Infobox musical artist
Name = Weezer
Img_width = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = group_or_band
Los Angeles, California, United States
Alternative rock Pop punk Power pop Geek rock Emo
Years_active = 1992–present
Label = MCA Music, Inc., Geffen
URL = [http://www.weezer.com www.weezer.com]
Rivers CuomoPatrick Wilson Brian Bell Scott Shriner
Jason Cropper Matt Sharp Mikey Welsh
Weezer (IPAEng|ˈwizɚ) is an American
alternative rockband from Los Angeles, Californiaformed in 1992. Initially, the band consisted of Rivers Cuomo(lead vocals, guitar), Patrick Wilson (drums, backing vocals), Matt Sharp(bass, backing vocals), and Jason Cropper(guitar, backing vocals). Jason Cropperwas later replaced by Brian Bell. Matt Sharpwas subsequently replaced by Mikey Welshwho was later replaced with Scott Shriner. [ [http://www.weezer-online.com/history.html/ weezer - history ] ] They have released six full-length albums, three EPs, and a DVD. Weezer has sold more than six million records in the US to date.cite web|url=http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?resultpage=1&table=SEARCH_RESULTS&action=&title=&artist=Weezer&format=ALBUM&debutLP=&category=&sex=&releaseDate=&requestNo=&type=&level=&label=&company=&certificationDate=&awardDescription=&catalogNo=&aSex=&rec_id=&charField=&gold=&platinum=&multiPlat=&level2=&certDate=&album=&id=&after=&before=&startMonth=1&endMonth=1&startYear=1958&endYear=2008&sort=Artist&perPage=25|title=Gold & Platinum Search Results: Weezer|publisher=RIAA.com|accessdate=2008-08-20]
The band is most known for singles such as "
Undone - The Sweater Song", "Buddy Holly" and " Say It Ain't So" from its eponymous (or self titled) debut album "Weezer"; " El Scorcho", from "Pinkerton"; " Hash Pipe" and " Island in the Sun" from 2001 album "Weezer"; " Beverly Hills", " We Are All on Drugs" and " Perfect Situation" from "Make Believe"; and most recently "Pork and Beans" and " Troublemaker" from the band's third eponymousalbum "Weezer".
Formation and debut album (1992–1995)
Weezer's first gig was opening for Keanu Reeves' band Dogstar. Weezer recorded its debut album with producer
Ric Ocasekat Electric Lady Studiosin New York City. During the recording, Jason Cropperleft the band and was replaced by Brian Bell, then bassist for the band Carnival Art. The band released "Weezer" in May 1994. " Undone—The Sweater Song" was released as the first single. The music videowas directed by Spike Jonze." [http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800019717/bio movies.yahoo.com Spike Jonze Biography] ", "Yahoo! Movies". Retrieved on September 5, 2006] Filmed in an unbroken take, it featured Weezer performing on a sound stage with various amusing studio antics, including a pack of dogs swarming the set. [ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 120] The video became an instant hit on MTV. [ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 121]
Jonze also directed the band's second video "Buddy Holly". The video featured footage from the television sitcom "
Happy Days" spliced with the band performing in a remade "Arnold's Diner", a familiar setting from the series."Pixelbox: Television "Buddy Holly" Music Video Description" at [http://wanadoo.typepad.com/pixelbox/television/index.html wanadoo.typepad.com] ;retrieved on September 5, 2006] The video achieved heavy rotation on MTV[ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 132] and went on to win Jonze and the band four MTV Video Music Awards, including Breakthrough Video and Best Alternative MusicVideo, and two BillboardMusic Video Awards."LA Times Past Winners Database-VMA's 1995 " at [http://theenvelope.latimes.com/extras/lostmind/year/1995/1995mtvv.htm Theenvelope.latimes.com] ;retrieved on September 5, 2006] The clip is also featured on the installation CD for the Microsoft Windows 95computer operating system. A third single, " Say It Ain't So", followed. "Weezer" is currently certified triple platinum in the United States, making it Weezer's all-time best seller.
