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The Weezer recording history: Page 15

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"MAKE BELIEVE" SESSIONS - PART 1 - DECEMBER 2003 - Cello Studios, Los Angeles, CA

The Cello Sessions were recorded to 24 track 2" analog tape, and later backed up to the multi-track Pro Tools Hard Drive recording system. Later, overdubs of various vocals, guitars, and whatnot were added after the songs were in Pro Tools, well after the band had cleared out of Cello. However some tracks were never finished and many didnt end up on Make Believe at all in the end. The Cello Studio in fact shuttered its doors for good not much later in 2004, a victim of the recording industrys (foolish but financially necessary) shift away from old school large studios.
The recordings done in Cello in 12/03 were initially liked but soon panned by the band, who with fading memories in the spring of 2004, tended to discount that they had put down anything of value there. They would later totally reverse these thoughts, as several of the songs recorded here did in fact make it to the album in the end!

These sessions went for 17 days, between 12/01/03 through 12/19/03.

The day to day tracking info is unavailable at this time, but the following summary exists:


Songs worked up to a semi-finished state in Cello by 12/19/03 - rough mixes made 1/30/04


1. 368 Show Me Who You Are
2. Unbreak My Heart
3. 506 Blowin' My Stack
4. 436 I Don't Want Your Lovin'
5. *520 Youre My Best Friend
6. *574 The Other Way
7. *426 Hold Me
8. *516 Pardon Me
9. 385 Turn Me 'Round
10. **528 we Are All On Drugs
11. 360 Private Message (alt. chorus)
12. 360 Private Message (alt. verse)
13. 518 My Life Is My Life (acoustic) take 10
14. 518 My Life Is My Life (acoustic) take 11
15. *403 Haunt You Every Day
16. 369 Happy On Your Own
17. 443 The Formula
18. *371 Peace
19. 384 Perfect Situation

* = songs that later came back and were finished up (possibly re-recorded from scratch in some cases) for "Make Believe", February 2005
** = songs completely re-done in Grandmaster Recorders, summer/fall 2004.


12/17/03 Rivers and Matt Sharp - home demo session

Near the end of the Cello sessions, Rivers and Matt started playing and writing together in a series of Saturday afternoon informal sessions, usually at Rivers' apartment.

this session resulted in 3 demos recorded, all essentially are Matt songs with Rivers assisting.

1. Safe Harbor (sail away)
2. Collossal (Matt only)
3. Colossal (w/ Rivers)


12/18/03 Rivers - unaccompanied demos at Cello

For 2 days late in the Cello session, Rivers decided to go in alone either early or late in the day when the regular work wasnt going on, and do solo demos of many songs that had been dismissed in the weeks of preproduction as not going on the new album.

The tracks done on this date are unknown at this writing.

12/19/03 Rivers - unaccompanied demos at Cello

For 2 days late in the Cello session, Rivers decided to go in alone either early or late in the day when the regular work wasnt going on, and do solo demos of many songs that had been dismissed in the weeks of preproduction as not going on the new album. The likely purpose was to revisit the material to either insure it wasnt needed, or ressurect it for the album.

'volume 2'
1. Another Lover
2. Everybody Wants A Chance To Feel All Alone
3. Leave Me Alone
4. Mister Mastermind
5. Only Just This Once
6. Please Save Me
7. Purple Flowers
8. When I'm Going To Cry
9. You've Flown Away
10. Clearer Eyes
11. Et Tu Brute
12. Gimmie Gimmie
13. I Was Scared
14. Momma's Song
15. Why Oh Why
16. Yahoo
17. Turns Me On


1/9/04 Rivers home demos

1. (actually a copy of the Winter '99 demo of "My Brain", dated 11/04) (appears as undated on History page 11)
2. Untitled
3. Simple Fisherman


1/12,14,15/04 Rivers home demos

1. I dont need you (undated, approx 1/12)
2. The Love I Want version 1 (1/12)
3. The Love I Want version 2 (1/12)
4. Simple Fisherman (1/14)
5. Only Love (1/15)


1/13/04 Brian home demos

1. Blast It Off
2. Blast It Off 2
3. Shopper 2
4. Oh Allen
5. Ugly Things
6. Ugly Things 2
7. Patterns Of Love


2/04 Rivers - preproduction demos at SIR rehearsal studio, L.A.

Rivers started an extended period doing demos by himself at this point, with the intention of assembling a set of songs he felt strong about for recording, having lost confidence and initiative with the fall '03 material for unknown reasons. Many of these tracks done in these February sessions were originally being worked on earlier in '03, and had been set aside in favor of other material once the band started focusing on the album in fall '03.

