By Josiah HughesWhile Weezer definitely turned heads with the Lost-referencing album art for their upcoming album Hurley, it's starting to look as if that rotund character is a red herring for the album title's true origin. In a recent interview, Weezer guitarist Brian Bell revealed that the album was actually named as a cross-promotion with the clothing company Hurley, and that he's never even watched Lost.
In a video interview with Emily Zemler at the Mile High Music Festival, Bell admitted that the album got its title when Hurley fronted some money for the record. In the clip, which is viewable below, Bell makes the following statement:
The inspiration 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. So how that's tied in I don't know. I think it's this whole tying in different mediums, and then using Hurley, this character from Lost, which I've never seen in my life, as our mascot almost, for this record, is somewhat postmodernistic [sic] maybe. I hope it doesn't come across as too jokey.
While Bell adds that some members of Weezer are huge Lost fans, there's no question that the album title is a reference to the Hurley clothing company, at least to some degree. It just goes to show that you can sign with an independent label while still holding on to the blatant commercialism of the major label industry.
Hurley, Weezer's Epitaph debut, will be released on September 14.
UPDATE: Bell has now taken to Weezer's online forum to try to explain a thing or two. Here's what he had to say:
Recently I did an interview in Denver where I was asked why we called the album Hurley. I mistakenly said that Hurley funded the album. I later found out that it wasn't true at all. Weezer paid for every penny of this recording. The reason the record is called "Hurley" is because Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is on the cover. We thought about leaving the record untitled for the fourth time, but that causes a lot of problems and he knew people would end up calling the record "Hurley" anyway. We got no money for calling the record "Hurley."
Now, whether you take Bell's update as genuine or nothing more than some backpedalling is entirely up to you. However, a simple fact remains: Weezer are part of the Hurley "Rocks You Back to School" campaign. And by Hurley, we mean the clothing company, not the Lost character. Hmm... just a coincidence?