Rivers Cuomo: “We suppressed these impulses for many years... It was a real joy to open up that Pandora’s box of evil guitar tools and go crazy“

Rivers Cuomo
(Image credit: Future / Kevin Scanlon)

Given the fact that Weezer's latest album is called Van Weezer, (this from a band that has famously fashioned its flying “W” logo after Van Halen’s iconic “VH” wings), one might easily assume that the group’s frontman, lead guitarist and songwriter, Rivers Cuomo, is an avowed fan of the late six-string legend and company. This is a notion that he immediately puts to rest.

“Honestly, I’m not the Van Halen guy in the band,” he states emphatically. “I don’t really know anything about them. I got seriously into music and guitar with the micro generation right after Van Halen, so that would’ve been Ratt, Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Metallica. The other guys in Weezer were all super-into Van Halen.”

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.