Karl Koch is the archivist
and band photographer
for the four-piece, American rock band Weezer
as well as being the webmaster
for their website. He has been an integral part of the band's mass success and is responsible for the hundreds of rare and unreleased Weezer songs that can be found on the world wide web
Early History With Weezer
Koch's history with the band begins as early as 1991. After graduating from college he was introduced to Weezer members-to-be Patrick Wilson and Jason Cropper. Wilson and Cropper met through Wilson's mutual friend Pat Finn. He soon became close friends with Wilson and they all began living together in Los Angeles, California. By the time Weezer formed in 1992 he was already close friends with the entire band. He also came up with the Van Halen-esque =w= symbol, now infamous among the band's fans.
Koch’s Role in the Band
Koch has archived the band's progress since their formation. Video-taping shows, updating the band's website and holding on to the master tapes of every in-studio session the band did. In the years 2000 through 2002, he gained attention from internet savvy music fans for the great amount of rare and unreleased music he would post up on the audio/visual page at weezer.com (formerly weezer.net) website. In those two years, he posted hundreds of songs in MP3 format. Ranging from rare and unreleased material demoed for The Blue Album, the lost Songs From the Black Hole project, the band's summer 2000 demos for their third album, reworked live versions of songs from The Green Album and near daily updates that chronicled the band's progression in the studio making their fourth album, Maladroit and well as early demos for their 5th album. The turnover rate in which songs went from being recorded to being uploaded on the website during the Maladroit sessions was unprecedented, as no major label recording act had ever used the internet in such a way as Koch and Weezer were. When the band began demoing their fifth album in spring 2002, Koch was posting MP3s of those sessions as well, posting various versions of twenty eight songs that were demoed for the album that would years late become Make Believe.
Koch has also directed three music videos for the band. Although only one of the videos (for "Photograph") actually received any actual airplay on music television.
Video Capture Device
Koch directed, compiled, edited, co-produced, shot photographs for and wrote the liner-notes for Video Capture Device, a DVD chronicling the band's journey from 1991 through 2002. The DVD not only compiled all the band's music videos (including all three Koch helmed pieces) but through home video captured by Koch, captured the band in the studio, live on stage and in downtimes between the two. The DVD topped Billboard's Top Music Video chart upon its release and as of October 2005, has sold 78,968 copies, making it a Gold certified DVD.
Koch has enjoyed a very modest music career of his own. Having recorded solo albums under the monikers Southern Fried Swing and Karlophone. Recording under Southern Fried Swing he released an album called Free Flight Thru the Universe of Sound. Under Karlophone he’s released a 7 inch EP Desire and the full-length Press Any Key To Begin .
Geffen Records "Gag Order"
After Maladroit underperformed commercially, it is widely accepted that Geffen Records told Koch to tone down his “Karl’s Corner” updates. This resulted in watered down coverage of the band’s 5th album sessions, much less postings on the audio/visual page (none what-so-ever after Christmas 2004), fewer photographs of the band in action (where as he previously post over a dozen with every update) and fewer details of the band’s escapades on the road. An early 2005 rehaul of the website forced Koch to take down the “Super Crono,” which was an incredibly in-depth history of the band from their very earliest days, as well as leaving sections of the site that were frequently updated to gather cobwebs. Koch continues to reply to e-mail from fans and be very vocal with the band’s rabid fanbase and has expressed some displeasure in Geffen’s gag order of the weezer.com site.