Weezer Bassist Quits To Focus On Rentals

Original member Matt Sharp wants to put more time into Moog-inspired side band.

After months of speculation, a source close to power-pop band Weezer

confirmed Tuesday that original bassist Matt Sharp will be leaving the band to

concentrate on his Moog-obsessed side project, the Rentals.

Sharp's replacement is Boston-based bassist Mikey Welsh (Juliana Hatfield).

Welsh will be on hand when Weezer begin sessions for their third album, the

follow-up to 1996's Pinkerton, for which they have almost finished pre-

production.

Although Sharp has not officially left the group yet, an announcement is

expected soon, according to the source, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Welsh won the spot in the "Buddy Holly" band after sitting in a few times over

the past year with singer Rivers Cuomo during some low-key shows at Boston

bar T.T. The Bears.

Sharp's last released work with the band will likely be an old song ("Mykel &

Carli") featured on a compilation released last November to benefit the family of

Mykel and Carli Allan, two sisters who ran the Weezer fan club who, along with

their younger sister, Trysta, were killed in a car accident in early July of last

year.

In addition, the benefit album Hear You Me! featured songs by

Kara's Flowers, Supersport 2000, Chopper One, Black Market Flowers and

several others.

Sharp also appeared on the song "American Girls" with singer Cuomo -- under

the band name Homie -- on the soundtrack to the recent kid flick "Meet the

Deedles."