Matt Sharp

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Matt Sharp
Matt Sharp photo by Josh Alder.jpg
Matt Sharp after a solo tour show at the W.O.W. Hall in Eugene, Oregon, on September 22, 2004.
Background information
Birth nameMatthew Kelly Sharp
Born (1969-09-22) September 22, 1969 (age 49)
Bangkok, Thailand
OriginArlington County, Virginia, United States
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • Bass guitar
  • vocals
  • guitar
  • synthesizer
  • drums
Years active1985–present
Associated acts

Matthew Kelly Sharp (born September 22, 1969) is a Thai-born American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer, and is best known as a founding member and former bassist of the alternative rock band Weezer. In 1994, Sharp started a band named The Rentals, who released their debut album shortly after Weezer's first release, followed by their second album in 1999, and an EP in 2007. In addition, Sharp has released one full-length album and one EP as a solo artist.

During his time with Weezer, Sharp was known for the warm and fuzzy tone of his bass guitar, as well as his falsetto background vocal abilities. During live performances Matt usually moved around on the stage the most, performing jumps, dances and slides. Sharp is left handed, but plays bass right handed.

Early life[edit]

Matt Sharp was born in Bangkok, Thailand to American parents on September 22, 1969 and moved to Arlington, Virginia when he was one year old. At the age of nine, he made his first musical purchase – a 45 rpm single of the song "Le Freak" by Chic.[1] At the age of fourteen, Matt found his musical tastes being drawn to heavy metal bands like Voivod and Venom [2] and thrash bands such as Anthrax,[3] Suicidal Tendencies and D.R.I.,.[1] Despite his love for guitar distortion and that heavy metal sound, he was very much obsessed with the Moog synthesizer.[4] He started his own thrash band named Wreckage and often played bass along with Marcel DeSantos(drums) and Kingsley “King” Fowley(guitar and vocals) founder of Deceased death metal band. Matt went to Washington-Lee High School and thrived in the AudioVisual Club. Matt lived on N. Glebe Rd in Arlington, Virginia at that time.[5] At age sixteen, moved to San Diego.[6]

In 1989, Sharp started fronting a goth band named the Clique. The band lasted less than one year.[6] A few months after its collapse, he befriended future Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson, and together, they created the band, 60 Wrong Sausages,.[6] They soon had future Weezer guitarist Jason Cropper join the band.[7] At this time, Wilson was also in a band with future Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo named Fuzz. In need of an 8-track player, Wilson convinced Cuomo to move into the same apartment he and Wilson were sharing.[8] During this time, Sharp was also working as a telemarketer.[8]

In the summer of 1991, Sharp moved north to Berkeley to pursue what Karl Koch called "some sorta symphonic keyboard sequencing music."[9] Other members of the band moved to separate apartments during this time.[10] In January 1992, Sharp reconnected with his former bandmates; Cuomo, Wilson and Cropper, when Wilson showed him material from his and Cuomo's "50 song project." Sharp was pleased with the material and returned to Los Angeles to join the band, consisting of Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson and Jason Cropper, now under the name Weezer.[11]

Weezer and The Rentals[edit]

On Valentine's Day in 1992, Weezer was born, with Sharp being a founding member.[12][not in citation given]In the spring of 1994, after the success of Weezer's first album, The Blue Album, Sharp founded another project; The Rentals.[13] who released their debut Return of the Rentals the following year, which featured the radio hit "Friends of P" and "Please Let That Be You".[14] Sharp left Weezer in February 1998, two years after the release of the band's second album, Pinkerton.[15]

In 1999, The Rentals released their second album, Seven More Minutes. Amongst its notable contributors were Damon Albarn (of Blur, and Gorillaz), Donna Matthews (of Elastica), Miki Berenyi (of Lush), and Tim Wheeler (of Ash).[16] Maya Rudolph (later of Saturday Night Live fame) was a member of the touring version of the band during this time. The track "My Head is in the Sun" was co-written with Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo.[15] The album sold considerably less than Return of the Rentals, and the band eventually went on hiatus, late in 1999.[17]

Solo records and legal battles[edit]

Sharp moved to the small town of Leiper's Fork, Tennessee, about an hour outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and began recording while living there. In an interview with MTV News, Sharp said he was trying to disconnect and cut all ties to the music world.[18][19]

After a four-year hiatus from the public eye,[18] Sharp returned in late 2003 to the music scene with an EP entitled Puckett's Versus the Country Boy.[20] Puckett's and Country Boy were the 2 restaurants which Sharp ate at whilst living in Tennessee, and the name comes from being indecisive and having to choose one or the other. Sharp also went on an acoustic tour in the fall of 2002, with former Cake guitarist Greg Brown.[21]