1. All I Need To Know (FKA Clearer Eyes)(2/3)
2. Everybody Wants A Chance To Feel All Alone(2/6)
3. Et Tu Brute(2/6)
4. Ever Again(2/12)
5. Everything For Me(2/6)
6. I Don't Need You(2/3)
7. I Want To Be With You(2/2)
8. I Want To Take You Home Tonight(2/11)
9. I Was Made For You(2/6)
10. I Was Scared(2/6)
11. Let Go Of Me(2/5)
12. My Brain Is Working Overtime (note: totally new bridge) (2/9)
13. Only Just This Once (2/4)
14. Purple Flowers (2/11)
15. Simple Fisherman (2/10)
16. Simple Fisherman (copy of earlier Rivers home demo) (1/23)
17. The Sweetest One Of All (2/13)
18. Trust Co. #1 (cover of an unknown song by Trust Company, possibly at Rick Rubin's suggestion?) (2/11)
19. V. Carlton (cover of an unknown Vanessa Carlton song) (2/12)
20. Why Oh Why (2/6)
21. Yahoo (2/5)


2/14/04 Rivers guests at a Matt Sharp solo performance, Cal State Fullerton

Rivers and Matt's Saturday writing sessions culminated in this, an acoustic show by Matt Sharp (which he had been doing fairly steadily for the past year) where Rivers came up and joined him for 4 songs, much to the suprise of those in attendance. The audience thrilled to this impromptu old school weezer reunion show of sorts, which was the first public apprearance of the two performing together since 1997. This show was audiotaped (both by Matt with 2 room mics and a DAT recorder as well as multitracked by Paul DuGre, the sound engineer and producer who in fact had previously worked with weezer back in '94 on the Blue album b-sides session) and videotaped, and the 4 collaborative songs' videoclips were posted as a joint project on Weezer.com and TheRentals.net.

1. Jumpin' Around (Matt only) [only videotaped]
2. Goodbye West Coast (Matt Only) [second half only was recorded by room mic's in to DAT; whole song videotaped]
3. January's Girl (Matt only) [recorded to DAT + videotaped]
4. Thoughts From A Slow Train (Matt only) [recorded to DAT + videotaped]
5. When I Get Up (Tegan And Sarah cover) (Matt only) [recorded to DAT + videotaped]
6. The Love I'm Searching For (Matt only) [recorded to DAT + videotaped]
7. Ms. Young (Matt + Rivers) [recorded to both DAT and pro multitrack + videotaped]
8. Time Song (Matt + Rivers) [recorded to both DAT and pro multitrack + videotaped]
9. Say It Ain't So (Matt + Rivers) [recorded to both DAT and pro multitrack + videotaped]
10. Undone The Sweater Song (Matt + Rivers) [recorded to both DAT and pro multitrack + videotaped]


2/27/04 Rivers - preproduction demos at SIR rehearsal studio, L.A.

This is an assembled set of demos, some are identical to versions listed above in the 2/04 listing, but some are newer versions, newer demos, and some may even be older recordings from '03, assembled here in an effort to lay out where Rivers saw the album going at the time.

"Rivers A-List"
1. Always, Forever
2. Ever Again
3. All I Need To Know Is Where To Start (FKA Clearer Eyes)
4. All I Want To Do
5. Et Tu Brute
6. The Sweetest One Of All
7. My Brain Is Working Overtime
8. Simple Fisherman
9. I Was Made For You(2/6)
10. The Damage In Your Heart
11. Haunt You Every Day
12. Pardon Me
13. Hold Me
14. We Are On Drugs

"Rivers B-List"
1. Show Me Who You Are
2. Terrified
3. I Wanna Be With You
4. Peace
5. Trent Reznor #6 (cover of unknown NIN track)
6. Perfect Situation
7. Unbreak My Heart (cover)
8. Private Message
9. The Other Way
10. Trust Co.#1 (cover)
11. Turn Me 'Round
12. The Formula
13. Blowin' My Stack
14. You're My Best Friend
15. I Don't Need You Anymore
16. I Don't Want Your Lovin'
17. Everyone And Everything For Me
18. I Want To Take You Home Tonight
19. Everybody Wants A Chance To Feel All Alone
20. Why Oh Why
21. Yahoo
22. Only Just This Once
23. Let Go Of Me
24. V. Carlton (cover)
25. Trust Co. #3 (The Only One) (cover)
26. My Life Is My Life (acoustic)


3/1/04 Brian home demos

1. Oh Allen
2. New Baby Soon
3. Looking Back At Us
4. Mow The Lawn ("Nate" vocals)
5. A Long Time Ago
6. Ugly Things
7. Mistake Maker ("Nate" vocals)
8. Once My Own
9. Masterplan


5/3/04 Rivers - preproduction demos at SIR rehearsal studio, L.A.

Rivers continued to work alone at S.I.R rehearsals, with Chad Bamford engineering the sessions. He worked incessantly, nearly everyday for months, refining and further refining his tracks, whittling them down to what he intended to be the prospective new album's final demos. On several occasions it is known that he presented his results to the rest of the band and Rick Rubin, and was likely dismayed to hear varied non-unanimous opinions about which were the best songs and what to keep and what to kill. He kept going 'back to the drawing board' for several months, while the rest of weezer started to despair as to whether they would ever pick up work on, let alone complete the album. There was even speculation that perhaps Rivers simply wasnt interested in completing an album anymore, that the continuous state of demo making felt better to him that actually calling for a cut-off point. Regardless of the mounting uncertaintly, the demos kept coming.

Rivers A-List, 5/3/04:
1. Intro / Always, Forever
2. Do You Really Want Me Down? (FKA My Brain Is Workin' Overtime)
3. Show Me Who You Are
4. Over The Mountain (FKA Et Tu Brute)
5. I Was Made For You
6. The Sweetest One Of All
7. Simple Fisherman
8. All I Want To Do
9. Break Me (FKA Ever Again)
10. Where To Start (FKA Clearer Eyes)
11. Haunt You Every Day


5/5/04 Rivers - preproduction demos at SIR rehearsal studio, L.A.

