the basic story so far...
weezer was founded in los angeles on february 14, 1992 by rivers cuomo, jason cropper, matt sharp, and pat wilson. the band began writing music and playing local clubs. despite not having much success at first, the band pressed forward. after 16 months together, playing shows and recording demos in los angeles, dgc records (geffen) signed weezer. the band moved to new york to record at the famed electric lady studios under producer ric ocasek (of cars fame). during the recording of weezer, jason left the band to take care of his future wife, who was pregnant with their first child. jason was replaced by brian bell, a then bassist from a band called carnival art.
weezer's self-titled debut album was released on May 10, 1994, and was a hit from the start. they released three singles from weezer: "undone - the sweater song", "buddy holly", and "say it ain't so". "buddy holly" won several mtv awards that year, and weezer eventually went double-platinum. after several tours around the u.s. and the world, the band settled back in; rivers went to school at harvard, matt and pat worked on a new band named the rentals, and brian resumed work with a former band of his, the space twins. in the early winter of 1995 and the summer of 1996, weezer once again commenced into the studio, but this time they were to produce the album themselves.
on september 24th 1996, weezer's much-awaited second lp, entitled pinkerton, was released. it is quite the opposite of weezer; the guitars are more gruff, the lyrics have a deeper meaning, and the band's talent and style has matured considerably. weezer released three songs from pinkerton: "el scorcho", "the good life", and "pink triangle". pinkerton went gold in record sales and has been a steady seller since. in the band downtime after pinkerton, matt sharp has left the bassist position (under good terms) to pusue his ever more notable band, the rentals. filling matt's place is mikey welsh, of boston, and formerly of juliana hatfield's band. during 1998 rivers & mikey played a few shows together in boston (dubbed "the rivers cuomo band"). the following spring rivers and mikey joined brian and pat in los angeles and had on/off rehearsal sessions over the next couple of years. rivers devoted some time to "homie" which released one song, brian released a couple of records with his spacetwins, and pat and mikey toured with the special goodness.
fast forward to spring 2000. after playing unannounced shows under secret names, in addition to more frequent rehearsals, weezer booked dates on that summer's warped tour, and subsequently a nationwide club tour. much to the band's surprise the dates sold out instantly. juiced by an overwhelming fan response and a wealth of new material, weezer was back. following another sold-out tour in the fall the band continued writing and practicing new material in los angeles into 2001. a christmas song e.p. was distributed to fans and radio stations and shortly before the new year weezer began recording their 3rd effort, dubbed "the green album" in los angeles, again with producer ric ocasek. with the album finished the band got back on the road for much of the rest of 2001. Mid summer saw another line-up change, with Mikey replaced by bass heavyweight Scott Shriner. The band continued their relentless touring through 2001, finally pausing to record their 4th album, Maladroit, which was released in May 2002. The band continued touring till september, when they took a break and intermitently worked on new tunes for a 5th album.
name: rivers cuomo
birthday: june 13th, 1970
hometown: yogaville, CT / boston, MA / los angeles, CA
spare time: meditation, songwriting
band duties: lead vocals, guitar
in 1994 he said: "my name is rivers cuomo. i'm 23 and i sing and play guitar in weezer..." "i grew up in various little farm towns in upstate connecticut, completely sheltered from anything remotely "cool." at 18, i freaked out and moved to los angeles to become a rock star. i soon realized that i was an idiot and gave up. at the same time, my girlfriend broke up with me. i was really sad and started to write songs. most of them sucked, but it became a habit that stuck with me. because I'm so terrible at expressing my feelings directly, and because no one really cares, and because anything real is impossible to talk about, i've come to rely on music more and more to express myself."
currently: after many big ups and downs, and a productive stint as the bands manager, rivers has settled into a pure creative environment, focusing completely on writing and playing music.
right now he's: playing his guitar, writing a song
name: brian bell
birthday: december 9th, 1968
hometown: knoxville, TN/ los angeles, CA
spare time: plays in his own band the space twins
band duties: guitar, backing vocals
from his 1994 bio: "raised in tennessee, little brian knew he wanted to be a rock star at an early age. lucky enough to catch and elvis (presley, that is) concert at the age of four, he wanted nothing else but to be a hounddog. studying "geetar" pickin' on tv from such fine eastern tennessee programs as "the barneyloo and buster show" and, of course, "hee haw," little brian learned how to pick 'n' grin on a ukelele his grandma won at a bingo game. brian's dad, a wacky absent-minded professor and ex-college dj, turned him onto cool music he had from the 50's and 60's. so, armed with his first turntable, a fisher price lo-fi stereo system, little brian managed to scratch and destroy most of dad's valuable 45's. as brian grew older, he began to feel isolated and out-of-place with the other reindeer. while the "normal" tennessee boys were out hunting possum, chewing tobacco and making up fish stories, he preferred to stay home and watch billy mumy movies. ah, movies, music and show biz. Why was it all based in one glorious place -- los angeles? so, just like the clampetts, brian packed up my bags and moved to yucca St., hollywired (cause everyone he met at first was on crystal meth.) not at all like the movies."
