http://www.altpress.com/features/entry/this_is_beginning_to_hurt_a_...


it was posted in another thread, but it's such a good read it deserves it's own thread.

basically, karl, matt, and their A&R guy from geffen at the time give the history of pinkerton up until matt left the band.

for the people who think matt is a douche bag, read the article, and then leave your apologies.  and rivers doesn't exactly come out as a saint

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You make very good points. And I know even when writing songs in my last band...I often came in with a song written in terms of the guitar, vocals, melody, and structure...but let the other guys flesh out all their own parts. Other times one of the other guys would have a cool riff or a part of a song and we'd work on it and I'd finish it into a whole song. So there definately is more than one way to handle it like you mentioned. I've also dealt with members who have a riff or song idea that isn't very good and nobody can finish it into a song but that member keeps pushing for it because they don't realize it is bad...so then somebody has to be in charge and have the final say to get rid of it.

As for Weezer, yeah...Pat has some credits for My Name is Jonas and Surf Wax so clearly he has some good ideas. Although, I still wouldn't like Automatic no matter who sang it and I've never liked most of the Special Goodness songs...and believe me, I've tried to get into them. Still, Pat is a great musician so I'm sure he has some good input but I have a feeling someone would still have to make the final call of what's good or bad. Brian's stuff I've actually liked a lot. The old Space Twins stuff is great. And from what I've heard so far of his stuff from The Relationship...some of those songs are pretty good too. I thought "It's Easy" was a great song as well and should have made the Red album instead of "Thought I Knew"...even though that was still a decent song. I've often wondered why Rivers doesn't write with Brian more since Brian clearly has a good ear for melody and song writing as well. Rivers may very well be over controlling behind closed doors. My only point was that sometimes when a band leader (for lack of a better term) tries to weed out the good from the bad...it very often will be perceived by the other members as being egotistical or controlling. I've often heard that the most successful bands are actually a benevolent dictatorship...where one person or sometimes two people are in charge but actively uses input and ideas from other band members when the ideas are good. Even in this case some members will see this as being too controlling. I think you're right about making sure everyone in the band is good at their part in the process. I think the problem lies in that sometimes some people think they are good at other parts of the process when in reality they aren't but don't realize it.


Philip Taylor Jr. said:
"Cold Dark World" - not so good.
"In The Mall" - crap.
"Automatic" - good song. No offense to Pat but I'd prefer Rivers sing it. But that's just because it doesn't sound like Weezer without Rivers on vocals.

So..."Automatic", "My Name Is Jonas', and "Surf Wax America". Three songs that Pat Wilson helped enough to earn a writing credit on. All good songs. The latter to are great songs actually.

"Thought I Knew" is also pretty good, so Brian Bell can write decently as well.

"Cold Dark World"...yeah...not so good. But to me it goes with the "bad boy" vibe I feel Scott looks like he's trying to put off.

In my opinion, at least Cuomo, Wilson, and Bell could make a good songwriting team if you want to go that route. I heard a radio interview around the Maladroit timeframe where Rivers said he brings the song in pretty much done in terms of melody and guitar and the other guys come up with their own parts and harmonies. Dunno how true it was but it seems like a decent compromise if you don't mind just making up your part. Not so good if you want to really be involved in the songwriting as a whole.

I do know what it is like to want to have everything done your way and not really trust your other band members all that much to come up with stuff. But that was when I was playing with guys who really weren't on the same level as myself. Once I started playing music with some other guys who were all on the same level we could really fill the song in with our own parts and give each other opinions of what the other had come up with. Sometimes we start with a song one of us has written already and flesh it out, sometimes we fiddle around with riffs and make something up from scratch all together. In the end, by working together, we come out with a pretty solid song.

There is more than one way to pull it off. What it boils down to is making sure whoever, whether one or more, is writing the song is good at what he/she/they do.



ekloot said:
Well, it can be looked at as being controlling or it can be looked at as having the better vision and not letting it get watered down. Let's face it, if the band was treated more like an true democracy...we might end up with more "Cold Dark Worlds, Automatics, or In the Malls"...which aren't very good compared to most Weezer songs. I've been in a few bands myself and write a decent amount of music too...I've found that some musicians/band members don't have a very clear sense of what's actually good or bad (at least in terms of what the average listener is going to like). So if you let those band members have too much control of the direction of the band, the end product tends to suffer. I think many times that the person with the best creative vision has to kind of steer how things go in order to keep the train on the tracks. Obviously, it's best to take the good ideas and input from other band members and use those whenever possible, but sometimes certain ideas have to get tossed out and that can be viewed as controlling. This doesn't mean that Rivers might not be over-controlling...who knows...but I think many band leaders get the label of being too controlling when in fact they are just trying to keep things going in the right direction.
Great F**king article.
glad people are starting to read this...



