Claiming that bassist Matt Sharp has his priorities out of whack, Pat Wilson,
drummer with the Southern California pop-rock group Weezer, confirmed
Thursday that Sharp is all but officially out of the band.
"Matt needs to concentrate on the Rentals, and we need to make our record,"
Wilson said from his home in Portland, Ore. "I think it is likely that we will make it
A source close to the Weezer camp said last Wednesday that Sharp is leaving
to concentrate on his other band, the Rentals, full time. Meanwhile, Weezer has
been rehearsing tunes for their forthcoming, untitled album with Mikey Welsh,
who had played bass for power-pop songstress Juliana Hatfield. Wilson said he
and the rest of the band are happy with Welsh and are close to naming him as
There has been no official word from either Geffen Records, which represents
Weezer, or Maverick Records, which represents the Rentals. But Wilson said he
believes that Sharp's fate will be officially revealed soon, as Weezer is on the
verge of recording the next album.
Weezer, best known for the whimsical alt-rock hits "Buddy Holly" and "Undone --
The Sweater Song," have also been practicing with a few other bass players
since January. Steve McDonald, formerly of Redd Kross, was one potential
replacement for Sharp, Wilson added.
"Steve is great, and he's an awesome bass player," he said. "If we were going
to be more into an instrumental focus, I think that Steve would be a nice fit,
because he's so creative. But I think with the current outlook and the way our
ensemble works, I think we need more of a foundation-style bass player."
Explaining why he feels that Weezer and Sharp have come to a crossroads,
Wilson said the bassist is avoiding having to pick between Weezer and the
Rentals. "Matt just doesn't want to deal with it, and I think he's ... basically
stringing us along. I don't have any problems saying that, because if someone
is really doing that, they should be able to face it."
Sharp, who is currently in the studio remixing the new Rentals album (Aug. 25),
was not available for comment. His fans were, however.
"I know Weezer hasn't broken up, but Matt was my favorite member," wrote Mike
Keating, 14, from Dracut, Mass., in an e-mail. "However, I do respect Matt's
decision, and I love the Rentals almost as much as I do Weezer."
But Sharp is not the only Weezer member who has struck out on his own.
Wilson himself is juggling two bands at once. Two years ago, he started the
Special Goodness and made a record that is currently in the hands of Rock
Records, a Japanese label. Rock Records is working out a deal with Wilson to
release the album in Japan, he said. Still, Wilson said he will not have to tour to
support the album, so the project will not get in the way of Weezer.
Meanwhile, Weezer have already written eight songs for their next album. "I've
written four songs myself, and there are some songs that [singer] Rivers
[Cuomo] has brought to us that we've fleshed out together. It'll probably be a 12-
"It's going to rock, and I think it will be more focused than the last record. If we
can somehow put everyone's abilities together, [the band] will be a bigger thing
than it used to be."
Adding to Weezer's pressures are the fact that they may be feeling the weight of
coming up with another hit record like their double-platinum debut. Weezer's
sophomore effort, Pinkerton, lacked the pop-sensibility of the group's first
Wilson, who said the band is not feeling any pressure from Geffen, added that
he feels "pressure for us to make a record that we like."
For Weezer to release an album this year, the band (which also includes
guitarist Brian Bell) will have to head into the studio by June. However, with
Sharp's position in the band still undecided, those plans could be delayed,
Nadia Lachance, an 18-year-old fan from Jefferson City, Mo., said she is still
getting over the news that Sharp was likely out of the band. "Once I got over the
denial of Matt Sharp being gone, I was really angry, because to me, Weezer will
never be the same. But now that I've heard a little more about Mikey and what
he's like, I'm really excited about seeing him and meeting him when they tour