Sharp filed a 5-count federal lawsuit against Weezer on April 19, 2002,[22] alleging he was owed money for co-writing Weezer's first hit song, "Undone – The Sweater Song," and that he owned a 25% interest in the first nine tracks of Pinkerton (which had been credited solely to Rivers Cuomo). Sharp also claimed he had handled most of Weezer's business affairs during their early success, including the hiring of accountants and attorneys, as well as helping the band land their record deal.[22][23] According to the Weezer biography Rivers' Edge: The Weezer Story by John D. Luerssen, the lawsuit also stated that Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo was going to ask him to appear in the music video for the song "Island in the Sun."[23] Finally, Sharp charged his former bandmates with breach of fiduciary duty, legal malpractice, dissolution of partnership, and declaratory relief.[24] The lawsuit was later settled out of court. As a follow-up of sorts, when Sharp was asked about his future with Weezer, he brought up the fact that he hadn't heard any of their music since he left and "if [the albums] were bad, they'd probably be just as bad if I was there."[25]

Reunion with Cuomo, re-formation of The Rentals[edit]

On February 12, 2004, Rivers Cuomo and Matt Sharp ended their public separation when they reunited onstage when Rivers sat in during a solo performance by Matt at Cal State Fullerton. Sharp and Cuomo played 4 songs together: the Sharp/Cuomo collaborations "Mrs. Young" and "Time Song," as well as Weezer tunes "Say It Aint So" and "Undone". Sharp announced at the show, he and Cuomo would be working on a collaborative record together. Yet later that year, he announced on his website that although they had come up with "15 or 16 new song ideas" for their new album, their "special brand of dysfunctionality" might keep them from finishing the project any time soon.[26]

In 2003, Sharp released a solo EP, a solo full-length, and continued to tour in 2004–2005 with the band Goldenboy.

In 2004, Sharp recorded synthesizer on So Jealous by Canadian indie pop band Tegan and Sara. Sharp continued to work with the band on their next album, The Con, later appearing at a Tegan and Sara concert in 2008 to play bass in a cover of Weezer's "Tired of Sex."

After a slow period in 2005, Sharp contemplated what to do next, considering either a new solo album or starting a new collaborative partnership (although he didn't state with whom). The possibility of him rejoining Weezer was also an option.[27] Thus he decided to re-form The Rentals after a six-year absence. Work has begun on a third LP and they released an EP entitled The Last Little Life EP on August 14, 2007. The lineup of the reformed band differed from the original, including original backup vocalist Rachel Haden on bass/vocals, Sara Radle on vocals/multiple instruments, Ben Pringle of Nerf Herder on synths, Lauren Chipman on viola/synth/vocals and Dan Joeright on drums. Sara Radle tells of when she first became aware of Matt Sharp's idea to reform The Rentals on her Myspace profile in her blog. The Rentals toured North America in the summers of 2006 and 2007; with these tours being notable for featuring a version of "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams," a Weezer b-side which Haden sang lead and Sharp played bass on, the latter still being in the band at that time.

After the release of "Songs About Time" in 2010, Matt and The Rentals went on hiatus.

In October 2010, Matt Sharp sold most of his equipment from his Weezer and The Rentals days on eBay.

His famously used Orange Matamp Lead 200 was purchased by Greg Veerman, Bass player of Canadian rock band San Sebastian.

In November 2010, Cuomo mentioned in an interview with Spin Magazine that "the idea came up" of having Sharp rejoin the band for their "Memories Tour," in which they play The Blue Album and Pinkerton. Cuomo stated "I think we left that idea behind pretty early on. I don't remember. I wasn't involved in the discussion so I don't know what the issues were." [1]



The Rentals[edit]


With Homie[edit]

  • 1998 – Meet the Deedles Soundtrack (co-producer and background vocals on "American Girls")

With Tegan and Sara[edit]


  1. ^ a b Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 50
  2. ^ Joyce, Richard, 2018
  3. ^ Joyce, Richard, 2018
  4. ^ Joyce, Richard, 2018
  5. ^ Joyce, Richard, 2018
  6. ^ a b c Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 51
  7. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 53
  8. ^ a b Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 55
  9. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 56
  10. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 58
  11. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 62
  12. ^ Official Weezer Biography Page at;retrieved on 2007-10-15
  13. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 150
  14. ^ "The Rentals: Artist Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  15. ^ a b Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 257
  16. ^ Seven More Minutes booklet and liner notes
  17. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 273
  18. ^ a b Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 470
  19. ^ Montgomery, James. "Matt Sharp Says LP With Rivers Cuomo May Never Come Out". MTV News. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  20. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 472
  21. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 469
  22. ^ a b Yago, Gideon. "Former Weezer Bassist Matt Sharp Sues Band Over Royalties". MTV News. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  23. ^ a b Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 423
  24. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 424
  25. ^ Hargreaves, Trevor. "Matt Sharp Talks About Rivers Cuomo's Etiquette Fetish And Tegan And Sara". Chart Attack. Archived from the original on May 5, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  26. ^ "Note To Fans From Matt Sharp". In Music We Trust. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  27. ^ "Diary: Day One 10-24-05". Archived from the original on July 6, 2007. Retrieved 2009-10-12.

External links[edit]