Ron Hall said:
Great F**king article.
I don't see that as true. The blue Album was very collaborative, and that was great.

was in the mall collaborative or was Rivers just saying, your song, go do what you want. I won't help you write a melody or guitar part or give a lyric suggestion.



ekloot said:
Well, it can be looked at as being controlling or it can be looked at as having the better vision and not letting it get watered down. Let's face it, if the band was treated more like an true democracy...we might end up with more "Cold Dark Worlds, Automatics, or In the Malls"...which aren't very good compared to most Weezer songs. I've been in a few bands myself and write a decent amount of music too...I've found that some musicians/band members don't have a very clear sense of what's actually good or bad (at least in terms of what the average listener is going to like). So if you let those band members have too much control of the direction of the band, the end product tends to suffer. I think many times that the person with the best creative vision has to kind of steer how things go in order to keep the train on the tracks. Obviously, it's best to take the good ideas and input from other band members and use those whenever possible, but sometimes certain ideas have to get tossed out and that can be viewed as controlling. This doesn't mean that Rivers might not be over-controlling...who knows...but I think many band leaders get the label of being too controlling when in fact they are just trying to keep things going in the right direction.
Yeah, sometimes collaboration is definately the best thing. It really depends on the band members personalities...and we don't know how well the guys in Weezer are able to work together behind closed doors. And I'm not really sure if the Blue Album was really all that collaborative aside from Pat helping on the writing of a few songs and the other guys maybe having a little input here or there. If you listen to Rivers' home demo of Buddy Holly, there is almost no musical difference between that and the album version so clearly the other guys virtually had no input on that one...who knows about some of the other songs. Depending on personalities, sometimes collaboration can also be a very painful thing and a growing song gets pulled in a million directions with no consensus and constant arguing...once again, depends on all the personalities. I've seen this happen in a band with no leader or when a band doesn't have someone who makes the final call...and then you try to be a democracy and vote on stuff and people vote in 4 different directions and songs never get finished and things never get done. So whether a band can be a truly collaborative effort really depends on the people, the situation, and the talent levels.


Dungeon Master said:
I don't see that as true. The blue Album was very collaborative, and that was great.

was in the mall collaborative or was Rivers just saying, your song, go do what you want. I won't help you write a melody or guitar part or give a lyric suggestion.



ekloot said:
Well, it can be looked at as being controlling or it can be looked at as having the better vision and not letting it get watered down. Let's face it, if the band was treated more like an true democracy...we might end up with more "Cold Dark Worlds, Automatics, or In the Malls"...which aren't very good compared to most Weezer songs. I've been in a few bands myself and write a decent amount of music too...I've found that some musicians/band members don't have a very clear sense of what's actually good or bad (at least in terms of what the average listener is going to like). So if you let those band members have too much control of the direction of the band, the end product tends to suffer. I think many times that the person with the best creative vision has to kind of steer how things go in order to keep the train on the tracks. Obviously, it's best to take the good ideas and input from other band members and use those whenever possible, but sometimes certain ideas have to get tossed out and that can be viewed as controlling. This doesn't mean that Rivers might not be over-controlling...who knows...but I think many band leaders get the label of being too controlling when in fact they are just trying to keep things going in the right direction.
well, you are assuming that no one gave Rivers any input and that it was his first demo of the song.



ekloot said:
Yeah, sometimes collaboration is definately the best thing. It really depends on the band members personalities...and we don't know how well the guys in Weezer are able to work together behind closed doors. And I'm not really sure if the Blue Album was really all that collaborative aside from Pat helping on the writing of a few songs and the other guys maybe having a little input here or there. If you listen to Rivers' home demo of Buddy Holly, there is almost no musical difference between that and the album version so clearly the other guys virtually had no input on that one...who knows about some of the other songs. Depending on personalities, sometimes collaboration can also be a very painful thing and a growing song gets pulled in a million directions with no consensus and constant arguing...once again, depends on all the personalities. I've seen this happen in a band with no leader or when a band doesn't have someone who makes the final call...and then you try to be a democracy and vote on stuff and people vote in 4 different directions and songs never get finished and things never get done. So whether a band can be a truly collaborative effort really depends on the people, the situation, and the talent levels.


