Weezer sheds its uncool past

By Chris Nashawaty
October 14, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Weezer? The name conjures up images of high school losers with runny noses and head colds, not MTV’s hottest new Buzz band. But with the out-of-nowhere success of ”Undone — The Sweater Song” that’s exactly what the L.A. foursome has become. Don’t think they’re not recovering geeks, though.

Take the song ”In the Garage” from their self-titled first album (see review, this page), wherein guitarist and lead singer Rivers Cuomo (the spittin’ image of My Three Sons‘ Übernerd, Ernie Douglas) sings about Dungeons and Dragons and listening to Kiss. ”As weird as it sounds, I learned a lot more sweatin’ it out over a game of D&D than in school,” says Cuomo, 25. ”I was a total outcast; I got beat up and picked on. I hated high school.”

Despite Cuomo’s plagued adolescence, Weezer’s totally catchy, fuzz-tinged power pop isn’t made up of the standard-issue childhood gripes of rockers like Eddie Vedder and Billy Corgan, who wear their outsider status on their sleeves. They’re just four guys who quietly fought back by plugging in their guitars and pumping out revenge rock.

”We all listened to really bad music in high school,” says bassist Matt Sharp, 25. ”I can tell you at least three fourths of this band was heavily into Quiet Riot or Twisted Sister.” Drummer Pat Wilson objects: ”My heart was with Van Halen.”

After four months of touring, plugging in for Jon Stewart and Conan, and shooting the video for their second single, ”Buddy Holly,” Weezer may finally be able to settle down. A little quiet would probably suit Cuomo just fine — he’ll finally be able to play some D&D again.