Ask Me Anything.
Do you have any special pre-show ritual you have to do before you go on anywhere? Or any rituals specific to do for a particular city or region?
Scott and I have to play frisbee for at least 10 minutes before every show. It helps warm up our hands, concentrate our minds, and get us in our own little world.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever sent you?
Twice I’ve gotten fan mail at my house for Brandon Boyd, the singer of Incubus. Two different houses even.
What are 2 albums (not weezer) that you think every weezer fan should listen into?
I would recommend Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Ozma’s Rock and Roll Part Three
What is your favorite hobby when you’re not making music?
Going to Shakespeare plays.
Do you still enjoy messing with people in your responses to interviews?
No, I don’t indulge that instinct of mine anymore.
You’ve played with so many excellent bands. Who was one of the best?
Stereolab was pretty amazing.
Rivers, what do you think when you look back at yourself in the 90’s?
Did you really shave your head and try to be a monk?
I didn’t shave my head but I asked my mother if I could, and I said I wanted to be a monk, but my parents talked me out of it. And technically I was asking to be a sannyasa, not a Catholic monk
Why do you usually tune your guitars a half step down? Why did you change to standard tuning for the Green album?
I started tuning down a half step when I started being a lead singer when I was around 20 because it was easier for me to hit he high notes. On Green and Malaldroit I got interested in being more traditional like the other great bands before us. That included trying standard tuning.
Besides Buddy Holly, who else do you get mistaken for?
I remember when I started out I was shooting for the Rick Moranis look. But no one ever thought I was him.
How was the songwriting process different on Everything Will Be Alright In The End compared to other albums?
It’s pretty much the same, but I composed some of the more complicated musical passages on piano, which is a new thing for me.
What is your favorite Yngwie Malmsteen song to play?
Far Beyond the Sun
what is going through your mind when you meet fans?
I usually like to hear what you’re excited about right now in your life. Whether it’s a book, a movie, another band, or some new hobby. Teach me something. Tell me something I don’t already know.
A lot of fans who drifted away from your post-Pinkerton work have now returned to the fold with EWBAITE. Do you feel any pressure from them to live up to the high expectations for the next album?
No. We’re grateful to our fans for reminding us of who we are and encouraging us to be ourselves. We’re confident we’re going to keep making kick ass music that we all love.
Do your kids help decorate your guitars with stickers?
The stickers on my guitars come mostly from fans, and I always need more! So please bring some to the shows if you can–if you have some extras.
Who’s idea was it to put that sweet-ass extra quarter note in the first measure of the chorus phrases?
It just came to me, that’s how the melody popped into my head. And I wasn’t counting beats.
Have you read any good books lately that you can recommend?
So many. Nonfiction – Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. Fiction – Crime and Punishment. Also on a giant Shakespeare kick.
What is the next step for you personally after the touring and everything for EWBAITE dies down?
Of course we hope to make many more great albums but that is a long way off. The EWBAITE era has just begun.
What was your favorite song to record?
In my life? Maybe the Futurescope Trilogy because it’s the most emotional.
Did you feel any extra pressure at the Bowery Ballroom show with Ric Ocasek watching in the crowd?
We always feel a little extra pressure when Ric is around, whether it’s at a show or in the studio. That’s one of the reasons it’s so helpful to work with him; he inspires us to bring our A game.
What has been the most difficult obstacle in your career? How did you overcome it?
Self doubt. Which was overcome only by the intensity of my desire to be a musician and share my music with the world.
What are your favorite places to tour?
Anywhere where there’s a high percentage of hardcore fans and fan clubbers
What was the first song you wrote for ewbaite?
Weezer Cruise 2012 so I think it was… I would have to go back and check my notes but I think it was Ain’t Got Nobody or Cleopatra.
Is EWBAITE the story of your relationship with your fans?
EWBAITE has many levels and many stories, one of which is our relationship with the fans.
Ive seen you with an Alienware laptop in some videos. What kind of games do you play on it?
I don’t have an Alienware laptop, I have a Razer Blade. I don’t play games but I had to a 512GB hard drive because I like to keep working on my demos in aAbleton when I’m on the road. My laptop is synced to my desktop computer via dropbox.
Have you ever thought to turn EWBAITE or SFTBH into a live Broadway musical like Green Day did with American Iidot?
Honestly I’m 100% satisfied creatively artistically physically mentally and emotionally, playing these EWBAITE shows. They have been the greatest musical experience of my life. I haven’t had any need to think of future steps at the moment.
Are there any songs that you feel should’ve had more improvement on EWBAITE?
No, we really took our time making this album and had plenty of chances to go back and tweak things until it was just right.
If you could open for ANY band, who would it be?
Pretty mind-blown to be playing with U2 in a few weeks. edit: just found out about Bono’s accident.
When did you learn to play guitar, what was the experience like, and what music did you first start out practicing?
I borrowed my brother’s guitar when I was 13 and I got my own guitar for my 14th birthday. I started with KISS and Judas Priest. I remember my fingertips hurt a lot, and I sounded really bad, but it was a thrill to approximate the sound I was hearing on my favorite records.