Rivers Cuomo is a man of many talents, but clairvoyance is not one of them. The moustachioed 50-year-old Weezer frontman is at home in Santa Monica, sitting between his computer and his piano, explaining the sequence of unforeseen circumstances that led his band to delay the release of heavy metal record ‘Van Weezer’ by a full year and in the intervening time put out a whole new orchestral pop album, ‘OK Human’.
It all started in 2017, when Cuomo sat down in that same spot at his piano, beneath his hanging garden of creeping vines, to begin work on what he calls a “quirky, personal, non-commercial album with no big guitars”.
It was just as that record was nearing completion that the band – Cuomo plus drummer Patrick Wilson, rhythm guitarist Brian Bell and bassist Scott Shriner – learned that they’d been booked to play the Hella Mega Tour, a huge jaunt around the world’s stadiums alongside fellow rockers-of-a-certain-age Green Day and Fall Out Boy, from March to August last year. Cuomo says their excitement at hitting the road to play in front of such vast crowds was tempered by an immediate and troubling realisation: “We were like, ‘Okay, we just made the worst possible type of album you could make before a stadium rock tour.’”