Thanks to the ongoing “Weezer Wednesday” series, Weezer has been teasing out portions of its new album Everything Will Be Alright In The End, which will be landing on store shelves on September 30. But so far, only one song has been heard in its entirety, and that’s “Back to the Shack.” The band premiered the song on its own cruise a few months back, and thanks to some well-circulated fan-shot videos, the song has become the first full taste of the new album.

That song is as much about Cuomo’s relationship with the audience as it is a throwback to the band’s early years (the opening lyrics are “Sorry guys, I didn’t realize that I needed you so much/ I thought I’d get a new audience/ I forgot that disco sucks”), and that audience ended up participating in the song’s writing too. “That’s a perfect example of how the fans help Weezer,” says Cuomo. “I think on the fan-cam version, there’s a line in the bridge ‘We belong in the rock world.’ And then I changed it to ‘We belong in the rock zone.’ When we kept performing the song live, the fans heard that one change in that one word, and online they started hitting me saying ‘Change it back to rock world!’ That’s how fine-tuned their aesthetic is. I asked the guys [in the band], ‘Rock zone or rock world?’ And they all said ‘Rock world.’ So I changed it back.”

The studio version of “Back to the Shack” also illustrates the influence of producer Ric Ocasek, who worked on both the Blue Album and the Green Album. “We really liked the chorus, but it felt like the second half needed a lift,” Cuomo explains. “So I tried to find different melodies and different beats and all these different things. I couldn’t crack the code. So we had to go ahead and record it anyway, so we recorded it and one day Ric said, ‘You know, I kind of hear this melody in the second half of the chorus,’ and he picked up a guitar and played what is now the synth line in the second half of the chorus, and it was totally perfect. It gives it a lift, but it’s not too much new information that you get distracted or pull out of the song. So that’s a perfect example of how he’s been able to contribute this time around in ways that he hasn’t before, in a way that is so Ric. That little synth melody is so Cars, really.”

For more on Everything Will Be Alright In The End, check out this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly and stay tuned to the Music Mix for more behind-the-scenes fun.