In a recent interview, Emily Zemler innocently asked Brian Bell of Weezer how the band’s new album came to be titled Hurley. His response is actually kinda jaw-dropping.
In case you haven’t seen it, the album cover is simply Jorge Garcia’s face. Garcia played a character called Hurley on the TV show Lost.
Frontman Rivers Cuomo had previously explained the album title to Spinner thusly:
“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… 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.”
However, Bell reveals that surf company Hurley actually funded the recording of the record (in part), and in return, the band is endorsing the brand on several levels, which all came before the inspiration from Jorge Garcia. Bell explains more truthfully:
“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…”
And then he calls the record “post-modernistic.” Which is a bone worth picking another day. Perhaps when we get our hands on it.
Weezer’s Hurley is the band’s first album on new label Epitaph, the indie punk imprint owned by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. When we first saw this inteview, we weren’t sure whether this seemingly covert corporate naming of an album was meant to be a big secret that Bell let out of the bag, or if Cuomo was just painting a prettier version of the truth. However, the conspiracy theory thickened yesterday, when Brian Bell posted the following… clarification… to the band’s message board:
“…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 he knew people would end up calling the record ‘Hurley’ anyway. We got no money for calling the record ‘Hurley.'”
Cuomo barely said it better himself. Are we really to believe that Bell had forgot that his band paid for their album to be recorded? And that his detailed narrative evidently told from firsthand experience was some kind of memory lapse? Our bullshit detectors are squealing and flashing red. Did Weezer not receive clothes from Hurley in exchange for endorsements, or is it just a complete coincidence that they did shortly before naming an album Hurley? By the way, Cuomo admitted to not being a fan of Lost at all either.
Listen to Memories from Hurley here.
Thanks to Cathy Pellow of Sargent House for the heads-up.
Her verdict? “Busted.”