is cool. And it was also a case of I was the only person that had a vehicle. I mean Pat Finn had a vehicle too, but he needed it to live. And I was like literally like, "Hey I'll drive your stuff to the gig. You know, whatever I'll drive your stuff to practice.
Rachel: [01:03:13] Like help out.
Karl Koch: [01:03:13] And I had a video camera although it sucked, and so I started videotaping everything too. And it was just kind of this kind of like what Karl is just here to help out and support and he likes, and he's just cool and whatever, I mean I wasn't cool, but you know I mean I wasn't I wasn't a jerk. [Rachel laughs] Being not a jerk was a big deal, I guess. Uhm, for the-
Rachel: [01:03:29] I think it always is.
Karl Koch: [01:03:30] Yeah, I mean I try not to be a jerk maybe sometimes I am. I feel bad about that. but I try not to be. So, it was this, crazy scene of you know. just sort of like being there and ending up being like this kind of necessary ingredient like you know will you help out will you do this. And I think everybody sort of saw my loyalty and my devotion to it despite the fact there was absolutely no future that anybody could tell.
Karl Koch: [01:03:53] But I think it helped give them... you know, yes, the rides, the Bronco II I had helped a lot like, that was important. But it was also kind of like a spiritual support like you know like this, this person is willing to help. He believes in what you're doing. I think that was part of it because nobody would say that out loud, I don't think they'd realized it. but I looked back on it and was like I feel like it had to be something like because like why would they tolerate me hanging around? You know, like what was I... You know like I was just. I was just like a roommate, a friend. You know, it wasn't like... I wasn't playing in the band, you know. But yet here I was helping out. And here I was you know, like my opinion seemed to matter when it came to various things.
Karl Koch: [01:04:35] So anyway. Matt led the charge. Like everybody was like... The game was getting signed. Like that's what you needed to do back then and for the first time people kind of had the sense like these are pretty good songs that we might... you know, we don't think we can do this but we have more of a chance than our last bands did you know like you know everybody's prior band to Weezer, did not have that opportunity.
Karl Koch: [01:04:59] And so I would just help you know like Matt was like we have to go make demos we have to go get these demos you know copied at this place. I was like "Alright, I'll give you a ride over to the place in Hollywood that copies, that copies the tapes and then we'll help you get them mailed out to these people and dropped off at these people and we just always had some mission we had to go do.
Karl Koch: [01:05:14] Meanwhile I'm still working the random jobs Everybody had random jobs except Pat Wilson stopped having random jobs. He just squeaked by somehow. [laughs] He's very clever like that. And shows would happen a couple of times a week, hit all the clubs and stuff. And I would just you know help load the gear in and help set it up and I'd tape some of you know audiotape videotape here and there start drawing the flyers for the shows. And all this went on and you know they got signed. You know there's this whole process they were like this this label wants to give us ten thousand dollars so that's not that's not really very good but that's the only offer we got right now. Ok. And then next week, "Hey! The guy from Mercury said he's gonna come to the show. OK. Cool." And Matt was working the phones. I mean he was really good at that. That's one of his incredible skills was like making connections and.
Rachel: [01:06:00] Like hustling.
Karl Koch: [01:06:02] Yeah, like really figuring out like, you know, like we gotta get this guy to come into our show he's got to see our, you gotta see our set. Getting the tapes into the right hands. And of course, none of this actually worked. I mean all the original offers we were getting from small labels that it was flattering to get attention, but they were they weren't offering anything. It was like the best offer was like forty thousand dollars and that seemed like a ton of money, but it was like. That's really not anything.
Karl Koch: [01:06:24] And it was like giant or some label like that that wasn't gonna do anything and it wasn't until somehow, we got the tape into DGC records, but it went to this other guy that did not care. Like, the connection we had was very weak and it was with, I think Tom Zutaut or something and Tom Zutaut was like the guy that did like, guns and roses and stuff like he was like A&R for like all the metal and hard stuff. So, he didn't care. But somehow, Todd Sullivan who was like a junior guy at Geffen at the time, just happened to pick up the tape off of Tom's desk and was like "What's this?" And the guy was like I don't know you know throw it away I don't care, I don't give a crap. And Todd listened to it and was like this is interesting. and so, he did some investigation and he came to a show and checked it out. And Todd was really into guitar like he loved... like he also signed Southern Culture on the kids, and they were very much a guitar band like really jangly guitars. And he had just signed Sloan from Canada. So, when he started sniffing around and coming to the shows it was like This guy just got signed Sloan. now Sloan is not a big deal, but they had a video on MTV. We're like, shit you know this is something, you know. They're on a real label. So, then it became, let's see if, let's see if Todd's really can sign us or not, because he's a junior guy. He needs his bosses OK to sign. Yeah. And that was Tony Berg who was a nice guy. And eventually it came through like he wanted to really sign a real deal. Like it was you know, six figures deal it was like not bad.