In late December 1995, Weezer took a break from touring for the Christmas holidays. Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 137] Cuomo traveled back east to his home state of Connecticut, and using an eight-track recorder, he began piecing together demo material for Weezer's next album. Cuomo's original concept for Weezer's second album was to be a space-themed
rock opera, " Songs from the Black Hole". [http://www.weezer.com/info/recording/WeezRecHist7.htm Weezer Record History page 7] Weezer.com; retrieved on September 6, 2006] The album was intended to feature songs that flowed together seamlessly and end with a special codathat briefly revisited the major musical elements of the piece. The band began demoing and working on Cuomo's concept through intermittent recording sessions in the spring and summer of 1995. Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 139] Ultimately, the "Songs from the Black Hole" album concept was dropped. The album would instead feature songs composed before the band's first album (which had briefly been incorporated into the space opera) as well as some new ones written while Cuomo was at Harvard. [http://www.weezer.com/info/recording/WeezRecHist7.htm Weezer Record History page 7] Weezer.com; retrieved on September 6, 2006]
Weezer's second album, "Pinkerton", was released on September 24, 1996."Pinkerton Album Overview" at [http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:beq8b5t4nsqh Allmusic.com] ;retrieved on September 6, 2006] Three singles were taken from the album: "
El Scorcho", "The Good Life", and "Pink Triangle". The album's title sparked a legal challenge. Pinkerton Securities of Encino, Calif., filed a temporary injunction against the band and its Geffen record label for trademark infringement two days before the album was to be released on September 24, 1996. Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 203] A judge ruled for Weezer, and the album was finally released. Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 205] This injunction caused Geffen to hold back some of the initial advertising and promotion for the album, possibly contributing to the album's slow initial sales. Due to initial weak sales (it peaked at #19 in the U.S.),"Weezer Album Chart Positions" at [http://billboard.com/bbcom/retrieve_chart_history.do?model.chartFormatGroupName=Albums&model.vnuArtistId=36614&model.vnuAlbumId=678014 Billboard.com] ;retrieved on September 6, 2006] the album was, at first, viewed as a commercial failure,"Anticipated return has Weezer in the "Green" " at [http://www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2001/05/14/Arts/Anticipated.Return.Has.Weezer.In.The.green-1408671.shtml Michigandaily.com] ; retrieved on September 18, 2006] especially when viewed in light of the multi-platinum success of their debut album. The album failed to gain traction in the mainstream music world, perhaps due to a darker, more abrasive sound on the album."Pinkerton Album Overview" at [http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:beq8b5t4nsqh Allmusic.com] ;retrieved on September 6, 2006] "Pinkerton" was labeled "one of the worst albums of 1996" by a Rolling Stone Magazinereader poll. [ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 228] However, word-of-mouth kept the trickle of sales going, and the album eventually achieved a cult status.
On hiatus (1997–2000)
Weezer completed their touring for "Pinkerton" in the summer of 1997. The members of the band took a break, with drummer Patrick Wilson returning to his home in Portland,
Oregonto work on his side project, The Special Goodness; Matt Sharp left to complete the follow-up album for his group The Rentals; and Brian Bell went to work on his group, Space Twins.
Rivers Cuomo returned to
Boston, Massachusetts, but took a break from Harvard to focus on songwriting. Cuomo gathered together Boston-area musicians and rehearsed new material, including possible songs for the next Weezer album. The group, referred to by fans as the Rivers Cuomo Band, had several different lineups and played several shows at local clubs, including their first show at T.T. the Bear's on October 8, 1997. Future Weezer bassist Mikey Welshwas a constant of the group's evolving lineups. Pat Wilson eventually flew to Boston to sit in on drums. The Boston songs were later abandoned and not used on the next Weezer album, but live recordings of the Boston shows are openly traded on the internet. In February 1998, Rivers left Boston and returned to Los Angeles.
