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10.08.08

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Phaedra

HAT TRICK:Weezer understands the importance of appropriate head gear.

Irony Lungs

Weezer sings for the outcasts

By John Gentile


ALTHOUGH the terms Weezer and irony are often synonymous, the force of bassist Scott Shriner's voice lets anyone in the immediate area now that he actually means what he says.

"Weezer is on a mission to bring the rock to the people, kick ass and have a good time!" says Shriner.

Weezer really is on a mission to rock, have a good time and, especially, kick ass. Rejuvenated by their newfound self-acceptance, Weezer has morphed into a single, fighting unit, with all members of the band getting mic duties in the studio and onstage.

"The band is much more cohesive," says Shriner. While equal footing has torn hundreds of bands to shreds, Shriner says that it has made Weezer more Weez-ier than ever. "Now that we're all writing, singing and working on songs together, it gives us more focus."

Weezer the unit, rather than Weezer the one-or-two-guys-directing-the-show, came about through an agreement from the entire band in an effort to get to the core of what the group is. Shriner says, "I love bands who have multiple singers. When we started the Red record, our latest release, we had goals we wanted to achieve. Singing a song was one of everybody's goals, so we made sure we did it."

Now that everyone in Weezer is getting their 15 minutes of fame, the band decided to reflect this in the music video for "Pork and Beans." The video showcases dozens of viral Internet videos featuring many butts of pop culture's jokes, including a karate expert who belly flops mid–back flip, that guy who sang "Chocolate Rain," and G.I. Joe giving questionable advice.

But while the people featured in the YouTube clips are doomed to being laughed at by anyone who knows how to click a hyperlink, the "Pork and Beans" video gives them a shot at redemption. For example, after our karate expert suffers his gymnastic mishap, he quickly jumps to his feet and annihilates two would-be attackers, redeeming his honor.

"These YouTube videos were just people doing what they felt like doing," says Shriner. "So, we are just showing these different celebrities finally getting their day in the sun. Everybody gets a day in the sun at least once ... or at least they should."

What most fans might not realize is that while the band often projects the image of the quiet, introspective slacker, at least one member, Shriner, shatters that stereotype.

Before Shriner played music professionally, he was a rifleman in the Marines. Shriner considers this discipline one of the things that have helped Weezer stay together through the nervous breakdowns and general discontent of various band members over the years.

"I really gained some leadership skills and it instilled some teamwork aspects that I didn't get in high school," says Shriner. "My Marine training really helped Weezer in keeping us together. The Marine Corps did wonders for my work ethic and camaraderie."

On whether Weezer ever gets tired of being glued to the concept of irony, Shriner says, "I think we tried making a less ironic record with our last album Make Believe and kept it more sincere, and I think it missed a part of our personality. I think irony is a part of the Weezer name. No, it doesn't bother me too much at all. Irony is a part of Weezer. We're trouble makers and we don't take ourselves too seriously."

In fact, the band have dubbed the latest tour "The Troublemaker Tour" as a way to restate their mission. On how the audience has enthusiastically embraced the title Shriner says, "I've never seen so many pits on tour. I've never seen so many pogo-ers on any tour."

So why has the band of perpetual slackers caused such a vibrant reaction in the audience? Shriner, in his bold Marine voice, reasserts the new Weezer manifesto: "Because Weezer is out to cause trouble and kick ass and stir it up all around the country."

 WEEZER performs on Monday (Oct. 13) at 6:30pm at San Jose State Event Center, 290 S. Seventh St., San Jose. Tickets are $49.50. (408.998.TIXS)


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