Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo Details Weird Pill Stories Behind New Song
Weezer frontman/chief songwriter Rivers Cuomo has offered the illuminating, often awkward, inspiration behind the band’s blistering love-via-drugs ode “Do You Wanna Get High?,” their second new song in as many weeks. “This is about me and my darling girlfriend in 2000/2001 – the same girl that inspired ‘O Girlfriend’ from the Green Album (“taking pills and mellowing out”),” Cuomo writes on lyric annotation site Genius. “Those were some incredible nights,” he continues, also noting, “I remember hanging out with [Limp Bizkit singer] Fred Durst around that time too.”
Cuomo breaks down roughly half the words from the pill-centric, Pinkerton-leaning hard rock jam, explaining that the songs reflect a past mindset – not a current one. “I try to avoid pills now at all costs,” he writes. “Even when I had knee surgery in 2013, I refused anything but Advil. I love Advil now, though, I’ll tell you.”
The song opens with the lyric, “Crush up the blue / And inhale through your nose.” Cuomo admits, “I don’t know if it works any better, but it makes you feel cool, like you’re taking a more serious drug.” Later, he writes that the line “with our face in a knot” refers to the pain of breaking his drug habit: “I was rough to be around in those days. When you’re coming off of pills, you can be grumpy.”
Cuomo also breaks down the song’s most memorable lyric, “We can listen to Bacharach / And stop at any point,” writing, “I’ll stop at 2 pills, max. I have a milligram scale to measure any kind of addictive substance I might be taking, for example, caffeine. I keep track of it all in google docs and taper my withdrawals to minimize discomfort.”
Elsewhere, he speaks in Spanish, says he hopes to visit Mexico on Christmas vacation and shares some creepy parental advice he once received (“My mom once told me that your souls combine if you sleep with someone overnight”).
“Do You Wanna Get High?” and the more playful “Thank God for Girls” mark Weezer’s first new material since last year’s LP Everything Will Be Alright in the End, widely praised as a return-to-form for the alternative rock veterans.
After premiering “High?”, Cuomo spoke with Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe about the flexible state of Weezer. “We don’t have a record deal anymore so we’re kind of on the loose and experimenting and nobody’s in charge anymore,” he said. “We’re just doing what we want to do.”
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