Karl Koch: [01:07:51] Like this is enough money to make an album and you all, you know you guys can stop being broke for a little while. And they'll put us on tour, and they'll try to promote it like all the, the usual spiel and-.
Rachel: [01:08:02] Like, legit.
Karl Koch: [01:08:02] Legit. And you know all along the way. And then it was like "You know, OK, Karl help us figure out what our album is gonna look like you know and come to New York with us because we're gonna record this album. and you can film stuff and you know help us out and this and that." and I was like "Hell yeah, I'll do that." And I did it for what's called per diem, which is just like a daily stipend. It wasn't like, there was no salary involved but I just did it like I did a lot of stuff for free in the early years because, I guess because I want-.
Rachel: [01:08:28] It was fun?
Karl Koch: [01:08:28] It was fun and I, it was like I wasn't starving like I could aff-, I could afford to say I'll do that without demanding money for it. And you know I just wanted it to work. You know I was like whatever it takes. And so, we did, went to New York and they did this album. And, and then of course there was a long, long, wait before that even came out and there's a lot of doubt, would it even come out? Because they can sign you and just drop you, and. It doesn't. Nothing, nothing has to happen, it's not. It's totally their, their ball like we can't do anything.
Karl Koch: [01:08:58] And then we had to get, and then it was like, "OK it's gonna come out and now you have to tour." So, we had to find a van. So, we went and found a van. And then we had to retrofit the van and make it work and I had to build an interior box cage that you could lock the gear into and reconfigure the seating all the stuff in this old crappy van we had. So, and, and all along the while, all along the way every single step. I didn't know how to do this stuff. It was just like, use your creative mind and figure it out, you know. And that's basically what happened. There's a lot more details to it than that but like it was just a series of like, I was in the right place at the right time. I met the right people. I believed in what they were doing. They didn't even, nobody really knew what they were doing but it was like this is cool music, you know.
Karl Koch: [01:09:39] And before we knew it, it was like God damn you have a record deal. We're really doing this Rick Ocasek is going to produce it. Holy shit. You know it was like this you know.
Rachel: [01:09:46] Like uhh, oh my God.
Karl Koch: [01:09:48] Yeah, yeah, it really was.
Rachel: [01:09:49] This is happening. well and I'm sure there's always something for you to help out with especially, there's always like something, like.
Karl Koch: [01:09:57] Well that's the thing it's like you know.
Rachel: [01:09:58] Until it turned into something like necessary, like totally necessary.
Karl Koch: [01:10:03] Right.
Rachel: [01:10:03] That you know. Or that they don't want anyone else to do it.
Karl Koch: [01:10:07] Right.
Rachel: [01:10:08] It's like, who are, who are we going to trust with like, the fan club, really. you know what I mean?
Karl Koch: [01:10:12] And the thing is that we're so lucky to find Michael and Carli. I mean that was like such a godsend. They were just so cool and so helpful and so nice, and it was really just a twist of fate where there was no way to fit lyrics into the album and then Rivers decided that was a plus. It's like fine they'll send away for em. And but we need somebody to send him out and that's, you know. We'll get our friends Michael and Carli to do it. And they're just like, "Yeah, we'll do that. That'll be great." and that's how that all started because it was those initial waves of letters that went out where they started getting requests back like, "Hey you know is there a fan club where I can join, you have anything I can buy?" And that, when this got back to the band. It was like maybe you guys should see what you try to see what maybe look into how to do a fan club.
Rachel: [01:11:01] Shirts, hats.
Karl Koch: [01:11:02] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that's how that all kind of got started. So, thank God for them. I mean without that-
Rachel: [01:11:09] Yeah, because you know they needed the fans to really explode it, I guess.
