The Record interview with Matt Sharp - February 9, 1996

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A Band on the Run That Finally Took Off

By Mark Brown, Special from The Orange County Register


Music Preview

The Rentals: Opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at 7:30 tonight at Madison Square Garden and 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Nassau Coliseum. Also on the bill is Silverchair. Tonight's concert is sold out, but some tickets, $27.50, remain for next week's show. They're available at the box office and TicketMaster outlets or by calling TicketMaster Charge, 507-8900 or (212) 307-7171.

The Rentals will also open for Blur, 8 p.m. Saturday, at Roseland, 239 W. 52nd St., Manhattan. Tickets, $16 (advance), $18 (day of show), may be purchased at the box office and TicketMaster outlets or by calling TicketMaster Charge at the numbers listed above.

Tuesday night at 8, The Rentals headline a show at The Metro, 369 Broadway, Long Branch. $10. (908) 229-9186.


Sometimes success can overshadow the other things you try to do.

Ask Matt Sharp, bassist and vocalist in the mega-successful Weezer but also leader and songwriter in his other group, The Rentals.

He got tired of being asked about his "side project", so tired that he finally sent out a press release saying that The Rentals music was just as important to him as his other, more famous group.

"Interviewers can be sort of rude without even knowing it," Sharp said. "So how's this dinky little thing you're doing?"

Recorded in producer Tom Grimley's apartment and recording studio, Return of the Rentals (Warner Bros./Maverick) features 10 songs, some that wouldn't sound out of place on a Weezer record, some that would.

After Weezer's success, Sharp had the freedom to fund the recording himself. When it was done, record labels suddenly seemed interested.

"I just sort of had these songs that I wanted to record, and nobody wanted to bother with it," he said. "Afterwards, people said, 'Yeah, OK, I get it.' The fact that it's out at all is beyond my expectations."

The initial lack of interest by record companies actually worked to his advantage.

"I wouldn't do anything unless I could do it my way," Sharp said.

"We recorded this record entirely before any record company heard it. We gave them the record, the video, all the songs, the possibilities for B-sides, the artwork, and everything at the same time. They didn't have anything to do with it."