currently: brian continues putting his good natured slightly southern style into his life and music. often found deep in a guitar playing trance, pulling his quirky musical inventions out of the ether. loves a good shopping trip, has an uncanny eye for unique fashion. Released the Space Twins album "The End Of Imagining" in May, 2003.
right now he's: listening to an old tyrannosaurus rex album, or watching "Rosemary's Baby".
name: scott shriner
hometown: toledo, OH/los angeles, CA
spare time: video games, movies, naps, exersizing
band duties: bass, backing vocals
scott says: "rivers got my number thru a mutual contact, but I didn't know about it. so when he called me I thought it was a practical joke! 'yeah right, you're rivers cuomo, uh huh'. but it sort of dawned on me: this guy's being too serious to be making a joke!" everyone hit it off really well, and the 3 'veteran' weezer men felt a rapidly growing kinship with the very experienced and professional scott. when mikey's absence became a permanent thing, scott was asked to stay with weezer and he accepted the offer with a big smile. he brings a bit of the hard rock to the band, having played in some pretty heavy bands in the past. When asked who his favorite bands are, he immediately says "led zeppelin", and ponders a bit before adding "humble pie- but only the peter frampton years!" however, lurking inside this rock machine is an extremely talented and multifaceted bass player, whose wide experience has made him a very quick study to the weezer style! scott is a guy who has a firm grasp on reality and takes his music very seriously, but who is also extremely friendly and very funny. welcome to weezer, Scott! "I feel that my sole mission in life is to bring the rock to the people. and i really mean that. people need to have rock brought to them. The rock saved my life as a kid, and ill do anything for rock, bro!"
currently: scott came to los angeles in the early '90s ("like everyone else in the band"), and played in a ton of different bands. Scott joined the band on a provisional basis after Mikey left, and was soon hired on permanently.
right now he's: drinking wheat grass juice.
name: patrick wilson
birthday: february 1, 1969
hometown: buffalo, new york / portland OR /los angeles, CA
spare time: works on his own band the special goodness
band duties: drums
in 1994 he wrote: "my name is patrick wilson and i play drums for weezer. as i write this on a friday morning, i'm listening to our cd. it's a good feeling, but very strange. four years ago i was a guy with a bad haircut from buffalo, new york. the music scene there is lame, consisting largely of cover bands and bad metal. it seems that musicians in small towns have a gunslinger attitude that is also faintly bitter. some of them just have attitude. i decided to quit my day job and move to los angeles with my new friend pat finn (pat is responsible for us knowing each other.) after many growing pains, weezer was formed. since then, i've tried to understand what it means to be in a band. all i know about music is instinctual or from a record; i haven't witnessed much live music. as far as i can tell, being in a band can be just as important as any other occupation -- and so far, it's far more rewarding. we recorded this with ric ocasek and chris shaw at electric lady in n.y. i loved the experience and feel honored to have worked with them. the record sounds the way it does because the drums aren't the loudest thing in the mix. some how, phil collins' style of recording has taken over, and we didn't want that. the only effects used are fuzz bass on "in the garage" and a little compression here and there. Certainly not as much as they put on ringo. our live show is different from the record in terms of sheer power, so c'mon out when we roll through yer town. thanks for listening."
currently: a bit older and wiser, pat still looks at the world with very inquisitive eyes and lots of clever humor. Constantly examining his musical technique and trying to squeeze every drop out of the musical experience, Pat always has something to say, and an explosive, sometimes hilarious, level of pure energy. He's rocking it out as an L.A. resident, released a new Special Goodness album on 3/4/03.
right now he's: scanning the internet for new headers and gaskets for his chevy big block engine, thinking about laptop computers and Subaru WRX's.
...they also served - weezer members of the past
name: mikey welsh
position: bass, backing vocals; 1998-2001
birthday: april 20, 1971
hometown: syracuse, NY / boston, MA
currently: a full time visual artist, lives in Vermont.
other info: joined weezer a few months after matt sharp left in 1998. had played in numerous bands before, including juliana hatfield's band, chevy heston, jocobono, left nut, and the heretix. played with rivers at his late 1997 'solo' shows in boston. also played with verbena in 1999 during weezers down-time, as well as the first incarnation of pat wilsons' special goodness in late 1999 and early 2000.
name: matt sharp
position: bass, backing vocals; 1992-1997
birthday: sept 22, 1969
hometown: arlington, VA / barcelona, spain / los angeles, CA
currently: lives in L.A., touring in 2003 in a solo acoustic format.
other info: an original member of weezer. started his own band 'the rentals', while still in weezer. released 2 albums on maverick records, the second sometime after he left the band in early 1998. rentals last known activity was some touring in 1999. Made a solo album in 2000-2001 [unreleased so far], released EP in 2003. [see 'tunes' discography page]
name: jason cropper
position: rhythm guitar, backing vocals 1992-1993 (left during the recording of weezer's 1st album)
birthday: ?????, 1970? sign: ?????
hometown: oakland, CA / los angeles, CA
status: married, 2(+?) kids
currently: runs a vintage music gear rental company
other info: An original member of weezer. after leaving weezer, started his own band "chopper one" with his wife; released 1 album and did some touring in '97-'98. Unclear if he has a band going today.
--- from the official Weezer website