Weezer Whacked With Suit By Former Bassist
Former Weezer bassist Matthew Sharp has filed a five-count lawsuit against the members of the band, its lawyers, and the group's former management and accountants. The complaint, filed April 19 in theFormer Weezer bassist Matthew Sharp has filed a five-count lawsuit against the members of the band, its lawyers, and the group's former management and accountants. The complaint, filed April 19 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, centers on Sharp's disagreement with Weezer singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo over the distribution of publishing royalties.
Sharp, a founding member of the group who left in 1998 to focus on his band, the Rentals, says he was promised a co-writing credit on Weezer's first hit, "Undone -- The Sweater Song," which reached No. 6 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. Additionally, Sharp argues that he owns a 25% interest in the first nine tracks on Weezer's 10-song sophomore Geffen effort "Pinkerton." The songs have been credited solely to Cuomo.
The suit says this has been a long-standing debate between Sharp and Cuomo, and quotes an April 24, 2001, E-mail from Cuomo to Sharp saying, "it's [sic] looks like we're gonna start making money again so we (you and I) had better get this thing squared away sooner rather than later so the money flows to all the right places without getting hitched up."
The suit, however, goes on to add that Cuomo and Sharp have continued speaking. It even states that Sharp believed Cuomo was going to ask him to appear in the music video for the song "Island in the Sun" after it became clear that drug problems suffered by Sharp's replacement, Mikey Welsh, would force him from the band. Weezer's current bassist is Scott Shriner.
Sharp is seeking damages to be determined at trial, as well as a full accounting record of his alliance with the band. "The allegations brought against Weezer by Matt Sharp are completely without merit," the band said in a statement. "Rather than address this at length in the press, we will use the proper venue, a court of law."
As previously reported, Weezer's next Interscope/Geffen set is due May 14. Dubbed "Maladroit," the album caused a bit of controversy when Cuomo sent radio stations and members of the media an eight-track "preview" disc without record label approval. Album track "Dope Nose" is currently No. 11 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart.
Weezer's Dusty West tour with Pete Yorn and AM Radio began earlier this week.