PREMIERE: You Blew It! – “Only In Dreams” (Weezer Cover)
by Chad Jewett
So far, we’ve heard a wide spectrum of approaches from You Blew It! on You Blue It!, the band’s EP-length reconstruction of Weezer’s Blue Album. The Orlando emo quintet have remained mostly faithful to certain songs (“My Name Is Jonas”) and have found room to play on others (“Surf Wax America”). With their rendition of “Only In Dreams,” the mammoth, melodramatic closing song from Weezer, You Blew It! offer their most imaginative take yet — which you can stream below.
We talked with You Blew It!’s singer/guitarist Tanner Jones about the song, the EP, and the band’s relationship to Weezer:
Why “Only In Dreams”? What about that song spoke to you or called out to be re-arranged by You Blew It!?
Our goal for the EP was really just to have a good time with songs we loved from the record, but in the planning stages we collectively decided that it would probably be some kind of sacrilege not to start and end the EP the same way Blue starts and ends. The original plan was to have a 4 song 7″ with Suzanne as a digital b-side, but Only In Dreams ran a bit long, so we added those 3 extra inches and tossed Suzanne on, which is why it ended up being the closer.
The song begins with electric piano and harmonies – it almost sounds like a pre-rock-and-roll pop song. Talk a little bit about that choice of arrangement. What made you go with that opening mood?
We originally went into the studio with no ideas for that song. We knew it would be tricky solely because of its length, but it also provided really good motivation to get creative. The Matts helped a ton with what that song eventually became. We sat in the control room and had a really long discussion with them about what we had to include, and what we could change or do without. At some point, that version just came out. I wish I had a better answer, ha.
The song ends fairly faithfully to the original. I’m curious if there were parts of the song that you found yourselves unwilling to change or too fond of to want to replace.
Ending the song like that just seemed like the right thing to do. That whole song preceding the ending just feels like it’s teasing. We took out a chorus and really softened the one we did allow to stay. We felt that the climax of the song should be exactly that. An amps to 10 kind of thing. Matt was also very adamant about leaving the small things that make that song. The little harmonic tag, the way the cymbals mess around with whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes. Things that any self-respecting Weezer fan would notice if they weren’t there.
So far you’ve offered three different approaches to these Weezer classics – “Surf Wax America” seemed to find a middle ground between the sound of You Blew It! and the original, “My Name Is Jonas” was fairly faithful to the original, and now “Only In Dreams” really plays with Weezer’s version. What was your thought process for these different approaches? Was it a goal to offer a spectrum of takes on Weezer?
That was less intentional than I think we’d like to admit. As Weezer fans and dudes that mostly pretend to be artists, we just did what felt right. A lot of it was instinctual. We would play a song verbatim, and then treat it like one of our songs. After a run through, we would brainstorm on what might sound cool, and make changes until we couldn’t justify it anymore. If we couldn’t think of anything, we wouldn’t touch it (read: “My Name is Jonas”).
Has re-working and recording these Weezer songs made you understand your own work in You Blew It! any differently? Have you discovered Weezer lurking in previous songs? Do you feel it affecting your work in progress?
Actually yeah, I think it did help us reflect on our own writing from a new perspective. Naturally, when you get so hands-on with someone else’s work that you admire, you start to notice how it’s different from yours, and naturally that sparks some inspiration to create in different ways. I still see the same amount of Weezer in our old stuff as I did before (which unfortunately, is not a lot), but I think it might have some kind of effect on our creativity in the future. I think we feel a bit braver now. More willing to collaborate in ways that we weren’t before. We’ll see. I’m excited though.
You Blew It! – “Only In Dreams” (Weezer) (via Topshelf Records)