Rivers Cuomo explains how the band came up with ‘Ok Human’
In 2017 Weezer started writing a new album: the band’s frontman, Rivers Cuomo, was thinking about an intimate, non-commercial record. Weezer were putting the finishing touches to the project when they learned they could put on a huge show (the Hella Mega Tour) with fellow rockers Green Day and Fall Out Boy from March to August, 2020. Cuomo realized that a personal album was inappropriate for the event, so he put the project on standby and he started writing Van Weezer, a collection of stadium anthems inspired by favorite bands from his teenage years like Kiss, Metallica and Van Halen.
However the pandemic arrived and the circumstance forced the band to go back to the old project: the result is the album OK Human, that will finally be out on January 29, 2021.
In an interview with The Rolling Stone, Cuomo explained that he started writing in a condition of anxiety caused by pace of technological progress: «It just seems like it’s all really calling into question what it means to be a human» he said.
OK Human is an album about alienation and feeling isolated and the title is an allusion to Radiohead’s 1997 studio album OK Computer, which brought Cuomo to think about the role of musicians in the upcoming future: «Over the years physical performers on physical instruments» he told the Rolling Stone, «has gotten to be a smaller and smaller part of what people actually listen to and care about. It seemed like Radiohead in the mid-‘90s were exploring what they could do with technology.»
OK Human is Weezer’s response to the abuse of technology and a way to reconnect with the music of the past: an album inspired by the 1960s and the 1970s, with very few electronics, a 38-piece orchestra and no electric guitars. The first single taken from the record is called All My Favorite Songs, a “slow and sad” ballad with echoes of the Beatles, which really gives an idea of the spirit behind OK Human.