Weezer's incalculably influential debut album celebrates its 20th anniversary on Saturday. Even if The Blue Album isn’t of drinking age, Rivers Cuomo's songs of D&D, Kiss posters and girls who laugh for no one else while looking like Mary Tyler Moore have fathered many bands into the world.
Florida's reliably melodic, crunchy and kick-ass rock band Surfer Blood are one of the countless outfits inspired by Weezer's indisputable classic 1994 debut. So on The Blue Album's 20th birthday, we asked frontman John Paul Pitts to give us his thoughts on Weezer's unique place in the '90s alt-rock explosion and how they inspired him to pick up a guitar. Here's what he had to say:
When The Blue Album came out I was in the third or fourth grade and had just started listening to the radio. I heard "Say It Ain't So" and it was stuck in my heads for months. It was some time later that I managed to get a hold of a CD and hear what I'd been missing, every song struck a chord and made me feel a sense of nostalgia I hadn't experienced before. I loved Third Eye Blind and the Smashing Pumpkins at the time, but Weezer was so much more goofy and irreverent and probably a big part of the reason I picked up a guitar in the first place.
It's a rare instance that you find something so immediate that doesn't lose its luster with time. You could argue that elements of the production are dated twenty years later, but I'd say the songs are timeless. I remember revisiting The Blue Album in high school driving around in my car, during my first semester at college when I was feeling lonely and it still sees occasional rotation in the Surfer Blood van today.
To hear what critics said about Weezer Blue when it dropped—many hated it, most were confused—check out our retrospective roundup of 20-year-old reviews of Rivers & Co.'s first record. And for Jimmy Eat World's recollections of hearing Weezer's debut not long after they formed, head here.