Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh has taken a leave of absence from the band, according to a post on its official Web site. According to the site, Welsh is suffering from a “private medical problem,” and is staying with his family in Boston while the band rehearses new material in Los Angeles for its upcoming tour. A call to the band’s label, Interscope/Geffen, was not immediately returned.
The site adds that the remaining members of the band — singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo, guitarist Brian Bell, and drummer Patrick Wilson — have been trying out new bassists “in case Mikey can’t make it,” while they flesh out some new tunes. As tipped here previously, the group has written a considerable amount of new material in the months since finishing its latest album.
In other Weezer news, the group will be filming a second video for “Island in the Sun,” the sophomore single from the new album. The initial clip for the song, directed by Marcos Siega, is currently in rotation on MTV, but the group has decided to make another video with in-demand director Spike Jonze, who also directed the clip for the new album’s first single, “Hash Pipe.” That clip is nominated for best rock video at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, set to air Sept. 6.
“Weezer,” the band’s second eponymous album and third overall, debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 in May. “Island in the Sun” is at No. 19 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart this week.