The Story Behind Weezer’s New Ode to Audible

The bottom half of the image shows a person's face -- their nose and ears and their eyes covered with sunglasses. The glasses reflect an illustration, full of pipes like a steam room. The top of the person's head is gone, and where their brain would be there are instruments--a keyboard, the top of the horn of a tuba--and also more pipes and what looks like a green octopus tendril.

A few years ago, Rivers Cuomo, frontman of the band Weezer, woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep, so he listened to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath on Audible. “It was a pretty magical experience,” says Cuomo. “There’s something about that state of the brain, that time of night—I’m able to drift into this more imaginative state and really enter the world of the writer’s imagination.”

The next day, Cuomo felt so inspired that he wrote a song about the experience. In “Grapes of Wrath,” a track off Weezer’s latest album, OK Human, Cuomo croons on the chorus, “I’m gonna rock my Audible,” singing about drifting off into his imagination, and how much he prefers listening to classics like Moby Dick and Mrs. Dalloway over “bingeing zombie hordes.”

In an interview with Audible Editor Kat Johnson, Cuomo explains, “When I wrote the song, I really wanted to explore the feeling of pure escapism that listening to Audible gave me. As an avid reader, Audible allowed me to truly immerse myself in books in a way I hadn’t experienced before.”

As the song was being released in late 2020, our mutual love of listening brought us together with Weezer to amplify and support the new anthem. So far this collaboration has yielded a dedicated editor’s page with listening recommendations from Cuomo (which include more classic novels like Love in the Time of Cholera, as well as nonfiction, such as Into the Wild); also, Weezer fans can now find the band’s first-ever audio liner notes available for free on Audible.

Most recently, the official video for "Grapes of Wrath,” was released. In it, the band members are shown performing household chores, gardening, yoga, and cooking—all activities Audible fans love to do while listening—with literary references peppered throughout like Easter eggs; someone is seen installing a surveillance camera in a uniform emblazoned with “Big Brother” that hints at 1984, and Cuomo eyes a ship in a bottle as he sings about Ahab’s obsession with the whale. “We’re so thrilled with how it came out and hope music and audiobook lovers like it as much as we do,” says Cuomo.

Rivers Cuomo of the band Weezer stands on a surfboard heading to shore with the ocean behind him. He's wearing board shorts and has his arms raised, biceps bulging, in a strongman's pose. Above him, as if written with clouds, are the words Grapes of Wrath.


Audible Announces Spring 2021 ‘Words + Music’ Roster

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