While scouting the Internet for any information on the upcoming Rivers Cuomo solo demo CD, I came across a column published today in which an MTV writer plays the metaphorical role of victim of a “loveless relationship” with Cuomo and the rest of Weezer.
I loved Weezer more than any other act alive (except for maybe Beck). Blue and Pinkerton were two of the albums that defined my teenage years, and I still believe that the latter’s squealy pre-emo makes it one of the decade’s most important discs, on par with, say, Radiohead’s OK Computer. (I even wrote a rather embarrassing pseudo-column about this three years ago.) But ever since bassist Matt Sharp split and the band went on hiatus in the summer of ’97, everything changed; the relationship, for all intents and purposes, was over.
The writer details his dissatisfaction with everything that came out after Pinkerton, as well as whines a little about how he only got 13 minutes to interview Rivers a few years ago.
Honestly, I’ve heard this (and similar thinking) before, and I don’t get it. I know that Pat Wilson (the drummer) semi-seriously said “You have to hate us to be a true fan,” but this is ridiculous.
It’s unrealistic to expect people (and bands) to stay the same–Rivers and the rest of the band have changed. The first hiatus (late ’97-2000) changed the makeup of the band and Rivers’ song production styles. And with each album since (and subsequent break from music making), things have changed for the band and the people that make up the band. They still make quality rock (better than anything else out there), but if it’s not your taste, why whine about how the old music was better?
Music (as with most art) is as much a product of the musician’s place in the world as their personality. Pinkerton came from a very negative place and times weren’t pleasant for Rivers or the rest of the band. For the last four years, we’ve been told there’s diplomacy and consensus when it comes to making music. The band members are grown up, and three of the four of them are married. Why would they want to go back to the days when Rivers told them what to play and when? Why would Rivers want to go back to the days of the Good Life?
Broken, beaten-down can’t even get around
without an old-man cane I fall and hit the ground
Shivering in the cold, I’m bitter and alone
Excuse the bitchin’ – I shouldn’t complain
I should have no feeling, ‘cuz feeling is pain
as everything I need is denied me
and everything I want is taken away from me
but who do I got to blame?
Nobody but me
I don’t wanna be a old man anymore
It’s been a year or two since I was out on the floor
Shakin’ booty, makin’ sweet love all the night
It’s time I got back to the Good Life
Or as Rivers responded to a fan question two years ago:
What do you say to those people (fans) who say they want another Pinkerton?
I cant control what I write. I have to accept whatever comes. If its not what someone wants to hear, then at least they can agree with me to love Pinkerton and part as friends.
Addendum: The band’s attitude toward its fans is anything but loveless. Over the past few years, Rivers (and the rest of the band) have welcomed fans on stage to play, welcomed them backstage to hang out and given them boatloads of free video and audio content. Yes, we want more, but you could make the argument that we’re spoiled as it is.