Weezer's upcoming Yahoo! Outloud tour is the band's biggest headlining tour yet, says singer Rivers Cuomo, which confounds him because they don't even have an album out at the moment. In fact, it's been four years since the release of their sophomore effort Pinkerton
, and six-and-a-half since their hit-yielding eponymous debut. Though Weezer are back into the swing of things, having just started the recording process December 27th for their third album with ex-Cars frontman Ric Ocasek handling production duties (he also helmed their debut), they're a bit mystified that their fans were waiting in the wings.
"I don't want to try to explain it," Cuomo says, "because it would sound lame. I mean, I guess it's partially because we're not overexposed. Weezer is in its own little world unto itself, and it's not so much a manipulation of the media, which makes it more meaningful. I don't feel like we're a commercial product. Maybe people are just hungry for melodic music. Maybe they're just dying to hear Weezer-type rock. I'm dying for it, too."
Previewing material that might make either the album or the tour, Weezer played a handful of Southern California-area club-sized shows in December under the moniker Goat Punishment. But because Cuomo has been so prolific in his songwriting during the band's lengthy hiatus, he's written enough songs -- about 350 of 'em, in fact -- that Weezer could release an album (or several) of songs no one has yet heard live. "I'm in a position now to keep what makes the album a total mystery," he says. "It's out with the old, in with the new. I'm always working out the songs that will make the cut at the last minute. Nothing is set in stone."
Of the 350 songs, the band has to narrow down the list to about twenty. Though Cuomo claims that he's concentrating less on lyrics, more on melody this time around, there seems to be a recurrent theme running through the new material. Some of the song titles that might make it, depending on how they get reworked over the coming month, are "Gimme Some Love," "Homely," "My Best Friends Are Gone," "Don't Let Go," "Cryin' and Lonely," "Break Up" and "No More Disappointments," to give a sense of the topics being addressed. "There's a lot of girl songs," Cuomo says. "After all these years of pop music, why are there so many girl songs? What else is there to write about?"
How about, for starters, life in general? "Okay," he concedes, "I'm looking at the list [of songs] now, and there are a few life in general sentiments, like 'people are bothering me,' 'leave me alone,' 'give me some attention,' you know, everyday stuff." Aren't those sentiments kinda, well, contradictory? "Life
," Cuomo says, pausing, "is contradictory. I just don't know if it's interesting."
It's exactly those kind of angst-like sentiments that have endeared Weezer to the emo-core set, who've embraced the band as one of the scene's forebears, as well as Pinkerton
as its holy grail (the album, largely considered a commercial failure, found new life with emo kids and has since been a steady seller). Though that also confuses Cuomo, it didn't dissuade Weezer from adding emo torchholders the Get Up Kids to their sold-out twenty-city Yahoo! tour (which kicks off February 21st in Austin, Texas and wraps March 18th in San Diego, California). "I think there are some fans who care about the music, and others who care about the politics of music," he says. "We didn't intend to start a scene at all. We're just doing what we do."
Written by JENNIFER VINEYARD
for RollingStone.com News