Rivers A-List, 5/5/04:
1. Intro Song / Always, Forever
2. Do You Really Want Me Down? (FKA My Brain Is Workin' Overtime)
3. Over The Mountain (FKA Et Tu Brute)
4. I Was Made For You
5. The Sweetest One Of All
6. Simple Fisherman
7. All I Want To Do
8. Break Me (FKA Ever Again)
9. Haunt You Every Day
10. Can't Stop The Party
11. Show Me Who You Are
12. Take It Easy (early version of Love Is The Answer)



6/7/04 Rivers - preproduction demos at SIR rehearsal studio, L.A.

Rivers A-List, 6/7/04:
1. The Strong Ones (FKA Always, Forever)
2. Losing My Mind (FKA Do You Really Want Me Down? FKA My Brain Is Workin' Overtime)
3. They Are Stupid (FKA Over The Mountain FKA Et Tu Brute)
4. I Was Made For You
5. No Contact
6. Time Is Running Out (instrumental) (FKA Simple Fisherman)
7. Tell Me What You Did (early version of "This Is Such A Pity") (FKA She Who Is Militant)
8. Stand Up (minor)
9. Happy Robot (early version of "I'm A Robot") (FKA Show Me Who You Are)
10. Take It Easy (early version of Love Is The Answer)
11. U And Me
12. Hold Me


6/11/04 Rivers - preproduction demos at SIR rehearsal studio, L.A.

Rivers A-List, 6/11/04:
1. Losing My Mind (FKA Do You Really Want Me Down? FKA My Brain Is Workin' Overtime)
2. They Are Stupid (FKA Over The Mountain FKA Et Tu Brute)
3. Set Me Right (early version of "You're The One")
4. What Is Going On (FKA Tell Me What You Did) (early version of "This Is Such A Pity") (FKA She Who Is Militant)
5. Stand Up
6. Happy Robot (early version of "I'm A Robot") (FKA Show Me Who You Are)
7. Take It Easy (early version of Love Is The Answer)
8. Someone Who Can Love (early version of "Save Me")
9. Time Is Running Out (w/lyrics + new part) (FKA Simple Fisherman)
10. The Strong Ones (FKA Always, Forever)


6/11/04 Rivers - covers at SIR rehearsal studio, L.A.

These were streamed on Rivers' MySpace page until copyright issues forced them to come down.
1. Invincible (Ann Poonkasem)
2. Annie's Song (John Denver)
3. Tomorrow (from "Annie")


7/2/04 Rivers - cover at SIR rehearsal studio, L.A.

This was streamed on Rivers' MySpace page and offered on weezer.com as an mp3.
1. The Star Spangled Banner (Francis Scott Key)


7/3/04 Rivers - preproduction demos at SIR rehearsal studio, L.A.

This was sort of a master gathering of the cream of the crop of demos Rivers had been working on all spring. (note by this point in the process, some of the "FKA"'s here refer to songs that barely resemble their 7/3/04 versions in almost any form)

Rivers A-List, 7/3/04:
1. 092 Losing My Mind (FKA Do You Really Want Me Down? FKA My Brain Is Workin' Overtime)
2. 526 They Are Stupid (FKA Over The Mountain FKA Et Tu Brute)
3. 393 Set Me Right (FKA "The Sweetest One Of All")(early version of "You're The One")
4. 556 You're Holding Me Back (FKA Break Me, FKA Ever Again)
5. 369 This Is Such A Pity (FKA What Is Going On) (FKA Tell Me What You Did) (FKA She Who Is Militant)
6. 368 I'm A Robot (FKA Happy Robot) (FKA Show Me Who You Are)
7. 622 Love Is The Answer (FKA Take It Easy)
8. 610 Save Me (FKA Someone Who Can Love, FKA I Was Made For You)
9. 578 Our Last Chance (FKA The Strong Ones, FKA Always, Forever)
10. 669 Beverly Hills
11. 667 Freak Me Out
12. 588 Learning To Love

"Non A List Contenders"
1. 618 How Was I To Know (minor)
2. 618 How Was I To Know (major)
3. 426 Hold Me
4. 403 Haunt You Every Day
5. 532 Where To Start
6. 520 You're My Best Friend
7. 590 The Damage In Your Heart
8. 514 Let Go Of Me
9. 390 Peace
10. 528 We Are All On Drugs
11. 384 Perfect Situation
12. 516 Pardon Me
13. 397 Everbody Wants A Chance To Feel All Alone
14. 544 Why Oh Why
15. 524 I Was Scared
16. 431 I Want To Take You Home Tonight
17. 404 I Don't Need You
18. 436 I Don't Want Your Lovin'


"MAKE BELIEVE" SESSIONS - PART 2 - 7/22/04 - 10/22/2004 - Grandmaster Recorders, Los Angeles, CA

As the story goes, Patrick and Scott decided that there was no reason to hold up resumption of recording the album any longer, and enthusiastically suggested going back into the studio to Rivers, Brian and Rick Rubin at a meeting/ demo listening session in early July. Brian was always raring to go, Rick was gently guiding the process and was ready to go if everyone in the band was, and Rivers, the one who had used the spring and early summer to relentlessly re-work songs and try to come up with a fresh masterplan for the album, took a moment to consider the situation, and conceded then and there that there was no reason for further delay.