Karl Koch: [01:11:14] Yeah it was just, it was just a... it was just a very fortuitous group of, the right people met. You know what I mean? like, take one person out of that and put in somebody like more generic or not whatever and, just. I don't think it would've happened but not the same way anyway.
Rachel: [01:11:31] That's crazy.
Karl Koch: [01:11:32] Yeah, I mean you know. I think Rivers would've been alright because he was an awesome songwriter and I think Pat would have been great, fine because he's a great player and he also can write excellently too. And you know he knows how to produce so they would have done something cool in music, but it wouldn't have been this.
Rachel: [01:11:47] And I don't know. I just, I can't imagine like being you and being like, what a cool life you've had you know? Like, you started off like not knowing what you're gonna do. Graduating art school and then, like. And now you get to be creative all the time and like you know.
Karl Koch: [01:12:06] Yeah like I said I feel like nobody feels more fortunate than I do. I mean I'm lucky in a lot of ways that I never knew I was gonna be lucky and-
Rachel: [01:12:15] That's cool. Yeah. I don't think Weezer would really be the same without, without you and like. I mean you have your own corner. [Karl laughs] I mean, it's like you're part of... you're part of them. Like you're, I don't know. Who is going to make the website and like give all these details out? Like, there would be no Weezerpedia. I just, I don't. I think the fans would have fallen off a lot more had there not been like the heart there you know?
Karl Koch: [01:12:44] I think that that's part of it. And again, I also credit Michael and Carli for getting all that started because before I was a public figure, I was just the guy schlepping the gear and driving the van. And you know, helpful to their activities, but the fans weren't really, had any... had very little awareness who I was until Michael and Carli started putting, having me put a column in their Weezine [laughs] it's like, "Who's Karl? What's this corner all about?" [laughs]
Rachel: [01:13:09] [Laughs] That's so awesome. Well thank you. Thank you for sharing that with us.
Karl Koch: [01:13:14] Yeah, my pleasure.
Rachel: [01:13:16] I just feel so fancy having you on, on our show too. Like I, I get a little bit like. [Karl laughs] I don't know. It's very cool.
Intermission Thank You: [01:13:33] As a fan club member one of the things that I think is really awesome about Karl is that anytime somebody shares something kind of obscure or rare or whatever the case might be, Karl's typically pretty quick to comment on it and add some sort of interesting tidbit of information or context about whatever it is, that I don't think we'd have any idea of really knowing without somebody with that historical perspective on it. And I just really appreciate that he's willing to share his time with us and just really kind of, add another layer of info. So, thanks a lot for everything you do Karl.
Intermission Thank You: [01:14:49] Karl, you're super awesome. You're the fifth member of Weezer, our favorite band. And the hero to our fan club. Don't know what we'd do without you.
Rachel: [01:15:00] Thank you so much for listening, you guys. Thank you so much for coming on the show Karl. I don't think I could say enough how much it meant to me, personally. And just the fact that he took so much time out of his life to answer questions for the fans is awesome. It was really late, and I felt bad. So that was really, really, nice. Karl's a nice guy and I think that... He's an important part of the Weezer culture. And. Yeah. That's it, that's all I have. So anyway. Thanks again. Karl
Mara: [01:15:50] Hi, this is Mara. Karl is the best. Part of what I love about Weezer is that they are so accessible to their fans. Karl really is the guy that makes this all happen. He's the one who's arranging the meet and greets and photo ops with the band at shows. He's the guy who's helping get special items signed. And he's the guy who's making sure that our Weezer experiences are the best they can be. So, thank you Karl for everything you do. We appreciate you so much.
Rachel: [01:16:35] Is there, is there anything else? I don't even know, if like, if they know you're doing this but is there anything else you want to share or Weezer wants to share or wants to tell anyone?
Karl Koch: [01:16:45] Stay in school and don't do drugs. No, I'm kidding. I don't know. [both laugh]
Karl Koch: [01:16:49] Yeah, I... You know. I think it may not be often expressed but there is, but, know that there's a real gratitude for how devoted fans are because it's obviously you know. It maybe, it may be easy to forget sometimes like when you're trapped and, trying to get on a plane and you're delayed, and you're all frustrated about this and that. But it's like the whole reason any of this is happening is because fans are interested and want to go experience Weezer, so we remind ourselves that that's the most important thing.