Terminal City interview with Pat Wilson - April 21, 2005

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Unraveling Sweater
What's to love about this old Weezer?
By Jenn Wong
April 21, 2005

Remember this scene? You're in the suburbs, it's summertime, it's the mid-nineties. There's a car full of teenagers, there's smoke in the air, cigarettes swiped from an older sister, tape deck blaring and eyes blurry from the monster mix of liquor stolen from someone's parents living room liquor cabinet. You're driving home, your adrenaline is rushing in a way it only does when you're under the age of sixteen. You're screaming along, "God damn she's a lesbian, I thought I had found the one!" and for just one second, summer feels, like, infinite.

Flash forward almost a decade and how the times have changed. I'm watching the new Weezer video for “Beverly Hills,” filmed on location at the Playboy mansion with one hundred of their still charmingly underage, ecstatic fans. A confused-looking Rivers Cuomo stands frozen on the screen, frozen in time, still skinny and awkward with his trademark glasses making him look bizarre in contrast to the voluptuous barely legal teen queens eagerly swarming around him. Is this my hero? Is this what we've come to?

Most anyone who's followed Weezer's illustrious thirteen-year career will note the strange, seemingly roller coaster path the band has taken to get where they are now. Has it been a success? Has the modern day, post-Pinkerton post-"Sweater Song" Weezer become something of a dirty word in the indie world? More importantly, is it possible to write an objective news piece on a band you've loved since long before your teens, a band that, depending on who you're asking, hasn't released a decent album in almost a decade?

One sunny day in April, I catch Pat Wilson, the charismatic drummer of the band on his cell phone somewhere in California, on his way to Long Beach. We rap easily about nothing at all and I'm nervous about touching on the more sensitive issues buzzing about in my head. The unauthorized biography, River's Edge, released last summer by Rolling Stone contributor John D. Luerssen is full of long-winded stories, scathing accounts of bad behavior and an exhaustive look at the band's history. The content of the book is at the top of my list of questions, but Wilson easily deflects and dismisses it like the seasoned professional that he is, acknowledging the book's existence but quickly clarifying that he has not and will not read it. "It's unauthorized for a reason, because usually when someone writes something that's unauthorized, it's untrue," he says, his voice amicable but definitive, accompanied by the rush of traffic in the background.

“We're excited about playing live. It'll be the first time in three years," he offers, deftly maneuvering around the subject of the book and into friendlier territory. "This time around, it's going to be less stadium rock, no pyrotechnics; less of a KISS influence," he jokes. "We're going to play four songs off the new album [Make Believe, set for release the day after the band's Vancouver show] probably and maybe one off of Maladroit. The rest will be from the first and second albums, I guess. I'm the one who puts the set list together," Wilson explains. I ask if the band is worried about the album being leaked before its release date and he groans, chuckles, and responds with just a note of worry in his voice, "Well, I wasn't before, but now that you mention it... "

w/ Guests
Commodore Ballroom
Tuesday, April 26th