Rivers has a suprise of his own however. He outlined a proposal at this point, asking the others to work only on the set of 12 songs he instinctively felt was right for the album, even if it didnt include some songs the others really liked or did include songs they werent really into. The deal was basically: give it your all, and if Rivers' gut feeling is right, it will turn out right in the end. And if not, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it and make the necessary adjustments. The others agreed and studio time was booked, starting on 7/22.

The Grandmaster sessions were recorded to a full 96K Pro Tools Rig, however all the signal from the mics was first run through an (tapeless) analog 24 track 2" tape machine and the vintage mixing desk, before going to "tape" (hard drive). Rick Rubin produced the sessions, but for a period (in an agreement with the band) went into a 'hands off' mode, sitting out of the actual daily sessions, but listening to the daily results on CD and commenting in (usually) daily conferences with the band via either text, phone, restaurant meet-up or up at his house. Chad Bamford engineered the sessions and provided additional production work, doing an insane amount of editing and managing the recordings as well as being a golden ear to lean on after that 23rd take when the guys were starting to fry.

The basic tracks and most of the overdubs and vocals were done for 'the' 12 songs on 44 days of work that included nearly every day from 7/22 through 9/15. Rivers went back to school the next day on 9/16, flying back east, confident that they very nearly had an album finished. There was some overdub work left for Brian, Scott and Pat to work on while Rivers did his semester. It all seemed to be coming together nicely... But it wasnt over yet, not by a long shot!

9/25 "Album #5, So far" Rough mixes of work to date:
1. Average Person
2. Last Chance
3. Beverly Hills
4. This Is Such A Pity
5. Freak Me Out
6. I'm A Robot
7. They Are Stupid
8. Save Me
9. Losing My Mind
10. You're The One
11. Outta Here
12. Love Is The Answer

notes: "Last Chance" is unusual in that Patrick, Scott, Brian, and Karl did a raucous group backing vocal session, intentionally replete with whoops, clapping, goofing around and rambunctious hi-jinks rarely heard in weezer pro studio recordings. "They Are Stupid" morphed into quite a disco jam by this point, complete with keyboard effects, walking basslines, etc. Small portions of "You're The One" (the fast tempo song that Brian is overdubbing guitar on) and "Love Is The Answer" (the mid tempo song where most of the band is visible in a larger room) appeared on Make Believe's bonus cd-rom section, as that video piece was prepared in late winter 2005, to make production deadline, and those 2 songs were still considered to be on the album at that point. Shortly therafter came significant changes in the album's tracklisting, but the video piece had already gone to the plant to be encoded for production, and the issue was lost in the frantic last minute shuffle of getting the album mixed mastered and sent to the plant on time to make a 5/10 album release. (see below for more)

As it turned out, Pat, Scott, and Brian had more in mind than completing the overdubs. They continued to work from 9/16 untill 10/22, until 60 days had been spent inside Grandmaster. In that time, they did their finish up work, then moved on work on some other songs as well, beyond 'the 12'.

There was a growing concern and gut feeling amongst the 3 that they were abandoning songs that were potentially better than some of the stuff thay had just put the finishing touches on, and they wanted to take the opportunity to explore some of that 'abandoned' material, to give it a fair shake. Unfortunately they had to start from scratch, in some cases playing along to Rivers' demos from earlier in '04 to get the basic tracks down and at least have an old Rivers vocal track to work with, then going from scratch to establish a fresh quality band recording underneath Rivers' demo parts. Their thinking was, if it turns out good, hopefully Rivers will dig it and agree to re-do his guitar and vocal parts on these resurrected songs, thus giving them a chance to possibly add songs to the album and/or even knock some of 'the 12' out of the ring. The guys had a lot of faith in some of the 'abandoned' songs and frankly were not feeling particularly good about several of the nearly-completed '12', even as polished as they now were. As Rivers was off to school, they took a chance and acted on the original July agreement, under the premise that they three had 'given it their all' as promised, but things werent all turning out right as Rivers had originally predicted, and it was therefore time to 'make necessary adjustments'. The only thing was that Rivers wasnt around to discuss this issue with, so they simply recorded the other songs, at least to see if they were as good as they remembered them. The remaining issues would be tackled if and when the time came. They felt they had nothing to lose by trying some extra stuff.

10/05 "Album #5, So far, plus more" Rough mixes of work to date
(the first 12 songs are more refined/finished versions of the 9/25 "12", with one running order change. The remaining tracks were what was brought back by Pat Brian and Scott to see what sounded good.)
1. Average Person
2. Last Chance
3. Beverly Hills
4. Freak Me Out
5. This Is Such A Pity
6. I'm A Robot
7. They Are Stupid
8. Save Me
9. Losing My Mind
10. You're The One
11. Outta Here
12. Love Is The Answer
13. The Damage In Your Heart
14. We Are All On Drugs ("regular" version; no vocals at this point, from Cello 12/03)
15. We Are All On Drugs (new "rock" version)
16. Where To Start
17. Peace (December '03 Cello version)
..but it still wasnt over yet!


"MAKE BELIEVE" SESSIONS - PART 3 - 2/05 - Rick Rubin's home studio; others? - Los Angeles, CA

Fast forward past the holidays, into early '05. Rivers completed his semester in late January and the band soon was back together, listening to everything and discussing the album's status with Rick Rubin. They had the original Cello recordings from 12/03, the completed '12 songs' from summer/fall '04, and the additional recordings made sans Rivers (so far) in later fall '04. There was a LOT to go over, as after a break from hearing the stuff every day, there was suddenly whole new prespectives on everything, including with Rivers.

