The Rentals

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The Rentals
Background information
Origin United States
Years active 1995–1999
Genre(s) Alternative rock
Label(s) Maverick Records
Reprise Records
Warner Bros. Records
Boompa Records
Polyvinyl Records
Current Members
Matt Sharp
Ronnie Vannucci Jr.
Nick Zinner
Former Members
Patrick Carney
Rod Cervera
Lauren Chipman
Lizzy Ellison
Justin Fisher
Mike Fletcher
Mick Flowers
Shawn Glassford
Ted Gowans
Tom Grimley
Rachel Haden
Petra Haden
Josh Hager
Dan Joeright
Patti King
Holly Laessig
Kevin March
Ben Pringle
Sara Radle
Jim Richards
Maya Rudolph
Jared Shavelson
Ryen Slegr
Cherielynn Westrich
Pat Wilson
Jess Wolfe

The Rentals are a rock band fronted by Matt Sharp, former bass player for Weezer. Sharp is the band's only constant member.



Matt Sharp's concept for The Rentals began before his involvement in Weezer. The project, initially named That's Incredible! by producer Tom Grimley, was heavily influenced by late 70s/early 80s new wave, punk, and synth pop, particularly musician Gary Numan and his project Tubeway Army. Matt Sharp has cited the band That Dog as an inspiration for the band's formation.[1]. Sharp initially - and only very briefly - used an ironic fictional backstory to market the band. As described in an 1995 Billboard interview, the band's press materials identified each member of the Rentals as "the sons and daughters of American embassy employees in Prague."[2] The interview further paraphrases the backstory:

From a Billboard magazine interview with Matt Sharp, Oct. 1995

The band, which supposedly was founded in 1978, performed icy synthesizer anthems... Unfortunately, the Eastern Bloc act was forced to go underground after guitarist Rod Cervera was imprisoned for alleged espionage activities. After 12 years in prison, Cervera was released. Maverick mogul Madonna supposedly discovered the reunited act in Prague while attending its first concert in 15 years.

- Brett Atwood, Billboard interview with Matt Sharp - October 28, 1995

Sharp introduced this persona as early as September of 1995, when he accepted an MTV Video Award for "Buddy Holly" in character[3]. Sharp dropped this backstory the next month, however, telling the Toronto Sun that he "didn't have the energy for it... I think people get really offended when they don't understand your humor, and then you have to do interview after interview with all these people that are really put off by you because you're being sarcastic."[4].


The Rentals are best known for their 1995 hit single, "Friends of P.". The group released two albums during their initial period of activity, 1995's Return of the Rentals and 1999's Seven More Minutes, on Maverick Records.

Matt Sharp during Weezer's acceptance speech at the 1995 MTV Video Awards. Sharp first made use of the Rentals' fictional Czechoslovakian backstory in this speech.

During the writing of Seven More Minutes, Matt spent time touring with British musicians including Blur and Ash. Musicians from Elastica, Blur, and Ash appeared on several tracks on Seven More Minutes. Matt has gone on to collaborate with Blur frontman Damon Albarn on several occasions. Along with Blur drummer Dave Rowntree, they recorded a cover of Gary Numan's "We Have a Technical" for a tribute album, and Albarn appeared with the Rentals on French television performing "Friends of P.".

The band quietly dissolved following the world tour for their second album but, in 2005, Sharp reformed the band with intentions of touring and recording a new record. The band went on tour with Ozma in 2006 and, in 2007, The Rentals released The Last Little Life EP under the label Boompa, containing three new tracks and a revamped version of "Sweetness and Tenderness", a track from their debut album. The band also toured with Goldenboy and Copeland.

The band released the single "Colorado", originally performed live as part of Sharp's solo project, in 2007. In 2009, the band announced a new self-produced project: Songs About Time. The first of three mini albums, titled The Story of A Thousand Season's Past, was released on April 7, 2009, with the second chapter (It's Time to Come Home) and third chapter (The Future) released in July and October, respectively. The fourth, all-instrumental chapter, titled Tokyo Blues, was later released as a standalone album in 2011 titled Resilience: A Benefit Album for the Relief Effort in Japan.

