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‘Smart Girls’ on was originally called ‘Where Did All These Hot Girls Come From’. I didn’t give any context for it, but I was talking about girls tweeting at me – where were they when I was single?And a line in ‘Runaway’: “Is it us making love in the Milky Way?
Before we start our interview, he sends a few emails and complains that he is constantly putting together sentences with words in the wrong order.
While Rivers once oscillated between celibacy and the aggressive pursuit of groupies, he is now married (to Kyoko Ito, a Japanese native who he met at one of his shows in Boston) and has a young daughter; at age forty, his life is happier and more balanced.
Unless he’s on Twitter, that is, in which case the weirdness flows freely from his head.
“Awkward and difficult.” That’s Rivers Cuomo, lead singer of Weezer, telling me about a pair of flippers he recently wore with a wetsuit.
Asked if that meant the flippers were autobiographical, he laughs heartily and says, “I guess so.”I’ve known Rivers for seventeen years.
We met in 1994, when I was an editor at (an American men’s magazine) and Weezer were enjoying the first flash of success with ‘Undone – The Sweater Song’, an anthem that laid out the band’s template: loud guitars, catchy melodies, and lyrics that seemed inscrutable (“If you want to destroy my sweater”) but on closer inspection, were emotional and revealing.But he still has lots of unusual thoughts and obsessions bouncing around his skull, as revealed by his Twitter account.Since July 2009, he’s posted over 1,200 tweets, from “Caught my wife looking at nudie pictures of dogs and horses online” to “The reason for my massive, continued success?I haven’t been around for some of his blackest days – like 1998-1999, which he largely spent alone in an apartment with the windows covered, compulsively writing songs – but over the years, I’ve gradually seen him become more comfortable in his own skin.At 9am on a Monday morning, I meet Rivers at a recording studio on the west side of Los Angeles, California. ” he asks the receptionist, who doesn’t recognise him – understandably, since in his specs and chinos, he looks more like an engineer than the lead singer of a band.Onstage in those early days, he usually let bassist Matt Sharp do any necessary bantering with the crowd.Since then, Weezer have released eight more albums and sold ten million records worldwide.(I’ve preserved the original spelling and punctuation of his tweets.) “I’ve been wondering when someone was going to use my tweets for an interview,” he says, settling onto a couch in the studio lounge.But he has one warning before we start: “I don’t know what the point of Twitter is.”Where did all my weird thoughts go before I had twitter?I’ve stayed in touch with Rivers by interviewing him periodically (albeit with long breaks, such as the five years he put Weezer on hiatus so he could attend Harvard).Whenever we see each other now, neither of us can believe that we’re still in our respective lines of work – journalism and rock, respectively – let alone talking to each other, again.