2/05 "Album #5: V2" Rough mixes of work to date:
1. Average Person (10/04 Grandmaster)
2. Perfect Situation (12/03 Cello)
3. Beverly Hills (10/04 Grandmaster)
4. Freak Me Out (10/04 Grandmaster)
5. This Is Such A Pity (10/04 Grandmaster)
6. We Are All On Drugs (10/04 Grandmaster; no vocals)
7. The Damage In Your Heart (10/04 Grandmaster)
8. Peace (12/03 Cello)
9. Losing My Mind (10/04 Grandmaster)
10. You're The One (10/04 Grandmaster)
11. Hold Me (12/03 Cello)
12. Love Is The Answer (10/04 Grandmaster)
-----'maybe'-----
13. Haunt You Every Day (12/03 Cello)
-----'unlikely'-----
14. Unbreak My Heart (12/03 Cello)
15. Last Chance(10/04 Grandmaster)
16. I'm A Robot(10/04 Grandmaster)
17. They Are Stupid(10/04 Grandmaster)
18. Save Me(10/04 Grandmaster)
19. Outta Here(10/04 Grandmaster)
20. Where To Start(10/04 Grandmaster)

Clearly, things were shifting rapidly. After practically forgetting about the recordings from Cello in 12/03, a group listening session with Rick revealed that they loved some of those recordings after all, and in fact m slew of the fall '04 work was tossed in favor of the earier work. Of course, most of the old recordings had never had their proper overdub and final vocal work done on them, so the band got busy in Rick's home studio (and possibly another LA location) in February, hammering out what was needed to be finished.

Geffen Records was talking a spring release, so the final masters would have to be handed in by early March at the latest - not much time! (Not to mention the artwork, title, etc, all of which was under way by this point too). With less than a month to go, new recording sessions happened at a blistering pace, and the tracklist was STILL not finalized yet. Even at that late point, more changes were being made, such as the re-introduction of "The Other Way" In addition to other tracklist changes.

Final major changes included the removal of "Average Person", "Losing My Mind", "You're The One" and "Love Is The Answer", and the addition of "The Other Way", "Pardon Me", "My Best Friend", (all kind of outta left field, last seen in Rivers' "Non A-List Contenders" list of 7/3/04), and "Haunt You Every Day", which had always been a strong 'maybe' to that point. All 4 of the new additions were 12/03 Cello recordings (like "Peace" and "Drugs") that were finally finished up at this late hour.

2/05 "Album #5: V3 (final)" (all with final touches and overdubs added 10/04 and 2/05, mixed 3/05; into 4/05 in some cases)
1. Beverly Hills (10/04 Grandmaster)
2. Perfect Situation (12/03 Cello)
3. This Is Such A Pity (10/04 Grandmaster)
4. Hold Me (12/03 Cello)
5. Peace (12/03 Cello)
6. We Are All On Drugs (10/04 Grandmaster)
7. The Damage In Your Heart (10/04 Grandmaster)
8. Pardon Me (12/03 Cello)
9. My Best Friend (12/03 Cello)
10. The Other Way (12/03 Cello)
11. Freak Me Out (10/04 Grandmaster)
12. Haunt You Every Day (12/03 Cello)

-----'the fallen soldiers' (completed (no final mix), unused)-----
1. Average Person (10/04 Grandmaster)
2. Losing My Mind (10/04 Grandmaster)
3. You're The One (10/04 Grandmaster)
4. Love Is The Answer (10/04 Grandmaster)
5. Unbreak My Heart (12/03 Cello) (considered for a soundtrack, but never used)
6. Last Chance(10/04 Grandmaster)
7. I'm A Robot(10/04 Grandmaster)
8. They Are Stupid(10/04 Grandmaster)
9. Save Me(10/04 Grandmaster)
10. Outta Here(10/04 Grandmaster)
11. Where To Start(10/04 Grandmaster)

-----unfinished/abandoned, 12/03 Cello-----
1. Show Me Who You Are
2. Blowin' My Stack
3. I Don't Want Your Lovin'
4. Turn Me 'Round
5a. Private Message (alt. chorus)
5b. Private Message (alt. verse)
6a. My Life Is My Life (acoustic) take 10
6b. My Life Is My Life (acoustic) take 11
7. Happy On Your Own
8. The Formula

"Make Believe" was finally 'put to bed' on 4/6/05, at a final mastering session by Vlado Meller at Sony Music Studios in NYC. Its unusual for an album to be mastered barely a month from release, but when youve got Rick Rubin on your side, exceptions can and do happen!

"Make Believe" was released 5/10/05, 11 years to the day after "The Blue Album".

Weezer discusses "Make Believe" (already seen on weezer.com here, but also included here as there are several references to the recording process throughout it.)