Pat Wilson and Brian Bell joined Cuomo in L.A. to start work on the next album. Matt Sharp did not rejoin the band and officially left the group in April 1998. The group decided on Mikey Welsh as Sharp's replacement. Weezer continued rehearsing and cut demos until the fall of 1998. Frustration and creative disagreements led to a decline in rehearsals, and in late fall of 1998, drummer Pat Wilson left for his home in Portland pending renewed productivity from Cuomo. Rivers Cuomo went into a period of admitted depression, painting the walls of his home black and putting "fiberglass insulation all over the windows and then black sheets of fiberglass so that no light could get through."Fact|date=July 2008
The band would not reunite until April 2000, when the Fuji Festival in Japan offered Weezer a high-paying gig to play in August 2000. The festival served as a catalyst for Weezer's productivity, and from April to May 2000, the band rehearsed and demoed new songs in Los Angeles. The band returned to live shows in June 2000, but without the Weezer name. Instead the shows featured the group's first use of the pseudonym Goat Punishment so they could play to only longtime fans who would recognize the name. In June 2000, the band, now back under the Weezer name, joined the
Warped Tourfor eight planned dates.
Renewed popularity (2000–2001)
In the summer of 2000, Weezer (now consisting of Rivers Cuomo, Mikey Welsh, Pat Wilson, and Brian Bell) went on tour (including dates on the popular
Vans Warped Tour). Weezer's setlist consisted of 14 new songs that fans have labeled the "Summer Songs of 2000" (commonly abbreviated, "SS2K"). When 13 of these songs did not appear on Weezer's next album, fans of the songs started a petition demanding the release of studio versions.
Eventually, the band went back into the studio to produce a third album. They chose the title, "Weezer" (2001), to repeat the self-titled name of their first release. This album quickly became known as "The Green Album" due to its distinctive bright green coloring. Shortly after the release of the album, Weezer went on another American tour. They attracted a new generation of fans thanks to heavy MTV rotation for the videos of their hit singles, "
Hash Pipe" and "Island in the Sun".
As reported on August 16, 2001, by MTV, bassist Mikey Welsh was checked into a psychiatric hospital. His whereabouts were previously unknown, as he mysteriously went missing before the filming of the second video for "Island in the Sun". Weezer was prompted to find a temporary replacement for Welsh. Through a mutual friend, Cuomo received
Scott Shriner's number and asked if he was interested to fill in for Welsh. Shriner accepted the invitation. [ [http://www.weezer.com/info/bios/index.html Weezer Bios] ]
The band took an experimental approach for the recording process by allowing fans to download the demos from their official website in return for feedback. After the release of the album, the band stated that this process was somewhat of a failure, as the fans did not supply them with cohesive, constructive advice. Cuomo eventually delegated song selection for the album to their original A&R rep, Todd Sullivan, stating the Weezer fans chose the "wackest songs." Only the song "Slob" was included on the album due to general fan advice.Fact|date=September 2008
The recording was also done without input from their record label,
Interscope. Cuomo had recently had what he then described as a "massive falling out" with the label. In early 2002—well before the official release of the album they sent out a letter to radio stations requesting the song be pulled until an official, sanctioned single was released. Interscope also briefly shut down Weezer's audio/video download webpage, removing all the MP3 demos. Online Weezer fans staged a brief protest with several websites proclaiming "Free "Maladroit".Fact|date=September 2008
In April 2002, former bassist Matt Sharp sued the band, alleging, among several accusations, he was owed money for co-writing several Weezer songs. The suit was later settled out of court.Fact|date=September 2008
The fourth album, "
Maladroit", was released on May 14, 2002, only one year after its predecessor. The album served as a harder-edged version of their trademark catchy pop-influenced music, and was replete with busy 1980s-style guitar solos. Although met with generally positive critical reviews, its sales were not as strong as those for "The Green Album", and it remains their lowest-selling album to date. Two singles were released from the album. The music video for " Dope Nose" featured an obscure Japanese motorcycle gang, and was put into regular rotation. The music video for " Keep Fishin'" combined Weezer with The Muppets, and had heavy rotation on MTV. Both videos were directed by Marcos Siega.
As soon as "Maladroit" had wrapped up, the band immediately began work on their fifth album, recording numerous demos between tours (often recording as many as 24 songs in a day)
citation needed. These songs were eventually scrapped, and Weezer took a break after the release of two albums in quick succession. During this break, Bell and Wilson released LPs from their respective Space Twinsand The Special Goodnessside-projects.
Weezer released their much-delayed first DVD on March 23, 2004. The "
Video Capture Device" DVD chronicles the band from its beginnings through " Maladroit"'s Enlightenment Tour. Compiled by Karl Koch, the DVD features home video footage, music videos, commercials, rehearsals, concert performances, television performances, and band commentary. The DVD was certified "gold" on November 8, 2004.
