The band Weezer has been a YouTube (s GOOG) enthusiast for ages — but their past interactions with YouTubers came down to “come be in our video,” as with the 2008 Pork and Beans tribute to viral stars (and its less funny 2009 redux).
However, as part of a massive promotional effort built around their new album Hurley (coincidentally, now available in stores today!) they instead gave YouTubers like Ray William Johnson, Mystery Guitar Man, Tay Zonday, Annoying Orange, Fred and Hot for Words a chance to put the band in their videos.
While the launch of the (at least) 15 videos was originally intended for today at noon, videos actually began rolling out yesterday, beginning with Auto-Tune the News’ collaboration, which mashes up greenscreened footage of the band with the auto-tuning of Congressman Charles Ravel, who addressed the House of Representatives regarding charges of ethical violations on Aug. 10, not knowing how lyrical his speech might end up being.
This seems like somewhat out-of-date subject material for an Auto-Tune the News video, especially since they’ve recently found a very successful niche for themselves in auto-tuning the latest viral footage.
However, these videos were all filmed last August, according to Key of Awesome’s Mark Douglas. In a guest column we published earlier today, Douglas (who also created a Weezer video) described the experience of meeting the band alongside the other participating YouTubers, noting that:
There really does seem to be a strong sense of YouTube community out on the West Coast. Most of the people doing this work very hard, and seem to appreciate the opportunity they’ve been given. It’s pretty hard to become a YouTube diva, because there’s not much time to sit back and think about your success. You’ve always got more videos to make! Ray William Johnson is about as big as you can get right now, but he was setting up his own camera and sound before interviewing Rivers Cuomo. Every time I’ve been in a room full of “Internet celebrities,” the thing that strikes me is that they are all just regular people. That’s one of the things I’ve always liked about Weezer, too: They just seem like normal nice guys who happen to rock. YouTube has always been about artists communicating directly with fans, and Weezer has been doing that since before YouTube was invented.
Weezer’s Hurley is out in stores now. If you have trouble finding it, just look for the big picture of Lost’s Jorge Garcia on the cover.
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