Detroit Free Press article - March 14, 1995

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Print interview with Matt Sharp
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Publication Detroit Free Press
Interviewee Matt Sharp
Interviewer Gary Graff
Date March 14, 1995
Title Veruca, McLachlan, Weezer: Hitmakers are headed here
Format Print
External link Archive via
Associated concert Weezer concert: 03/22/1995
References See where this interview is referenced on Weezerpedia

Veruca, McLachlan, Weezer: Hitmakers are headed here
Author: Gary Graff (Detroit Free Press)
Published: March 14, 1995

One song about destroying sweaters and another about Buddy Holly and Mary Tyler Moore. That's been Weezer's recipe for success. But there's ambivalence when bassist Matt Sharp discusses what the endless radio and MTV airplay for "Undone - The Sweater Song" and "Buddy Holly" have wrought. A million-selling debut album is one thing.

So is an audience that stretches below teenybop into fans of "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers." That's what you get for making clever, G-rated videos, one of which ("Buddy Holly") drops Weezer into an old episode of "Happy Days."

"Yeah, our groupies are definitely 10 to 12," says Sharp, 25. "Our core audience is so young... It's so sad. There are some shows where everybody's older, but there are a lot where we could play with that purple guy - Barney. We could go on tour with Barney, have a clown come out and blow up balloons and everything."

Neither Sharp nor his bandmates - singer-guitarist Rivers Cuomo, guitarist Brian Bell and drummer Patrick Wilson - can complain, however. The four emigrated from a variety of East Coast locales to Los Angeles, where they formed Weezer on Valentine's Day, 1992. There was plenty of huffing and puffing before getting a recording contract and lots of punk rock club crowds that had no use for Cuomo's catchy pop melodies.

"We got spit on," remembers Sharp, who hails from Arlington, Va. "None of us got any respect. We all felt like 'We rule... but nobody believes us.' It was a weird time." Now, Sharp reports, the only issue within Weezer is the division of labor. The inordinately shy Cuomo wrote the songs for the "Weezer" album, which was produced by former Cars leader Ric Ocasek. Now the other band members wonder exactly what their roles are.

"Everybody started realizing at one point, 'Wow, I'm not really as much a part of this as I thought I was," Sharp explains. Some have side projects. Sharp plays in a group called the Rentals. Bell moonlights in Space Twins. Cuomo plans to go back to college after Weezer comes off the road, though the past year's success means another album is in the offing.

"I'll do this as long as I don't think it's completely disgusting," says Sharp. "It's been completely surreal about 50 percent of the time, like 'Oh my God, what is going on?' I've been in that situation a lot last year."

Weezer and Archers of Loaf perform at 7:30 p.m. March 22 at the State Theatre, 2115 Woodward.. Tickets $12. Call 1-313-961-5450 anytime.

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