"Make Believe" (2003–2006)
From December 2003 to the fall of 2004, the members of Weezer recorded a large amount of material intended for a new album to be released in the spring of 2005 with producer
Rick Rubin. The band's early recording efforts became available to the public through the band's website. The demos were a big hit, but none of the songs recorded at this time were included on the finished album. That album, entitled " Make Believe," was released on May 10, 2005. Despite commercial success, "Make Believe" generally got a mixed reception from critics, receiving an average score of 52 on review collator Metacritic. cite web|url=http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/weezer/makebelieve?q=Make%20Believe |title=Weezer: Make Believe |accessdate=2007-05-30 |work=metacritic |publisher=metacritic ] Although some reviews, such as AMGs, compared it favorably to "Pinkerton",cite web|url=http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=MIW030505111858&sql=10:45rv284q052a~T1 |title=Make Believe: Review |accessdate=2007-05-30 |last=Erlewine |first=Stephen |work=allmusic |publisher=AMG ] others, among them Pitchfork Media's score of 0.4 out of 10, panned the album as predictable and lyrically poor.
The album's first single, "Beverly Hills", became a hit in the U.S. and worldwide, staying on the charts for several months after its release. It became the first Weezer song to hit #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart. "Beverly Hills" was nominated for Best Rock Song at the 48th Annual
Grammy Awards, the first ever Grammy nomination for the band. The video was also nominated for Best Rock Video at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards. The second single off "Make Believe" was "We Are All on Drugs". MTV refused to play the song, so Weezer re-recorded the lyrics by replacing "on drugs" with "in love" and renaming the song "We Are All in Love". In early 2006, it was announced that "Make Believe" was certified platinum, and "Beverly Hills" was the second most popular song download on iTunes for 2005, finishing just behind " Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani. [cite web
last = Koch
first = Karl
title = breadfan, take it all away, never give an inch
url = http://www.weezer.com/community/news_comment.asp?ParentAssetID=1378551&ArtistID=479&Start=&FullStory=Y&type=
accessdate = 2006-11-03 ] "Make Believe"'s third single, "Perfect Situation", spent four weeks in a row at number one on the Billboard Modern Rock chart. "This is Such a Pity" was the band's fourth single from the album, but no music video was made for its release. The Make Believe tour also found the band using additional instruments onstage, adding piano, synthesizers, and guitarist
The band has announced the possible release of a live DVD comprised of footage from the 2005 Japan tour. It will consist of a two day, seven camera shoot of the shows in Japan, plus material that will be drawn from various behind-the-scenes footage. The DVD was announced in late 2005, but in a recent update on the band's website, Karl Koch noted it was "apparently edited, but has been put on hold for now."cite web
last = Koch
first = Karl
title = i want people to be afraid of how much they love me
url = http://www.weezer.com/community/news_comment.asp?ParentAssetID=1498175&ArtistID=479&Start=&FullStory=Y&type=
accessdate = 2006-11-03 ]
"The Red Album" (2007–present)
Lead singer Rivers Cuomo released a demo-compilation album entitled "" on December 18, 2007. The album contains demos of Cuomo's that span from 1992 to 2007, including songs from Weezer's abandoned second album, "Songs from the Black Hole". [ [http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/10/17/rivers-cuomo-talks-solo-work-new-weezer-album-ice-cube/ Rolling Stone : Rivers Cuomo Talks Solo Work, New Weezer Album, Ice Cube] ] Cuomo previously had told mtv.com that he continued to write songs but he was unsure if they would appear on any future album. He said, "Well, the band is all back in Los Angeles, and I sometimes speak with Patrick, and I occasionally e-mail with Brian and Scott, but we've never mentioned getting together," [ [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1536119/20060711/weezer.jhtml Cuomo said.] ] "Really, for the moment, we are done. And I'm not certain we'll ever make a record again, unless it becomes really obvious to me that we need to do one."
During this time
Brian Bellalso took some time out to work with Chicago rock outfit the The Relationship. It will be the band's first album and is due to release soon. [ [http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/music/poprock/746111,WKP-News-sound18.article] ]
Weezer's "Weezer" (also referred to as "The Red Album") was released in June 2008.
