When Weezer bassist Scott Shriner's phone isn't ringing with an urgent call from his quirky bandleader Rivers Cuomo — as it did earlier this year to announce recording sessions for the group's new Ric Ocasek-produced “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” — he stays busy with his side project Shriners. “It's just me, with a couple of friends playing drums, and it's an ongoing thing, something that I'm always working on,” he says. But his foreseeable future includes touring behind “Everything,” an ebullient return to geek-rock for composer Cuomo, who co-wrote with Patrick Stickles (“Foolish Father”), The Darkness' Justin Hawkins (“I've Had It Up to Here”) and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, who appears on the duet “Go Away.”
“The Big Bang Theory” is continuing its popularity, and Rivers is holding a regular Nerd Night gathering in Los Angeles. Suddenly it's hip to be nerdy, right? Yeah. It seems like nerds and zombies really came into their own these last few years. But the Internet and modern technology allow people to communicate better. In the old days, you had to write in to a fan club, and you'd have to show up at a concert to meet other like-minded people. Now everybody is able to find each other a lot quicker.
Before you joined Weezer in 2001 for the album “Maladroit,” you lived in the Midwest — a place where everyone is pretty honest about their musical tastes, no? I came from Toledo, Ohio, which was such a dismal place for me as a kid. But yeah, it was pretty much like that — I was listening to a lot of New Wave. I was a closet Duran Duran listener, and I went to see The Smiths. But I also came from a stoner-rock background — Sabbath, Zeppelin, Hendrix — and that's always stayed with me. Plus, the Midwest gave me a good work ethic. I wasn't afraid to get my hands dirty.
The cut “Back to the Shack” concerns a conscious return to Weezer's 1994 origins? Well, Rivers wrote the lyrics, but it's pretty self-explanatory — it's about always keeping in mind what makes Weezer Weezer, while still finding some new sounds and being the best band you can be.
And “Eulogy For a Rock Band”? It's about a band that has come to the end of the line. And that is for sure not Weezer.
The cover painting, of a giant catlike creature roaming the countryside, is hilarious. Everything will not be all right in the end. Ha! It's really cool, and I just laughed out loud the first time I saw it. There will be shirts with him on it, a whole new line of merchandise coming out. We're going to stay with this album for a while.