"Well, they didn't like it. Mike and the guys didn't like it. They, you know, thought it was too advanced music. They wanted to keep making car songs and surf songs. I said, 'Guys, we gotta grow. We've gotta grow musically.'"
The film's other focus is the 1980s, and Wilson's troubled relationship with Dr. Eugene Landy, the psychologist accused of making him a virtual prisoner.
It took nearly two decades for the film to be made. And when Brian's wife, Melinda, first saw it, she said, "I got up and I bolted. I drove around the city for two hours, And it was tough. It was tough to watch."
"What were you doing while you were driving around the city?" Mason asked.
"Just thinking. 'Oh my God, did we do the right thing? It's been 19 years and this is how it's ending.'"
"And how did you make peace with it?"
"It was the truth," she said. "So that's how I made peace with it. When you tell the truth, everything works out."
The film tells the story of how Melinda (played by Elizabeth Banks) first met the troubled musician in 1986.
"I went to a Cadillac dealership to buy a car," recalled Wilson. "And she was working there, and when I saw her I liked her the first time I saw her. And she sold me a car!"
Wilson gave Melinda a card that read, "Frightened, scared, lonely."
"Did you look at that card right away?" Mason asked.
"Oh yeah, I was just like, What is he trying to tell me? I knew I liked him. I knew I liked him a lot. And then when he left the card I was just like, what's going on here?"
Brian was then under the 24-hour care of Dr. Landy (Paul Giamatti in the film), who was controlling every aspect of his life, even co-writing songs, co-producing his records, and screening who could see him.
Mason asked Wilson, "When you think of that period of your life, what do you think of?"
"Unhappiness," he said. "Being tortured. All that stuff."
"Is it something you try not to think of?"
About six months into their relationship, Melinda decided she had to act: "I called the Attorney General and he said there was nothing that could be done unless his family got involved. So a lot of times with Landy I had to be play-acting because I knew he was a bad guy."
"That's got to be an extremely difficult position to be in," said Mason.