Biggie and Tupac, Jay-Z and Nas, Axl and Kurt, Oasis and the bulk of humanity… some musical beefs are sublime, and some are ridiculous. The latest, between Weezer and Saves the Day, is a little bit of both.
When reports surfaced that Weezer wrangled Jim Henson’s Muppets for their new video, “Keep Fishin’,” last month, the “emo and puppets” premise gave their former opening band a case of dÃ©jÃ vu. Nearly two months ago, Saves the Day – who opened for Weezer in February – wrapped a video for their second single, “Freakish,” featuring (surprise, surprise) a supporting cast of furry, Muppetesque puppets. And so the Emo Puppet Wars began.
“We were just kind of surprised and thought, ‘How’d that happen?’ ” Saves the Day bassist Eben D’Amico recalled. “Our immediate reaction was, ‘Oh no, that kind of sucks.’ I hope people don’t ignore our video now, because we were really excited about it. But I think they’re probably both good and unique videos that have their own things going for them, Muppets or no Muppets.”
While the similarities between the two clips are curious, Weezer said they had no creative input in the “Keep Fishin’ ” video treatment, which exonerates them of any mischief.
“Of every video we’ve ever made, this is the one we’ve had the least to do with,” Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo said. “I think everyone’s been disappointed in our videos, our past – I don’t know, however many videos. I finally reached a point where I was like, ‘Well, screw it, I don’t want to have anything to do with this, then.’ We wanted to hand the responsibility over to someone else and see if they could do something cool. I guess I’m not the right person to ask [about this], ’cause I didn’t have anything to do with the video. I just showed up and pretended I was singing.”
The entire imbroglio can be chalked up to circumstance, thankfully, because things could have gotten violent. Jim Henson Company President Charles Rivkind said that “Keep Fishin’ ” director Marcos Siega approached the studio about the concept of using the Muppets in a music video long before the Saves the Day clip was shot or the Weezer-Muppets connection was conceived. The Henson Company floated Siega’s idea until they found a band that fit the Muppets’ sensibilities, which turned out to be Weezer.
“Right away we knew this was a project and a band that definitely matched the Muppets’ irreverent spirit and sense of humor,” Rivkind said of the Weezer clip.
“I don’t feel slighted,” Saves the Day’s D’Amico said. “As long as people can see our video for what it is and their video for what it is, I think there’s enough puppets to go around for everybody.”
Viewers will soon be able to see both videos on MTV2. Saves the Day’s “Freakish” is already in rotation, while Weezer’s video for “Keep Fishin’ ” debuts on July 8. MTV2 will also air a half-hour special that goes behind the scenes of the “Keep Fishin’ ” shoot on July 14 at 10:30 p.m.