Say it ain't so, boys.
As any Weezer fan will tell you, the seminal alt-rock band has a habit of dropping hints about their imminent demise between records only to resurface with a new release.
This time, however, Weezer's bespectacled leader, Rivers Cuomo, has announced that after 13 years and five albums, culminating with last year's platinum-selling Make Believe, the group's latest break may be permanent.
"Really for the moment, we are done," the frontman tells MTV News. "And I'm not certain we'll ever make a record again, unless it becomes really obvious to me that we need to do one."
Cuomo, 36, discussed Weezer's future from his in-laws house in Japan, where he and new bride Kyoko Ito are currently spending their honeymoon.
He said he still communicates regularly with his band mates--the current lineup includes guitarist Brian Bell, bassist Scott Shriner and drummer Patrick Wilson--all of whom served as groomsmen at his June wedding in Malibu and are now back in Los Angeles. And while all of them appear to be on good terms, Cuomo says he needs some time to focus on himself.
"All this year, I've been feeling pretty creative and excited, so I've been writing a lot," Cuomo said. "I don't know what'll happen with these songs--if anything--I just sort of write them and I can't stop. I certainly don't see them becoming Weezer songs, and I don't really see the point of a solo career. So we'll just have to see."
Of course, devotees don't put too much stock in such pronouncements. After all, Weezer waited five years between the release of 1996's sophomore effort, Pinkerton, and the band's third album, 2001's Weezer (also known as The Green Album, based on the color of the cover, to differentiate it from the band's 1994's self-titled debut, whose cover was blue).
What makes Cuomo's latest statement stand out from similar remarks the eccentric musician has made in the past is that Cuomo had hit some personal milestones. In addition to tying the knot, he finally graduated from Harvard after attending part-time over a 10-year period. And fans combing through the liner notes of Make Believe know that there's a quote of a parting soliloquy from Shakespeare's final play, The Tempest, suggesting that the end has come.
While he might not be ready for a full-blown solo album, Cuomo has been recording his new compositions.
"I get on my crazy Japanese bike and ride for 10 minutes down to the mega-mall, and on the third floor they have all these studios you can rent for five bucks an hour, with drums and a soundboard and everything," he tells MTV. "So I go in there and work, and when I'm done, I exit in the midst of a Japanese mega-mall."
Some of the new tunes the "Hash Pipe" rocker has been hashing out include "Heart Songs," a tribute to such Cuomo influences as Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald" and Nirvana's Nevermind, and the song "Our Time Will Come," which he wrote in honor of the U.S. men's soccer team.
There's also rampant Internet speculation about a Weezer greatest hits album coming out later this year on Interscope Records, that would presumably contain such alternative anthems as "Undone--The Sweater Song," "Buddy Holly," "Say It Ain't So" and "Beverly Hills." But Cuomo downplayed the rumors, saying Weezer doesn't have enough great songs to make such a collection "worth putting out at this point."
"I'd like to include two more amazing songs on there. And anything else would just seem lazy to me. We'll see, though. I don't really feel comfortable with it right now."
In other words, don't count Weezer out just yet. And reminding fans just how such pronouncements have easily come undone before, Weezer's official Website issued a post addressing Cuomo's MTV interview, noting that by this point it should come as no surprise that the future of Weez remains, as always, unwritten."