Ask and you shall receive. A Weezer fan, who became obsessed with Toto’s “Africa,” a hit from a generation ago, asked her favorite band repeatedly to cover the tune.
Thanks to the power of social media, the members of Weezer received her message.
“This girl tweeted us saying it was about time for us to cover ‘Africa,’” bassist Scott Shriner says. “She was persistent. She’s a bassist, which is always a good thing, and she really pushed it and we decided to give it a shot.”
“Africa” is Weezer’s first hit in years. “We have no complaints,” Shriner says. “It’s a fun song to do but contrary to popular belief, we’re a fun band.”
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Check out the quartet’s classic 1996 release “Pinkerton,” which is loaded with funny and catchy pop-rock such as “Pink Triangle” and “The Good Life.”
“It’s a really good time being in this band,” Shriner says. “And we’re so stable as a band.”
Shriner is the only musician who isn’t an original member, though he became part of Weezer in 2001, joining original members vocalist-guitarist Rivers Cuomo, guitarist Brian Bell and drummer Patrick Wilson. The group, which has recorded such idiosyncratic pop-rock hits as “Buddy Holly,” “Hash Pipe” and Pork and Beans” formed a quarter-century ago.
That’s the year the Pixies broke up. The seminal band, which influenced countless recording artists, reunited a little more than a decade ago and is co-headlining with Weezer July 24 at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek.
“The Pixies had a huge impact on every member of this band,” Shriner says. “When we met those guys it was the first time I ever saw Pat awestruck. How can you not be awestruck? Charles (Pixies frontman Black Francis aka Frank Black aka Charles Thompson) has written some of the most amazing songs ever. When I first heard the Pixies, their music changed my life.”
Expect a new album at some point in the future from Weezer. “We’re always working on new music,” Shriner says. “We’ll release an album sooner than later but for now there’s ‘Africa.’ We also recorded Toto’s ‘Rosanna.’ ’ Those songs are so much fun to play.”
The Toto hits are from the ‘80s, and the Pixies became underground music icons during the Reagan era.
“The ‘80s were an amazing time for music,” Shriner says. “Some people bash the ‘80s but they don’t know what they’re talking about. Music from that period helped shape us and it continues to impact us as we’re about to enter another decade.”
Steve Lukather, a member of Toto, says the “Africa” cover “came out of left field.”
“But we see it as a win-win for both sides,” he said.
Meanwhile, Weezer fans are encouraged to suggest other songs for the band to cover.
“We’re willing to listen to anyone out there who might have some good ideas,” Shriner says. “We’re not going to make every request a reality but who knows what will happen? That’s the power of social media, which wasn’t around when Toto had their hits or when the Pixies formed. We love to stay connected with our fans.”
Weezer, not the venerable Pixies, closes every show. Have some fans left the venue after the Pixies’ set?
“I really haven’t seen people leaving,” Shriner claims. “People have remained to catch us. I’ll admit that I have seen some Pixies fans with long faces but they stayed. For any Pixies fans, who come out to the show. Please stick around and give us a chance. The Pixies play an intense hour of music and we’re on a bit longer but it’s a really great double bill. You get some bang for your buck.”
Who: Weezer and the Pixies
When: 7:30 p.m. July 24
Where: Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, 3801 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh.
Tickets: $20, $34, $44 and $90.50.
Info: 919-831-6400 or walnutcreekamphitheatre.com