Dungeon Master said:
I don't see that as true. The blue Album was very collaborative, and that was great.

was in the mall collaborative or was Rivers just saying, your song, go do what you want. I won't help you write a melody or guitar part or give a lyric suggestion.



ekloot said:
Well, it can be looked at as being controlling or it can be looked at as having the better vision and not letting it get watered down. Let's face it, if the band was treated more like an true democracy...we might end up with more "Cold Dark Worlds, Automatics, or In the Malls"...which aren't very good compared to most Weezer songs. I've been in a few bands myself and write a decent amount of music too...I've found that some musicians/band members don't have a very clear sense of what's actually good or bad (at least in terms of what the average listener is going to like). So if you let those band members have too much control of the direction of the band, the end product tends to suffer. I think many times that the person with the best creative vision has to kind of steer how things go in order to keep the train on the tracks. Obviously, it's best to take the good ideas and input from other band members and use those whenever possible, but sometimes certain ideas have to get tossed out and that can be viewed as controlling. This doesn't mean that Rivers might not be over-controlling...who knows...but I think many band leaders get the label of being too controlling when in fact they are just trying to keep things going in the right direction.
True, but it's not like it's such a far fetched assumption since it is on an album called "Alone, The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo"...it wasn't called "Mostly Alone...The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo with Help or Input from Various Other People". In truth, none of us will ever know the dynamics of the band back then or even now...we can only make assumptions from things we've read in interviews or heard from people who are close to the band so in reality it's probably somewhat pointless for any of us to debate any of this stuff.


Dungeon Master said:
well, you are assuming that no one gave Rivers any input and that it was his first demo of the song.



ekloot said:
Yeah, sometimes collaboration is definately the best thing. It really depends on the band members personalities...and we don't know how well the guys in Weezer are able to work together behind closed doors. And I'm not really sure if the Blue Album was really all that collaborative aside from Pat helping on the writing of a few songs and the other guys maybe having a little input here or there. If you listen to Rivers' home demo of Buddy Holly, there is almost no musical difference between that and the album version so clearly the other guys virtually had no input on that one...who knows about some of the other songs. Depending on personalities, sometimes collaboration can also be a very painful thing and a growing song gets pulled in a million directions with no consensus and constant arguing...once again, depends on all the personalities. I've seen this happen in a band with no leader or when a band doesn't have someone who makes the final call...and then you try to be a democracy and vote on stuff and people vote in 4 different directions and songs never get finished and things never get done. So whether a band can be a truly collaborative effort really depends on the people, the situation, and the talent levels.


Dungeon Master said:
I don't see that as true. The blue Album was very collaborative, and that was great.

was in the mall collaborative or was Rivers just saying, your song, go do what you want. I won't help you write a melody or guitar part or give a lyric suggestion.



ekloot said:
Well, it can be looked at as being controlling or it can be looked at as having the better vision and not letting it get watered down. Let's face it, if the band was treated more like an true democracy...we might end up with more "Cold Dark Worlds, Automatics, or In the Malls"...which aren't very good compared to most Weezer songs. I've been in a few bands myself and write a decent amount of music too...I've found that some musicians/band members don't have a very clear sense of what's actually good or bad (at least in terms of what the average listener is going to like). So if you let those band members have too much control of the direction of the band, the end product tends to suffer. I think many times that the person with the best creative vision has to kind of steer how things go in order to keep the train on the tracks. Obviously, it's best to take the good ideas and input from other band members and use those whenever possible, but sometimes certain ideas have to get tossed out and that can be viewed as controlling. This doesn't mean that Rivers might not be over-controlling...who knows...but I think many band leaders get the label of being too controlling when in fact they are just trying to keep things going in the right direction.
I don't question the fact of it being just Rivers alone on the demo we have. that is true.

I am questioning the fact this was a song he did entirely by himself. He could have played an acoustic version of the song to matt and he could said 'oh, you should change this or do this'. not saying that did happen, just that it could have.



ekloot said:
True, but it's not like it's such a far fetched assumption since it is on an album called "Alone, The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo"...it wasn't called "Mostly Alone...The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo with Help or Input from Various Other People". In truth, none of us will ever know the dynamics of the band back then or even now...we can only make assumptions from things we've read in interviews or heard from people who are close to the band so in reality it's probably somewhat pointless for any of us to debate any of this stuff.


