Local musician Evan Marsalli of Diet Lite woke up Sunday morning to a pretty big surprise – Rivers Cuomo of Weezer duetting his video on TikTok. Marsalli has spent the last 990 days trying to catch the eye of Cuomo, something he believed he could achieve when he started his experiment on Thursday, June 11, 2020.
@rivers_cuomo #duet with @dietlite_evan ♬ original sound – Evan
“This was a 100% genuine attempt to reach Weezer,” says Marsalli. “I knew it could be done, even though it was a pretty big reach, it was still attainable.”
Each and every day Marsalli’s phone alarm would go off, reminding him to make a video. The videos, often lasting fewer than 10 seconds, featured Marsalli playing a three second lick from Weezer’s “Buddy Holly.” After an impressive nearly 1,000-day streak, Marsalli has not only grown his TikTok following, he’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime.
Cuomo himself has invited Marsalli to join him on stage at Breese Stevens Field in Madison on June 14 while on their Indie Rock Road Trip Tour – a full-circle moment, as it’s only three days after the four-year anniversary of Marsalli’s first video.
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Outside of Weezer’s “Blue Album” being one of Marsalli’s all-time favorites, part of the reason he targeted Weezer as the subject of his three-year long experiment was the band has a strong social media presence, especially on TikTok.
“They are really good about engaging with fans,” he explains. “They’re pretty active on social media and just kind of savvy with that kind of thing. So I knew there would be a good chance of reaching them.”
Not only has TikTok connected Marsalli with a musical icon, the platform has also helped grow the presence of his own TikTok and spread the word about his band, Diet Lite. In fact, he gained over a thousand followers 24 hours after Cuomo duetted his video.
“We booked our first Minneapolis show because of somebody I knew through TikTok,” says Marselli. “Essentially when you’re posting on TikTok you’re entering yourself into a free lottery to get your video out to thousands or millions of people. Does it take time to make videos and develop content? Yes. But at the end of the day, the benefits greatly outweigh the cost, just purely the amount of people, connections and fans you can meet through it.”
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Diet Lite is releasing their upcoming album Into The Pudding on April 14. The album release show will take place the following evening at The Back Room @ Colectivo, with support from local musician Social Cig, and band Kangaroo Court from Chicago.