Rick Rubinproduced the album [cite web | last = Thompson | first = Paul | url = http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/46465-rivers-cuomo-dishes-on-new-weezer-lp-ialonei-demos | title = Rivers Cuomo Dishes on New Weezer LP, Alone Demos | format = | work = | publisher = Pitchfork Media| accessdate = 2007-10-25] and Rich Costeymixed it. The record is being described as "experimental", and according to Cuomo, includes longer and non-traditional songs, TR-808 drum machines, synthesizers, Southern rap, baroque counterpoint, and band members other than Cuomo writing, singing, and switching instruments. [ [http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/48163-interview-rivers-cuomo Pitchfork Feature: Interview: Rivers Cuomo ] ] Pat Wilson stated the album cost around a million dollars to make, contrasting it with the $150,000 budget of "The Blue Album". [ [http://twit.tv/mbw82 The TWiT Netcast Network with Leo Laporte] ] The album's singles were produced by Jacknife Lee, the album's lead single "Pork and Beans" topped the "Billboard" Modern Rock Trackscharts for 11 weeks, and the album's second single, " Troublemaker", debuted at number 39 on the "Billboard" Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart.
On May 30, 2008, the
Toledo Free Pressrevealed in a Scott Shrinerinterview that Weezer would be unveiling the "Hootenanny Tour", in which fans would be invited to bring their own instruments to play along with the band. Said Shriner: "They can bring whatever they want...Oboes, keyboards, drums, violins, and play the songs with us as opposed to us performing for them." [ [http://www.toledofreepress.com/?id=7947 Toledoan still ‘freaks out' over being in Weezer]
Billboard.com also reported that Weezer will be heading into the studio in early November to cut Weezer album 7 with
Jacknife Leewho recorded two songs on "The Red Album", most notably, "Pork and Beans." Drummer Pat Wilson stated the band is wasting no time cutting a new record because they are all going to continue to write songs and since they no longer rely on one person for the songs, they culminate an album's worth of songs much more quickly.
Many modern bands list Weezer as an influence. Weezer themselves have listed several influences, among them KISS (with direct references in the song, "In the Garage"),
Cheap Trick, Nirvana (who was their labelmate for a very brief time before Kurt Cobain's death), and Pixies(especially early on in their career). Early Weezer demos, such as "Paperface", have very obvious ties musically to the Pixies and Nirvana. Also, the song, "Susanne" originally read, "Even Kurt Cobainand Axl Rose" , instead of "Even Izzy, Slash, and Axl Rose", changed after Cobain's death. There is also a direct reference to "Nevermind" in "Heart Songs", a track found on the "Red Album". As a side project, Weezer also briefly played Nirvana and Oasis covers under the stage moniker "Goat Punishment". In 1998, Weezer covered "Velouria" by the Pixies for a Pixies tribute album, and in 2005 briefly got to tour with their idols for a few dates. Green Dayhas also been said to be an influence (there is a direct lyric about Green Day in the song, "El Scorcho"), and it has been acknowledged that the two bands are friends with one another and enjoy each other's music. Weezer also contributed the song "Worry Rock" to "Different Shade Of Green: A Green Day Tribute".
Rivers Cuomo— vocals, guitar (1992–present)
* Patrick Wilson — drums, vocals (1992–present)
* Brian Bell — guitar, vocals (1993–present)
Scott Shriner— bass, vocals (2001–present, plays on " Maladroit", " Make Believe" and "The Red Album")
Jason Cropper— guitar, backing vocals (1992–1993) (co-wrote the track " My Name is Jonas" on "The Blue Album")
Matt Sharp— bass, backing vocals (1992–1998) (plays on "The Blue Album" and "Pinkerton")
Mikey Welsh— bass, backing vocals (1998–2001) (plays on "The Green Album")
* [http://www.weezer.com/ Official web site]
* [http://weezerpedia.com/ Weezerpedia] - The Weezer Encyclopedia
* [http://www.geffen.com/weezer Weezer] at
* [http://www.zvents.com/performers/show/41830-weezer Weezer Upcoming Events on Zvents]
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