Dear Record Labels,

It is me again, Rivers Cuomo of the band known as Weezer. How have you been? It’s been what, five years since we last spoke? I know we’ve both said some things that we didn’t mean. You once told me to write catchier songs, so I stormed out of the meeting and wrote some industry-hating rants for “Pinkerton” then became a hermit for a year due to commercial failure. I claimed Weezer was self-sufficient, left Interscope for indie labels in an I-don’t-need-labels-labels-need-me type of deal, but I was so wrong. Take Weezer back.

An open letter to record labels from Rivers Cuomo after Weezer's latest music release. PHOTO VIA FLICKR USER SAM HOWZIT

An open letter to record labels from Rivers Cuomo after Weezer’s latest music release. PHOTO VIA FLICKR USER SAM HOWZIT

The truth is, after 23 years of being a band, we just can’t make it without a label. By now, Weezer is basically just a scruffy-haired dad collective. Sure, we sold more than 8 million records in our time, and our hit songs are still played on the radio everyday. But forget about that. Remember, Weezer has always been about being the most famous, stadium-filling rock stars, and after leaving Interscope, we’ve fallen out of the spotlight. Our fans have grown up and had kids, and we seem to have lost the attention of every demographic. If you’re thinking, “doesn’t that 2015 Honda commercial where a family of three generations all sing Buddy Holly directly contradict this? Isn’t the point of this ad to show the timeless appeal of Weezer songs?” You are mistaken, my friend, nobody drives Hondas anymore! And with our songs on Guitar Hero, this doesn’t show the lasting relevance of our music to pop culture, of course. The problem is, there isn’t a way to show our music to massive audiences, to publicize or release songs successfully without a major label. I wish there were some sort of connective platform or technology that allowed musicians to do this, but there isn’t. We really are a helpless dad collective.

In the past, Weezer got along so well with label executives! Just look to our relationship with DGC and Interscope. From “The Green Album” to “Raditude”, we made a lot of albums. Who’s to say if these albums were good or not. Let’s forget about places like Pitchfork who consistently rated these albums below 5/10. No one reads them. Disregard the critical failure of “Make Believe” which received a 0.4/10 because at least we got that Los Angeles-celebrating anthem “Beverly Hills” out of it. Or way back after “Buddy Holly”, when Spike Jonze’s MTV music video success launched me into crisis, and I cut my hair and took off my glasses. This crisis was really just re-branding, not a reflection of my constant distaste with the gimmicks of music industry. The same goes for when I sent unreleased music to journalists without Interscope’s permission, or told college radio stations to stop playing our songs. All of this wasn’t to spite you. We worked so well together.

Last year we released “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” and just weren’t happy with the results. Despite getting the best critical reviews since basically “The Blue Album”, and making four successful singles, we think it would have gone better with a label. We toured and performed at multiple festivals, but we didn’t get to go to Coachella, which is the perfect place for us. In the past week, we released two new songs “Thank God for Girls” and “Do You Want to Get High,” receiving positive and thoughtful reviews, but who cares? We’ve been thinking, and if we changed our name to Weezing River would you sign us? Give it some thought.


Rivers Cuomo