Matt Sharp

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Matt Sharp
Matt Sharp after a solo tour show at the W.O.W. Hall in Eugene, Oregon, in 2004
Matt Sharp after a solo tour show at the W.O.W. Hall in Eugene, Oregon, in 2004
Background information
Birth nameMatthew Kelly Sharp
Born (1969-09-22) September 22, 1969 (age 52)
Bangkok, Thailand
OriginArlington County, Virginia, United States
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • Bass guitar
  • vocals
  • guitar
  • synthesizer
  • drums
  • Rubab
Years active1985–present

Matthew Kelly Sharp (born September 22, 1969) is an American songwriter and musician. Until 1998, he was the bassist for the alternative rock band Weezer, which he cofounded in 1992. He appears on their first two albums, the Blue Album (1994) and Pinkerton (1996). In 1994, Sharp founded the Rentals, who have released four albums. Sharp has also released an EP and an album as a solo artist.

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 sixteen, he moved to San Diego.[2]

In 1989, Sharp started fronting a goth band, the Clique, which lasted less than one year.[2] A few months after the band ended, Sharp befriended the future Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson, and they created the band 60 Wrong Sausages.[2] Future Weezer guitarist Jason Cropper soon joined.[3] 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 Sharp were sharing.[4] During this time, Sharp worked as a telemarketer.[4]


In mid-1991, Sharp moved north to Berkeley, California, to pursue what Weezer collaborator Karl Koch described as "some sorta symphonic keyboard sequencing music".[5] Other members of the band moved to separate apartments.[6] In January 1992, Wilson showed him material he and Cuomo had been working on. Impressed, Sharp returned to Los Angeles to join the band, now under the name Weezer.[7]

1994–1999: Weezer and the Rentals[edit]

Weezer released their self-titled debut album in May 1994. It was certified platinum in January 1995.[8] In early 1994, Sharp founded the Rentals.[9] They released their debut album Return of the Rentals the following year, which featured the radio hit "Friends of P".[10]

Weezer's second album, Pinkerton, was released in September 1996. With a darker, more abrasive sound, Pinkerton was a commercial and critical failure, but attained critical acclaim later.[11] Following the mixed response to Pinkerton, Weezer went on a five-year hiatus.[12] In 1998, Sharp left Weezer due to differences with the band members.[13] In 2016, he said of his departure: "I don't really know how to speak on this because I don't know what should be kept private and what should be shared. I certainly have my view of it, as I'm sure everybody else has their sort of foggy things. When you have a group that doesn't communicate, you're going to have a whole lot of different stories."[14]

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

2000–2003: Solo records and Weezer lawsuit[edit]

Sharp moved[when?] to the town of Leiper's Fork, Tennessee, and began recording. In an interview with MTV News, Sharp said he was trying to cut ties to the music world.[18][19] Sharp went on an acoustic tour in 2002 with former Cake guitarist Greg Brown.[20] In 2003, after a four-year hiatus,[18] Sharp returned with an EP, Puckett's Versus the Country Boy.[21]

On April 19, 2002, Sharp filed a five-count federal lawsuit against Weezer.[22] He alleged he was owed royalties for co-writing Weezer's first hit, "Undone – The Sweater Song", and that he owned a 25% interest in the first nine tracks of Pinkerton, which had been credited solely to 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 secure their record deal.[22][23] The lawsuit also stated that Cuomo was going to ask him to appear in the music video for their 2001 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 settled out of court.[25]

2003–present: Reunion with Cuomo, re-formation of the Rentals[edit]

People come up to me and say, "By the way, the last two Weezer records really sucked," and they're always saying it to get in good with me. And I haven't heard them. But if they were bad, they'd probably be just as bad if I was there.

– Sharp in 2006[26]

In 2003, Sharp released a solo EP, followed by a self-titled solo album in 2004. He continued to tour in 2004–2005 with the band Goldenboy. On February 12, 2004, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo sat in during a solo performance by Sharp at California State University, Fullerton. They played four songs together: the Sharp/Cuomo collaborations "Mrs. Young" and "Time Song", and the Weezer songs "Say It Ain't So" and "Undone".[27] Sharp announced at the show that he and Cuomo would be working on a record together.[28] Later in 2004, Sharp announced on his website that although he and Cuomo had come up with "15 or 16 new song ideas", their "special brand of dysfunctionality" might keep them from finishing the project.[29]

