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Press of Atlantic City article - June 18, 1997

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Print interview with Rivers Cuomo
Publication Press of Atlantic City
Interviewee Rivers Cuomo
Interviewer Scott Cronick
Date June 18, 1997
Title Coming to grips with stardom, Weezer tours with No Doubt
Format Print
External link Via Newspapers.com
Associated concert Weezer concert: 06/20/1997 (b)
Weezer concert: 06/24/1997
References See where this interview is referenced on Weezerpedia

Coming to grips with stardom, Weezer tours with No Doubt
Author: Scott Cronick (Press of Atlantic City)
Published: June 18, 1997


* CONCERT — Weezer appears with No Doubt, Lunachicks, 8 p.m. Friday at Sony-Blockbuster Waterfront Entertainment Center, Camden. Tickets $18 and $23. Call Ticketmaster 338-9000

Rivers Cuomo believes he's as happy as he's ever been.

And considering all the unhappiness the lead singer of Weezer says he has gone through over the last couple years, that's saying a lot.

It's not that Cuomo really had a great deal to be unhappy about considering the rock band's overnight success, their double-platinum debut album, a 250 date tour, and three top 10 hits. It's just that Cuomo got caught up in the whole whirlwind of success — and didn't like it.

"I'm about as happy as I can ever be or, at least I'm drunk," said Cuomo, the moody leader whose band will play at the Sony-Blockbuster Waterfront Entertainment Center in Camden on Friday and at the PNC Band Arts Center in Holmdel on June 24. "I'm finally starting to enjoy this life." Finally is right. Since Weezer exploded on the scene with their self-titled debut album Cuomo and his bandmates Brian Bell (guitar) Matt Sharp (bass) and Pat Wilson (drums) haven't had time to breathe.

Their video for their debut single smash "Buddy Holly," in which director Spike Jonze put the band into Al's Diner from the TV show "Happy Days," made Weezer instant stars. Their other hits, "Undone" and "Say It Ain't So" followed admirably. The band would eventually win four MTV Video Music Awards and two Billboard Music Video Awards, including Alternative/Modern Rock Clip of the Year. The problem was Cuomo couldn't handle it. "It was just all the insanity of becoming a rock star without any warning," said Cuomo. "I couldn't handle it. The not liking it, then liking it, then missing it after we were done touring. It was crazy."

New CD reflects attitudes

So crazy that Cuomo was able to get a whole album worth of inspiration. Their follow-up CD, "Pinkerton" trails Cuomo's journey from his miserable days to him finally embracing the rock star life. "It's important to understand the songs are on the CD in the order I wrote them," Cuomo added. "My attitudes are all over the place. You can see my thinking changed over the years." Cuomo's up and down emotional state since the 1994 debut album includes documented rifts with his band members, coping with a broken leg for a year and a half, and a decision to cut his hair and go back to college, Harvard University in fact. "I was touring through Boston and filled out an application," the 26 year old singer explains. "I'm an English major. I go when we have time off from touring." What's it like being a rock star in college?

"I'm not treated like anyone," he explained. "I don't live in the dorms so I'm not in their social universe. They don't really bother with me. At the same time, though, I'm better off. If they treated me like a rock star, I'd be having too much fun to pass my classes." While Cuomo's state of mind changes rather frequently, the style has not. "Pinkerton" is every bit as good as Weezer's debut, if not better. Their trademark melodies are intact, the loudness remains and the distortion is as prevalent as ever. But most importantly so are Cuomo's catchy fun, hummable tunes which are irresistible. Unfortunately for Weezer, the "Pinkerton" CD is not lighting up the charts. It just recently turned gold despite being out since last September. "We're not surprised, really," the singer noted. "We just have to keep putting out the best stuff we can. I think the new album is a lot better than the first in many ways, but I will not slight the first album. I love the first album. There's an innocence and artlessness on that album that's endearing. You can hear our style more now, though. My influences aren't so noticeable." What is noticeable is Cuomo's excitement about touring with No Doubt. "This is our first big tour and we're not taking this for granted," Cuomo said. "I've always liked playing live. Hearing the crowd roar gets me going. We're having a great time, the most fun we've ever had."

Weezer plays with No Doubt and the Lunachicks at the Sony-Blockbuster Waterfront Entertainment Center in Camden on Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23 and $18. They also play at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Tuesday, June 24. Tickets are $23.50 Call TicketMaster at 338-9000

See also