Vue Weekly article - July 10, 1997

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Print interview with Rivers Cuomo
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Publication Vue Weekly
Interviewee Rivers Cuomo
Interviewer Steven Sandor
Date July 10, 1997
Title Weezer leader finds out she wasn’t a lesbian
Format Print
External link Via Internet Archive
Associated concert Weezer concert: 07/01/1997
Weezer concert: 07/11/1997
Weezer concert: 07/12/1997
References See where this interview is referenced on Weezerpedia

Weezer leader finds out she wasn’t a lesbian
Author: Steven Sandor (Vue Weekly)
Published: July 10, 1997

Weezer lead singer, guitarist and general all-around party king Rivers Cuomo found out the girl of his dreams wasn’t a lesbian — and that created a sticky situation.

On Pinkerton, the band’s second Geffen Records release, appears the bubblegum pop-meets-post-grunge-angst-ridden-rocker “Pink Triangle,” a song Cuomo penned out of sexual frustration. Featuring the chorus “I’m dumb, she’s a lesbian/I thought I had found the one/We were as good as married in my mind/But married in my mind’s no good” and the witty lyric “Everyone's a little queer, why can’t you be a little straight?” the song deals with Cuomo’s infatuation with a woman he's sure, well, can’t really dig him. But, like all of Weezer's (Cuomo, guitarist Brian Bell, bassist Matt Sharp and drummer Patrick Wilson) songs, the lyrics stem from real-life situations.

After the release of the band’s smash 1994 self-titled debut (produced by former Cars lead singer Ric Ocasek, Weezer produced a pair of smash singles, “Undone — the Sweater Song” and “Buddy Holly,” which made the band the MTV flavor of the year), Cuomo fell for a younger woman. Soon, he was convinced she was a lesbian and gave up the chase.

“After I figured out she was a lesbian, I got over the crush and we became friends,” says Cuomo from a tour stop in Minneapolis. As he speaks, he noodles on his guitar — as if he can’t talk without accompaniment. “Six months later, I went to visit her and it was the first time I was in her dorm room. There was poster after poster of macho men on the wall. I asked her, ‘Are you into guys?’ She said ‘Of course I am...’”

Cuomo knew he was in trouble. He wrote “Pink Triangle” to get over the crush. The new Weezer album was going to come out within a couple of weeks. For sure, she was going to hear it — and boy was she gonna be mad...

“I said to her ‘I really have something to tell you..."” Cuomo recalls.

And how stable is their friendship now?

“I still think she’s a lesbian,” says Cuomo. “She just hasn't figured it out yet.”

Weezer’s tour will take them to Calgary for two dates this week — the show should be guaranteed to attract a flotilla of Edmontonians, like the much-hyped tour stops of the Beastie Boys, Archers of Loaf and Pavement have garnered a migration south down Hwy 2. They'll be there to hear tunes from the band’s two radically different records. The band’s self-titled debut was chock-full of poppy, great-for-Power 92 ‘tunes.

Pinkerton’s tone is darker. The tinny keyboards add a special something to the lead track, “Tired of Sex.” “Getchoo” is a straight-up rock and roller. Pinkerton is a document of love lost.

The main reason for the difference is that Weezer decided to self-produce the second time the band went into the studio. Even though fans at the Calgary show won't hear any of the keyboards that are so prevalent on the album (“Writing those songs was just a phase I went through. I’m sick of keyboards now,” asserts Cuomo), Pinkerton features a different sound on almost every song.

“I feel this album was much more indicative of what we want to sound like. We had no producer looking over our shoulder and we had as much time as we needed.”

Did Weezer earn that power with the success of the first album? Unfortunately, Cuomo says the pressure is still on the band to create hit singles.

“Despite what people think, we're still not the biggest seller in the world. We don’t have the stature to make all of our production decisions. If we were like Prince, it would be easy. But our record company (Geffen) is in bad shape right now — they need hit singles.”

Weezer have been touring with No Doubt. The Canadian leg of their tour will be the first time the band will be the headliner. The band needs to tour to sell the albums Geffen so badly needs them to sell. But, Cuomo takes it all in stride.

“So far, it has been a major party for five weeks. I’m sure it is taking its toll on us but there’s no end in sight. I’m totally used to it. Human beings always underestimate their capacity to take things for granted, so I’m enjoying this while I can.”

MacEwan Hall, Calgary
July 11-12