BEVERLY HILLS
Rivers: I was at the opening of the new Hollywood Bowl and I flipped through the program and I saw a picture of Wilson Phillips. And for some reason I just thought how nice it would be to marry, like, an “established” celebrity and live in Beverly Hills and be part of that world. And it was a totally sincere desire. And then I wrote that song, Beverly Hills. For some reason, by the time it came out—and the video came out—it got twisted around into something that seemed sarcastic. But originally it wasn’t meant to be sarcastic at all.
Pat: I think that’s - that happens a lot with Weezer songs. People think we’re being funny, and then somehow it changes into something [else]. And I’d also like to say that Rick said, ‘why don’t you have a boom-boom-chop song?’ And that’s how it turned into that.
Scott: For me, two things I want to say about it. One is that I kept trying to think that it was supposed to be like a swing beat, with kind of a lot of upbeats, and a lot of jingly kind of thing, but as much as I kept trying to make that happen, it just never worked and it wound up being totally, totally straighter than straight, which I think wound up being the best thing for the song, all said and done. And then the next thing was, is that, when I heard all of the different mixes—cuz we had like four different people mix it—it just, it sounded good and I kind of dug one version of it, but when I heard the mix that Rich Costey did, somehow he put the kind of magic on that song that I was kind of expecting to get out of it.
Brian: When I first heard the song, it was a Rivers demo of it, and I think I called him and said, ‘Congratulations, you wrote a hit song.’ It had a hit immediately, regardless of—even more from its original version than from something else. To me, it was like - whatever “hit song” means - that’s what it evoked [for] me. I thought it would be a great - there was a reality haircutting show called “blow out” or “blow up” or something like that, about this salon in Beverly Hills, and I was trying to sell Rivers on letting that be that show’s theme song. But luckily we never did that.

PERFECT SITUATION
Pat: It sounds like it could have been on the Green Album. I think of it as, like, classic Weezer.
Scott: To me it’s just an epic drama, and I felt really strong about it being on the album. The lyrics of the first verse always just really killed me, so I really pushed hard for that song to make the record.
Brian: Yeah, I like it lyrically a lot: “Here’s the pitch, slow and straight”, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, and yeah, like Pat said, it’s classic Weezer Green Album style, a lot of downstrokes, the big intro, it could have gone on that album. But I think it’s more than that now—it’s uh, you know, Green Plus!
Rivers: I sincerely hope that it’s the last song I write about being frustrated and angry with myself for being shy…because I’ve written way too many of those songs already.

THIS IS SUCH A PITY
Scott: That song was tough, and it was the first song we tried to track at Grandmaster, I think, it was like the first night, and we probably retracked the basic drums for that, like four or five different times and it was almost going to get thrown out. But somehow, at the last minute, it came together, and it sounds absolutely magical to me. And that’s one of my favorite songs on the album.
Pat: Yeah, it sounds awesome. Wicked melody.
Rivers: Yeah, that might be my favorite song on the record. I really like the solo Brian came up with too.
Brian: Ironically [laughs], I don’t play any of the guitars on it—but most all the guitars on it in the studio—and I don’t play of them live, which I think it kind of funny. It’s really fun to watch Bobby and Rivers play that song every night. It feels like—
Rivers: You’re the composer and we’re the performers
Brian: Yeah, yeah! It’s neat, it’s really cool. I love the notes that Rivers added to the solo. I feel that that song could be—that Weezer might—things that Weezer can do and go in the future, as far as texture, and the use of clean guitars. I don’t think there’s any distorted guitars on that song.
Rivers: All the keyboard sounds are from a $75 Casio.
Brian: We even tried using expensive Moogs and things, to try to, like, “this can’t be good enough, a $75 Casio?” and the tones just didn’t blend. And we ended up using the Casio.
Scott: It’s got a really cool, super consistent, like, kind of level from start to finish, which I think is really neat.

HOLD ME
Pat: It’s just beautiful; it’s huge-sounding
Rivers: I think I was trying a foolish experiment of fasting and seeing how that would affect my songwriting. So, I think I was extremely hungry when I wrote that song.
Brian: I can’t say anything better than that! But it’s a powerful song dynamically. It’s really ballsy to play that song, to have Rivers do an intro that long before the band kicks in is a little bit frightening. And it seems to work; it has a very grandiose impact.
Rivers: When the back-up vocals come in in the second verse, that’s one of my favorite moments ever on a Weezer record.
Scott: It’s just an example, for me, of playing as little as possible and it sounds so much bigger by playing the tiniest amount of bass. As light and small as I could, winds up being just twice as big.
Brian: For some reason I liken it to ‘Say It Ain’t So’….and I don’t know why. I think it’s just the mellow verse into the huge chorus. It’s a great change.

PEACE
Scott: I still don’t know how the acoustic guitar really goes. [laughter] I just always think of Rick Rubin in the studio, just moving his head back and forth, rockin’ in the control room. You know, that’s the picture I have about this song. And it felt like it was important for this song to be on the album, as well.
Brian: It’s a great sentiment. It doesn’t come across as being, like…you know, too hippie-ish, which is good, but musically it’s such a simple chord progression that a child could play it and that’s always a good sign, first off, when we don’t have to think about it too much when we play it. I think it’s just a great message. I think we need a song like that these days.
Rivers: Yeah, it’s actually not coming from a “hippie” place at all. So people shouldn’t be worried that now I’m Mr. Peace, or whatever. [laughs] If you listen to the lyrics, I’m actually - I was actually in a place of war, not peace, just total inner struggle and decadence. I was just exasperated and longing for some kind of escape from that sort of lifestyle. So the song is actually not coming from a place of peace at all.