In December of 2013, Matt Sharp announced that the band had signed with the label Polyvinyl and would release a new album in 2014.[5] The album, titled Lost in Alphaville, was released on August 25, 2014. The Rentals subsequently went on tour with a lineup including members of the band Radiation City, who also opened for the band.

In 2017, Matt Sharp began tweeting about the next Rentals record, and unveiled a new song titled "Elon Musk is Making Me Sad" on October 5, 2017. As of October 20, 2018 the Rentals' fourth album, mixed by Pinkerton engineer Dave Fridmann, was finished.[6] Matt Sharp announced on his Instagram account that the band was finished recording and mixing the album and would next be heading into the production phase. The album, titled Q36, was finally announced on November 5, 2019 alongside the new single "Spaceships".


Studio albums

Year Title Label
1995 Return of the Rentals Maverick/Reprise/Warner Bros.
1999 Seven More Minutes Maverick/Warner Bros.
2014 Lost in Alphaville Polyvinyl Records
2020 Q36 Self-released

Other projects

Year Title Label
2009 Songs About Time Self-released
2022 The Midnight Society Soundtrack Death Waltz Recording Co.


Year Title Label
2007 The Last Little Life EP Boompa
2020 Forgotten Astronaut Extended Play Self-released


Year Title Label
1995 "Friends of P." Maverick/Reprise/Warner Bros.
1996 "Waiting" Maverick/Reprise/Warner Bros.
1999 "Getting By" Maverick/Warner Bros.
2008 "Colorado" Self-released
2014 "Thought of Sound" Polyvinyl Records
2014 "1000 Seasons" Polyvinyl Records
2017 "Elon Musk is Making Me Sad" Self-released
2019 "Spaceships" Self-released
2019 "Forgotten Astronaut" Self-released
2019 "9th Configuration" Self-released
2019 "Breaking and Breaking and Breaking" Self-released
2019 "Invasion Night" Self-released
2020 "Nowhere Girl" Self-released
2020 "Great Big Blue" Self-released
2020 "Above This Broken World" Self-released
2020 "Teen Beat Cosmonaut" Self-released
2020 "Another World" Self-released
2020 "Conspiracy" Self-released
2020 "Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad" (Q36 version) Self-released
2020 "Information (and the Island in the Sky)" Self-released
2020 "Machine Love" Self-released
2020 "Goodbye, Steve" Self-released
2020 "Shake Your Diamonds" Self-released

Compilation appearances

Year Title Label
1995 The Poop Alley Tapes W.I.N. Records
1995 How The _____ Stole Christmas KROQ cassette Maverick/Reprise/Warner Bros.
2000 The Solution To Benefit Heal The Bay benefit Mojo

Special releases

Year Title Label
2011 Resilience Ernest Jenning Record Co.

Bootleg compilations

Year Title Label
1999 Live in Japan
1999 Live in Japan - Acoustic Opening Set
2001 Excellent Stocking Stuffer Self-released
2005 For The Ladies Self-released
? Little Russell Street: Bootlegs from Seven More Minutes Self-released


This list contains all studio and touring members of the Rentals, both former and current.

Name Role
Carney, Patrick
Cervera, Rod
Chipman, Lauren
Ellison, Lizzy
Fisher, Justin
Fletcher, Mike
Flowers, Mick
Glassford, Shawn
Gowans, Ted
Grimley, Tom
Haden, Rachel
Haden, Petra
Hager, Josh
Joeright, Dan
King, Patti
  • Keyboards, vocals on 2015 tour in support of Lost in Alphaville
  • Opened for the Rentals as a member of Radiation City
Laessig, Holly
March, Kevin
Pringle, Ben
Radle, Sara
Richards, Jim
Rudolph, Maya
Shavelson, Jared
Sharp, Matt
  • Founder of band and only consistent member
  • Lead vocals, guitar, bass, Moog, principal songwriter, producer throughout band's history
Slegr, Ryen
Vanucci, Ronnie
Westrich, Cherielynn
Wilson, Pat
Wolfe, Jess
Zinner, Nick
?, Carrie
?, Lisa

External links

See also