Weezer Singer Rivers Cuomo is ‘Nirvana’s Biggest Fan’

2014-02-24

Story by Anne Erickson

Weezer’s River Cuomo says he listened to Nirvana’s ‘Bleach’ album before early Weezer rehearsals

Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo says he’s “Nirvana’s biggest fan.” Speaking with Rolling Stone in the magazine’s new tribute issue to Nirvana, Cuomo gushed about his adoration for the legendary grunge rock group, especially frontman Kurt Cobain’s music.

“I feel like I was Nirvana’s biggest fan in the Nineties,” he said. “I’m sure there are a zillion people who would make that claim, but I was just so passionately in love with the music that it made me feel sick. It made my heart hurt.”

Cuomo first discovered Nirvana while working at Tower Records in Los Angeles. He was intrigued by what he calls “the other, far-hipper employees” and started checking out their music.

“I remember they played (the Nirvana song) ‘Sliver’ for me, and I was immediately in love,” he said. “It had the aggression that I needed from my upbringing as a metalhead, but paired with strong, major-key chord progressions and catchy, emotional melodies and lyrics that felt so nostalgic and sweet and painful. It just sounded like it was coming from the deepest part inside of me — a part which I hadn’t yet been able to come close to articulating in my own music.”

Because of his fascination with Nirvana, Cuomo said his approach to making music in Weezer changed. He recalled listening to the Nirvana’s debut album, “Bleach,” with future Weezer band mate Pat Wilson “every night on the way to band practice. That’s when I started singing — up until then, I had just been a lead guitar player — and I sounded a lot like Kurt, very Seattle.”




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