WE ARE ALL ON DRUGS
Rivers: I was living in an apartment above the Sunset Strip, and every Friday and Saturday night I’d hear people cruising and partying, and hooting and hollering. And I went to sleep one night and I heard those sounds all through the night, in my dreams. I had this dream about a kid on the Metro bus, blasting hip hop into his brain through his headphones. And the music sounded so decadent and overstimulating, and I woke up in the midst of that dream, in a haze, and immediately said to myself, “Man, we’re all on drugs!” And I instantly knew that would be a cool song.
Brian: I remember the first time Rivers played it for me, and just felt this, like, ‘can we do this?’ You know, I mean, this is a hit song, without a doubt. Just singing that chorus the first time, when we played these songs acoustically in the office, it was just a riot because it was just so much—it was like I felt like we were doing something illegal by saying that. And there were thoughts like, how are parents going to like this? Or you know, are we going to be banned from kids, you know, listening, whatever, their album collections? I think it’s a great song because it’s not saying anything positive or negative about drugs. It’s one of those ambivalent songs. I’m just glad that my guitar intro got used. [laughs]
Pat: Yeah, I had to fight for that, man! You guys had this other thing going on, where you wanted it to be all mellow, when it was so obvious to me that it should be the big rock track. I love that intro.
Rivers [to Brian]: Yeah, I loved your intro from the first time you brought it in. On this album you’ve come up with so many great intros and musical interludes.
Brian: Well, that’s what great about our music, too, is there’s different ways to interpret it., and I think all of them should be explored, because I actually liked—Rivers had a different version of it that worked equally as well. I think everything should be explored, or else we’re cheating ourselves.
Rivers: And also, it’s interesting that we’ve found that sometimes one of the other guys will start singing a line that I came up with, and it sounds a million times better. Like on this song, when Scott sings “never get enough” in the chorus, it’s just, it’s so right, it’s obvious that he has to sing that.
Scott: Right on! It’s funny, and I remember you talking about - when you were living in that apartment—it’s like, ‘I always hear these people going, ‘WHOOO! WHOO! All night long, a whole car full of girls are like, ‘WHOO!’’ and that’s exactly what we sing in that song. [laughter] It’s really cool. After the first chorus at these shows, even though nobody knows the song yet, people are so into it. Out of all the new songs, that song seems to hit people the fastest, to me.
Pat: Yeah, Kevin and Bean talk about that song all the time, I guess. They’re like, ‘that’s the best title ever!’

THE DAMAGE IN YOUR HEART
Brian: “The Damage in Your Heart” was actually a song that me, Scott, and Pat kind of fought for, or wanted, from Rivers’ demo. When he went back to school, we kind of finished the album, had our twelve songs, and that was one of the ones that we thought we should look at again. For some reason, the three of us were drawn to it…
Pat: I think it was Rivers’ 13th favorite, right?
Rivers: Something like that
Brian: And he was really open to the idea of trying anything we wanted to try on this album, so, you know, we tried lots of songs that didn’t make it. But the fact that we persisted on that—just took his demo and kind of redid it while he was gone, and then he finished it up—was kind of an interesting process. I don’t know if the song, for me, turned out as well as I wanted it to, but it certainly is a nice song.
Rivers: Yeah, I have to say I’m really grateful to these guys for believing in this song and pushing for it to be on the album. And in so many other ways, just like this, they helped me stay on course while we were making the album, and keep me from going too far in one direction or the other, either with my songwriting, or my singing, or my guitar-playing. This album wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the other three guys in this band really keeping me on course, and supporting me, pushing me, encouraging me. So it was a real band effort.
Scott: Cool
Pat: That’s huge

PARDON ME Scott: It’s funny, in the studio it seemed like a lot of chord changes and when we play it live, it really takes on its own, kind of, life form which never ceases to amaze me. To me, it almost seems complicated, but then again it’s so simple and so clear and people really seem to get off on it.
Brian: I think this was a song that I fought for at Rick Rubin’s house. [laughs] ‘Wait, we forgot about this song!’ I remember running out to my car, and grabbed—we must have, 75 to 100 - not even exaggerating - CD’s of demos and B-sides—or what we consider might be B-sides, A-Lists that turn into B-Lists, B-Lists that turn into A-Lists…it gets really confusing and it’s easy to forget about things. But I made everyone listen to it, and I think 3/4ths of the way into the song it comes back around to that one moment..and everything sounds so good at Rick Rubin’s house, because he has this uber-sound-system, and it just was, like, apparent that we had to do it. And I thought it was just an unbelievably sincere message that Rivers was conveying and that - I don’t know if he knew the weight of what he was saying. It was really great.
Pat: Yeah, I love the way when I listen to that song I hear someone really being very..it just sounds like, okay, this guy has something he wants to say, I love that. It sounds very truthful.
Brian: Also, it’s a personal lyric but it’s extremely universal because, you know, it’s hard to say “I’m sorry” in any sense, it’s hard to admit fault, and I just think it’s a song for all guys that don’t know how to express themselves, so that they can at least sing that lyric to whoever they harm—their girlfriend, or whatever.
[laughter]
Pat: Yeah, like George Bush could go to North Korea and say, “I’m really sorry”

