Between Albums, Rivers Cuomo Digs Up Solo Work
Weezer's debut album, a self-titled record often referred to as the Blue Album, came out in 1994. Since then, the band has released six more albums, gone through a re-organization, and earned a devoted following. Their new album, called Raditude, showcases more of the huge pop hooks and sing-along choruses that made Weezer famous.
Last year, in between proper albums, Weezer's lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter, Rivers Cuomo, released two solo CDs of home recordings, Alone and Alone II,.
"[The songs] span the entirety of Weezer's career, from '92 up until just last year," Cuomo tells host Terry Gross. "For whatever reason, the songs weren't selected by the band to record for the albums. So, I've just had them sitting in my room and I love them so much, and it's been killing me that no one's heard them."
Cuomo frequently asks fans for feedback on his songs, and wrote "Let's Write A Sawng" by asking fans to submit ideas. True to form, he found talent from YouTube to collaborate with him on another version of "I Was Scared." In the final recording, the song is guitar-based, but in its preliminary stages, Cuomo says he heard it as "something like a really aggressive Schumann song or something."
"I have this other side to me that's very into art music and Schubert and Schumann songs, and a lot of those are just piano/vocal arrangements," Cuomo explains. "I've never really gotten the chance to do that with Weezer, and working on these "Alone" projects, I feel so free I can really try anything, I'm not limited by what the other guys are into or what they're capable of. And now with YouTube, the world is available to me."
This interview was originally broadcast Jan. 21, 2009.
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