April 07, 2002

The Power of the Rock

Ever since I first heard "Undone: The Sweater Song" at the tender age of 14, I've been a devoted Weezer fan. Not only did I run out and buy the album, but I even joined the fan club (I was #51!!!) [see Karl's corner 6/7/2000] Flash forward six years, and I find myself at the Warped Tour, solely to see =W=, a band I had adored for years but sadly had never seen live. For the first time in my life I felt old (a sad thing to feel at age 20), surrounded by obnoxious pre-teen boys who just wanted to mosh, even when there was no music, and their parents who stood nearby with arms folded authoritatively. When I wasn't defending myself from the feisty crowd, I thought 'Was I getting too old for Weezer?'

Just when I thought I couldn't relate to Weezer anymore, I am reminded why I sent off $10 to join the fan club that summer of 1994. Eight years after the "blue album" and almost exactly one year to the date from the release of the "green album", Weezer are set to release their fourth record Maladroit on May 14.

More than just 'record #4', Maladroit marks an unprecedented historical victory for artists over record labels. The album consists of thirteen new tracks, recorded, financed, and even distributed by the band itself via MP3s on its official website, Weezer.com. After each recording session, fans could visit the site to fiercely download several unedited MP3s of future Maladroit tracks. The downloading continued for a few months until Weezer's label Interscope shut down the audio-visual page on the band's website. But Interscope couldn't stop the rock. Thanks to unauthorized radio play of the unofficial single "Dope Nose", the song made it into the official rotation with no promotion from Interscope. Radio success, as well as loyal fans bombarding Interscope with email and letters, forced Interscope not only to establish the May 14 release date, but most importantly, restore the audio-visual page on Weezer.com, allowing the band to once again distribute free MP3s.

Read about how Maladroit almost wasn't at Unreleased Weezer for the Masses.

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