Rick Rubin, who will produce no less than a half dozen albums in 2004, has met a songwriter who works as hard as he does.
"He writes more than anyone I've ever met," Rubin said of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. Coming from a producer who has worked with such songwriters as Trent Reznor, Sheryl Crow, Anthony Kiedis, Tom Petty and Johnny Cash, that's quite a statement.
"There was a period where I would get a new CD from him every day with one or more songs, plus whatever revisions I would ask for on other songs," Rubin said. "He's just a writing machine [with] a great work ethic."
Rubin has been overseeing Cuomo's writing sessions for the next Weezer album for almost a year, and the band is finally about to record the material. Cuomo, who has numbered his songs since 1999 and in May of 2002 was already at 378, has acquired a reputation as a prolific songwriter, but Rubin wants him to be known as much for quality as quantity.
"One of the things we've been looking for is lyrical growth," Rubin said. "Maybe have more songs that are more personal and less ironic, but I wouldn't say that's a be-all-end-all rule, more of something to think about. [We're working on] writing the best songs, really caring about reconnecting with the musical muse and doing whatever it takes to write great songs."
Weezer are eyeing a fall release for the as-yet-untitled album. The group released both The Blue Album: Deluxe Edition and the "Video Capture Device: Treasures From the Vault 1991-2002" DVD this week (see "Bad Behavior, Kitchen Sessions On New Weezer DVD, Reissue").