Weezer are expected to finish recording their fifth album next month with producer Rick Rubin for a late 2004/early 2005 release, but their singer has loftier goals on his mind. Rivers Cuomo plans to return to Harvard University this fall, picking up where he left off when he exited the Massachusetts school after the spring 1997 semester.
Cuomo first entered Harvard in the fall of 1995, a year after Weezer released their self-titled hit debut. During that academic year he crafted songs for the band’s follow-up, Pinkerton, in between his class work. However, the album’s commercial failure prompted Cuomo to postpone his studies. “I wanted to cure myself of the Romanticism which I believed was to blame for my failure,” the English Literature major wrote in a re-entry letter sent to Harvard’s admission office.
After a two-year academic hiatus, Cuomo had a change of heart and tried to return to Harvard. “I actually gave up my mission and decided to go back to school,” he wrote, “sacrificing my music career indefinitely.” But he missed the registration deadline by two weeks. “I could only move forward with the music,” he continued.
The registration snafu prompted Weezer to begin work on another self-titled record, dubbed by fans as “The Green Album,” which was released in 2001. The album was a hit, debuting Number Four on the charts. A year later the group released its fourth album, Maladroit.
As promotion began for Maladroit, Weezer had already began recording their fifth album, putting some new songs on their Web site in mid-2002. Those sessions were scrapped in favor of some time off. Earlier this year, Cuomo began working on new material with Rubin, eventually moving into an empty apartment next to the enigmatic producer’s house. Cuomo also returned to academia, taking a class (“The History of Literary Criticism”) at the University of Southern California this spring.
“Month by month, I have watched my creative flexibility growing,” Cuomo continued. “The music I have created over the last six months has brought me much enjoyment.”