This is the first single from Hurley, the eighth studio album by American alternative rock band Weezer. Frontman Rivers Cuomo explained to Spin Magazine: "It is about that time off in between album cycles, when you're sitting at home, and you're getting bored and frustrated. You're missing the excitement of being on tour, and you're missing the companionship of your bros."
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Cuomo revealed that some of the Jackass crew are singing backup vocals on the track. He said: "I was actually kind of surprised at how timid the Jackass guys were, because they do such terrifying stunts on the show, but it seemed like some of them were kind of afraid to sing in front of other people."
The album's artwork features a grinning photo of actor Jorge Garcia, who plays Hugo "Hurley" Reyes on ABC's hit TV show Lost. It was cropped from a photograph of Garcia posing with Cuomo. The Weezer frontman explained to Spin Magazine: "As usual, we struggled super hard trying to come up with an album title, trying to find some kind of phrase that summed up the whole aesthetic behind the album: Heavy Mental, Smaller Than Life - I was coming up with all kinds of stuff. But ultimately, we just went with some random word that doesn't really have anything to do with anything. I met and took a photo with Jorge Garcia who was Hurley from Lost, he just has this amazing vibe and his expression in that photo seemed so right, so we just call it Hurley."
Garcia told MTV News about the photo that features on the album's artwork. "I went to do the George Lopez show (Lopez Tonight), and I think they were doing two or three shows that night, and Rivers was a guest in the previous show. So they came and knocked on my door and said, 'Hi,' and wanted to get a picture with me, and I thought that was awesome. We chatted briefly, and that was it," he said. "And I didn't hear until a couple months later that they wanted to put me on the cover... I didn't realize it was just going to be that same picture we took together, cropped down to my face. When I look at the picture, I notice that there's something going on with my hair, like it's starting to come loose or something. But I'm happy with it."
Cuomo told MTV News that he has memories of hanging out with Johnny Knoxville and the other Jackass crew many years previously. "Weezer and Jackass, in a way, we go back a long way, since before any of us were successful," recalled the singer. "[In] '91, '92, we were hanging out together in Hollywood, Johnny Knoxville was known as 'PJ' back then, and I remember playing basketball with him a lot back then. He was like this good-looking, aspiring-actor guy, but for some reason, he was super sweet and nice to me, which I thought was interesting. He had nice manners."
"I used to play tennis with Johnny Knoxville," Weezer drummer Pat Wilson added. "He nicknamed me 'the Albatross' because I had the long wingspan. I would always get to the ball. He wasn't very good."
Cuomo told MTV News about the writing process of the song: "I had been married for a few months and had been in school for the semester before that, and basically I had been away from the band and the rock world for a while. I was really missing it, and just sitting there alone in my room missing the fans and missing my band, so 'Memories' is about getting back in there."