Sharp performing with the Rentals in 2007
Sharp performing in 2019

In March 2004, Sharp recorded synthesizer on So Jealous by Canadian indie pop band Tegan and Sara.[29] After a slow period in 2005, Sharp contemplated what to do next, considering either a new solo album or starting a new collaborative partnership. The possibility of him rejoining Weezer was also an option;[30] although this did not happen, in a 2006 interview, Sharp credited these conversations with Cuomo as giving him the idea to return to writing pop music, which eventually led him to re-form the Rentals.[31] These ideas particularly strengthened after meeting Sara Radle.[32][33] In 2005, six years after 1999's Seven More Minutes, the Rentals re-formed; the new lineup included original backup vocalist Rachel Haden, Sara Radle, Ben Pringle of Nerf Herder, Lauren Chipman, and Dan Joeright. Sharp and the Rentals toured North America in the summers of 2006 and 2007.

The Rentals released The Last Little Life EP on August 14, 2007. Between Rentals tours, Sharp returned to work in early 2007 with Tegan and Sara on their next album, The Con, later appearing at their concerts in 2008 to play bass in a cover of Weezer's "Tired of Sex".[34]

After the three releases in the Songs About Time series in April, July, and October 2009, Sharp and the Rentals went on hiatus. In October 2010, Sharp sold most of his equipment from his Weezer and Rentals days on eBay. His Orange Matamp Lead 200 was purchased by Greg Veerman, bassist of Canadian rock band San Sebastian.[citation needed] In November 2010, Cuomo mentioned in an interview with Spin 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 said: "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."[35]



The Rentals[edit]


With Homie[edit]

With Tegan and Sara[edit]


  1. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 50
  2. ^ a b c Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 51
  3. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 53
  4. ^ a b Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 55
  5. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 56
  6. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 58
  7. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 62
  8. ^ "Gold and Platinum: Searchable Database". RIAA. Retrieved August 30, 2007.
  9. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 150
  10. ^ "The Rentals: Artist Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
  11. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Pinkerton – Weezer : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. AllRovi. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  12. ^ "Student With a Past". The New York Times. February 16, 2006. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  13. ^ "Former Weezer Bassist Matt Sharp Sues Band Over Royalties". MTV. April 24, 2002. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  14. ^ Braun, Laura Marie (September 23, 2016). "How Weezer's 'Pinkerton' Went From Embarrassing to Essential". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Seven More Minutes booklet and liner notes
  16. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 257
  17. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 273
  18. ^ a b Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 470
  19. ^ Montgomery, James (September 24, 2004). "Matt Sharp Says LP With Rivers Cuomo May Never Come Out". MTV News. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  20. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 469
  21. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 472
  22. ^ a b Yago, Gideon (April 24, 2002). "Former Weezer Bassist Matt Sharp Sues Band Over Royalties". MTV News. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  23. ^ a b Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 423
  24. ^ Luerssen D., John, 2004 p. 424
  25. ^ Hyden, Steven (October 7, 2014). "Overrated, Underrated, or Properly Rated: Weezer". Grantland. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Hargreaves, Trevor (November 8, 2006). "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.
  27. ^ Sharp, Matt (February 12, 2004). "Matt Sharp and Rivers Cuomo - Mrs Young (Live)". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  28. ^ Sharp, Matt (February 12, 2004). "Matt Sharp and RiversCuomo - Time Song (Live)". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  29. ^ a b Sharp, Matt (August 4, 2004). "Note To Fans From Matt Sharp". In Music We Trust. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  30. ^ Sharp, Matt (October 24, 2005). "Diary: Day One 10-24-05". Archived from the original on July 6, 2007. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  31. ^ Phillips, Amy (May 12, 2006). "Exclusive: Matt Sharp Talks Rentals' Return". Archived from the original on May 21, 2006. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  32. ^ Machkovech, Sam (May 18, 2006). "The New Friend of P". Dallas Observer. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  33. ^ Parker, Chris (September 12, 2007). "Back in residence". San Antonio Current. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  34. ^ Tegan and Sara (October 18, 2008). "Tired Of Sex w/ Matt Sharp + Sexy Time Please". YouTube. wojo4hitz. The Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles, CA. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2019. Last night was one of the scariest moments of my life when we play this song, and I feel considerably stronger and more confident tonight . . . I said it last night, but seriously, it's even better tonight
  35. ^ O'Donnell, Kevin (November 2, 2010). "Rivers Cuomo: 'There's So Much Pain in My Voice'". Spin. Retrieved May 20, 2019.


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