THE SPILL MAGAZINE ARTIST PORTRAIT:
Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1992. The band consists of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead guitar), Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), and Scott Shriner (bass, backing vocals). The line-up has changed three times since its formation in 1992. Weezer has sold 9,200,000 albums in the US and 17,525,000 worldwide.
After signing to Geffen Records in 1993, Weezer released their debut self-titled album, also known as The Blue Album, in 1994. Backed by successful music videos for the singles “Buddy Holly”, “Undone – The Sweater Song” and “Say It Ain’t So”, The Blue Album became a triple-platinum success and received positive reviews. Weezer’s second album, Pinkerton (1996), featuring a darker, more abrasive sound, was a commercial failure and initially received mixed reviews, but went on to achieve cult status and critical acclaim years later. Both The Blue Albumand Pinkerton are now frequently cited among the best albums of the 1990s. Following Pinkerton, bassist Matt Sharp left the band and Weezer went on hiatus.
In 2001, Weezer returned with another self-titled album, also known as The Green Album, with new bassist Mikey Welsh. Promoted by the singles “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun”, The Green Album was a commercial success and received mostly positive reviews. After the album’s release, Welsh left the band and was replaced by current bassist Scott Shriner. Weezer’s fourth album, Maladroit, was released in May 2002 to mostly positive reviews, but did not match the sales of The Green Album.
Weezer’s fifth album, Make Believe, was released in May 2005; despite mixed reviews, its single “Beverly Hills” became Weezer’s first single to top the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and the first to reach the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. In June 2008, Weezer’s third self-titled album, also known as The Red Album, featuring “TR-808s, synths, Southern rap, and baroque counterpoint”, was released to mild reviews. Its lead single, “Pork and Beans”, became the band’s third song to top the Modern Rock Tracks chart, backed by a successful YouTube music video.
Weezer’s seventh album, Raditude (2009) and eighth album Hurley (2010), featuring more “modern pop production”and songs co-written with other artists, achieved further mixed reviews and moderate sales. Their ninth album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End (2014), featuring a more alternative rock sound, similar to the band’s original sound, was released to positive reviews.