Rivers Cuomo is cool.
Back in 2008, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo created a project on Youtube called "Let's Write a Sawng" which was a collaborative song-writing process with fans. Back then I posted about my involvement
Not long after that post, the entire project went into "chill" mode and we never really got an update. We were told it might be put on an upcoming Weezer album, but that was it.
A few months ago I received a message through Facebook from someone named Sarah C. Kim with this email:
I'm trying to get in touch with Ryan Wiesbrock regarding his contribution to Rivers Cuomo's "Let's Write a Sawng" project. If this is the correct Ryan Wiesbrock.
Please reply as soon as possible with your full name, address, phone # and email address, and let me know how you would like to be credited for your contribution (Ryan Wiesbrock or Ryan "punchmyface" Wiesbrock or punchmyface or something else).
I couldn't believe it, so I Googled her name and sure enough, she's Rivers' personal assistant. She's super sleuthy because I found out she'd tried to contact me through my Youtube account (which I don't check much) and a message from her had been sitting there for a couple months. She somehow figured out who I was and found me on Facebook. Awesomeness!
I didn't want to overly pump her for information but she did tell me that the song was going to be on an upcoming album to be released on November 2nd, 2010. A few weeks later I found this press release saying it is to be called Death to False Metal.
It shows that "Turning Up the Radio" is going to be the first track and that 15 total people had contributed to the song. I completely freaked out! It had been 2 years since anything happened on the song and the bridge (which is what most of my contributions were for) was never clearly resolved. No one has heard an updated version of the song yet so I have no idea what they used from my submissions. All I can do is wait in anticipation as far as that goes.
Two weeks ago I received an agreement from Rivers' lawyers assigning me co-writer's credit to the song and a small percentage of the royalties...and that is just the coolest thing ever. Don't know if most people know this but all song royalties are split into 50% publisher share and 50% writer share. The song writers pull from the same 50%...so for Rivers to give co-credit means giving up money. Sure it seems like the right thing to do, but he didn't HAVE to do that at all. I think it's extremely generous and cool that he not only did this project but also went through the legal hassle of tracking all of the contributors down to assign credit and royalties to those involved. I can't wait to hear the song and would love to have it released as a single, but who knows. Either way, thanks Rivers, Weezer and Sarah for making this the best November 2nd ever!
Who knows, maybe this will inspire me to dust off the recording equipment and record some more Disintegrated Einstein tracks (more info on that here.)
If other contributors to Let's Write a Sawng out there would like to share their stories please drop me a line. It'd be great to connect. I'll post updates here when I have anything.
UPDATE 10/26/10 -Today I found a station streaming the song. You can listen to it here. It's the second song in the playlist.
Looks like what Rivers ended up using was my initial idea that he actually called out on his Step 14 posting around the 1 minute mark where I suggested to have him belt out short phrases during the bridge and into the solo.
The final version of the song shows the return of the solo and has a couple of those belted-out phrases thrown in. He says "Just turn it all the waaaay" before the solo and then "Turnin, turnin, turning up the radio" coming out of the chorus. This is the really the only section I could see Rivers attributing to me even though it was an open-ended note on my part. It's a pretty minor thing so I'm really grateful Rivers would even think to give me credit for it. Thanks man!
The finished track sounds awesome with crunchier guitars and a heavier sound overall. There's also a Moog style synth in there and even layered into the chorus. Hearing it mirror the guitar solo reminds me of the blue album. Love how it turned out!