MY BEST FRIEND
Scott: That’s a wild…that’s one song that’s, like, kind of, like a wild card on the record, I gotta say. Cuz…that was…yeah, that’s a wild track. And we left it -
Pat: No one thought about that song for the longest time, the next thing I know, ‘we’re doing that song!’
Scott: Yeah, and when we kind of went back and tightened everything up, it was one of the songs that I think I left all of the bass from when we tracked it. That’s just nuts.
Pat: It’s on fire. That song sounds like it’s on fire to me.
Rivers: I’m trying to think of something interesting…
Pat: That it didn’t go with Shrek?
Rivers: It’s such a complicated story, I don’t know if it’s that interesting.
Scott: I’m glad that it didn’t, I can say that much.
Rivers: Yeah, that song has some weird karma with Shrek. I remember I originally wrote it about some guy I met, and then Shrek asked us if we had a song, and then I thought, ‘oh yeah, I remember that song, let me think about showing it to them’, and they actually thought it sounded too much like it was written for Shrek. ‘Cuz this guy was kind of ogre-ish, and he made me laugh…
Brian: And you changed the lyrics for them, right?
Rivers: So I had to change the lyrics so it sounded less Shrek-like
Pat: Shrek-y?
Rivers: Shrek-ish!
Pat: Shrek-ish? Puck-ish?
Scott: It will live on longer than Shrek 2 will.
Rivers: I don’t know if it’s that interesting.
Brian: But it was also…I think at the moment when the Shrek people wanted it, it wasn’t complete either. And that would have been the version that would have been the first Weezer song people heard in 3 years, and it wasn’t actually finished to the best it could have been, so it’s a blessing that we got to work on it a little longer.
Rivers: Yeah, I feel the same way. It got so much better. I resang it, put the organ on it, it sounds way better. We put the drum sounds on it…

THE OTHER WAY
Pat: That song sounds like every note is placed exactly where it’s supposed to go, like…it’s one of those songs where nothing sounds out of place, it just sounds great to me.
Rivers: I wrote that song for Jennifer Chiba after Elliot died, and I wanted to console her, but I was confused and skeptical about my own motives for wanting to do so, so I wrote that song about that.

FREAK ME OUT
[laughter]
Brian: I’m already on the record saying it’s about a spider, that’s all I know about it. But it’s some of the coolest guitar stuff ever, and I can say that because Rivers came up with it, so I don’t sound conceited. But I think that Rivers didn’t want the harmonics on it—[to Rivers] right, at one point?
Rivers: Uhhhh…probably. [laughs]
Brian: But there’s three guitars playing those harmonics. There were notes that I didn’t know even made harmonics. It took me a long time to figure out what was going on, and how to play it. It was a song, for me, that I discovered things about the guitar I didn’t know about. And that’s always amazing when you’ve been playing an instrument for 20 years, and you find a new sound it makes - it’s cool, you know?
Scott: It reminds me of the apartment that Rivers had above the Sunset Strip, with like, a yoga mat, a spoon, a bowl, a bar of soap, and a towel—that’s about all that was in there.
Rivers: I didn’t have a bowl! [laughter] I didn’t!
Scott: …and just sitting in there…and it was just, I don’t know…
Brian: It’s probably the most un-Weezer-like track that’s ever been on an album, whatever that means, and I think, you know, that that could be good.
Rivers: I think, it didn’t work until Pat put the drum-beat on there. Cuz when I originally wrote it, and recorded the demo, it was some weird, New Age drum beat that I found in the Casio.
Scott: Oh yeah, it was total, like, “In the Air”…
Rivers: “This song’s kinda cool, but…”
Scott: It was like a Phil Collins beat!
Rivers: And then as soon as Pat put his beat on it, it sounded like Weezer.
Scott: Yeah, Pat’s beat is correct on that song.
Brian: It was a good…it was fun song to track live as a band too. I felt like something special happened while tracking it.

HAUNT YOU EVERY DAY
Rivers: Rick said, write a song like Billy Joel or Elton John, so…
Brian: But no pressure!
[laughter]
Rivers: So, I didn’t really accomplish that at all, but I did write a song on the piano. So that’s about as close as I could come.
Brian: I think it’s a beautiful chord progression. It’s deceptively simple too. It sounds a little more complex than it is, and it’s great fun to play live - I wish we would’ve tracked it more, and played it - approached it more how we do now. But I think it came across pretty well. But I think - any regrets, I wish we could re-record that song how we do it right now.
Scott: It’s another one of those songs where the less bass notes I play on it, the better it works. I remember switching back and forth from trying to do it on piano, or Rivers playing it on guitar, and then going back and back and back, and it turned out to be just right.
Rivers: It’s the first song I wrote entirely on piano.

4/05 The Special Goodness Recording Session, The Steakhouse, L.A.

While waiting for "Make Believe" to be mixed and released, Pat took advantage of the time at hand and went into The Steakhouse Studio in the Valley and recorded a full TSG album, with Scott Shriner playing bass and Atom Willard on drums. Joe Baressi engineered.

Overdubs were done at a small private studio out in Sun Valley, and the album was mixed and mastered at yet another small valley studio. All this was also overseen by Joe B.

(tracklisting unavailable)

Pat later made an executive desicion to scrap this album despite it being excellently recorded and super rocking, mostly over concerns of commercial viability.

4/11/05 "Bake Melieve" mash-up

To promote the coming album, Chad Bamford was asked to make a special mix using bits of all the completed Make Believe tracks. This was later heard, as well as clips from several album tracks, on the flash player "Beverly Hills Treasure Map" promo thingy. Chad did this mix in his home studio in Glendale.



(more to come...under construction...)


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