Dungeon Master said:
well, you are assuming that no one gave Rivers any input and that it was his first demo of the song.



ekloot said:
Yeah, sometimes collaboration is definately the best thing. It really depends on the band members personalities...and we don't know how well the guys in Weezer are able to work together behind closed doors. And I'm not really sure if the Blue Album was really all that collaborative aside from Pat helping on the writing of a few songs and the other guys maybe having a little input here or there. If you listen to Rivers' home demo of Buddy Holly, there is almost no musical difference between that and the album version so clearly the other guys virtually had no input on that one...who knows about some of the other songs. Depending on personalities, sometimes collaboration can also be a very painful thing and a growing song gets pulled in a million directions with no consensus and constant arguing...once again, depends on all the personalities. I've seen this happen in a band with no leader or when a band doesn't have someone who makes the final call...and then you try to be a democracy and vote on stuff and people vote in 4 different directions and songs never get finished and things never get done. So whether a band can be a truly collaborative effort really depends on the people, the situation, and the talent levels.


Dungeon Master said:
I don't see that as true. The blue Album was very collaborative, and that was great.

was in the mall collaborative or was Rivers just saying, your song, go do what you want. I won't help you write a melody or guitar part or give a lyric suggestion.



ekloot said:
Well, it can be looked at as being controlling or it can be looked at as having the better vision and not letting it get watered down. Let's face it, if the band was treated more like an true democracy...we might end up with more "Cold Dark Worlds, Automatics, or In the Malls"...which aren't very good compared to most Weezer songs. I've been in a few bands myself and write a decent amount of music too...I've found that some musicians/band members don't have a very clear sense of what's actually good or bad (at least in terms of what the average listener is going to like). So if you let those band members have too much control of the direction of the band, the end product tends to suffer. I think many times that the person with the best creative vision has to kind of steer how things go in order to keep the train on the tracks. Obviously, it's best to take the good ideas and input from other band members and use those whenever possible, but sometimes certain ideas have to get tossed out and that can be viewed as controlling. This doesn't mean that Rivers might not be over-controlling...who knows...but I think many band leaders get the label of being too controlling when in fact they are just trying to keep things going in the right direction.
It's the "home recordings" of Rivers Cuomo. Not the "solo written songs of Rivers Cuomo". Tracks 2, 4, and 16 on the first Alone are cover songs and "Lemonade" is co-written by Pat Wilson and Alone II has a Beach Boys cover.
thank you for that...


Philip Taylor Jr. said:
It's the "home recordings" of Rivers Cuomo. Not the "solo written songs of Rivers Cuomo". Tracks 2, 4, and 16 on the first Alone are cover songs and "Lemonade" is co-written by Pat Wilson and Alone II has a Beach Boys cover.
Good Point...I stand corrected, I forgot about the co-written song with Pat. However, even that makes my point with regards to Buddy Holly. If Pat or anyone had helped with that one...they would have gotten credit on it like with Lemonade...since Rivers was obviously giving credit on the ones he didn't write alone. My point is that Blue might not have been nearly as collaborative as you might think. I read an article a couple weeks ago that was from around the 1994 time frame where Pat said Weezer was really Rivers' band and not really a "band band" like it was in the very beginning...and it appeared in the article that the lack of collaboration bothered him (which is very understandable obviously). Based on that interview as well as other interviews...it doesn't seem like Weezer has ever been a very collaborative band with respect to the song writing specifically. Although, I imagine the other guys in the band could have had a fair hand in making their own parts within many of the final versions of songs on the various albums. We're probably starting to get a little off topic. My original point with regards to the original article was that sometimes a songwriter keeps a little control over things in order to keep everything headed towards their idea of some musical end goal and this will seem controlling whether it is or not...and sometimes a little control is necessary depending on the personality and tastes of the individual members, sometimes it is not necessary depending on those same things. Whether it's necessary in Weezer or whether it does or doesn't even happen in that band...we'll never know for sure unless the members directly answer those question, which I doubt they will.


Dungeon Master said:
thank you for that...


Philip Taylor Jr. said:
It's the "home recordings" of Rivers Cuomo. Not the "solo written songs of Rivers Cuomo". Tracks 2, 4, and 16 on the first Alone are cover songs and "Lemonade" is co-written by Pat Wilson and Alone II has a Beach Boys cover.
Thanks for posting...great read and informative (probably more so without River's input.....)

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