For the members of long–loved rockers Weezer, 2012 is a benchmark year in the band's history.
This year marks the band's 20th year as a performing and recording unit. On Valentine's Day, 1992, the founding band members held their first rehearsal in Los Angeles.
Patrick Wilson, Weezer drummer and guitarist and founding member, laughed when asked what he thought the key was to the band's longevity.
"Take frequent breaks, then you don't get sick of each other and fight over dumb stuff.," he said. "We figured out a long time ago that, no matter who you are, if you stay on the road for two years at a time, you get so burnt that you can't remember what was the fire in the first place. So we're cool about it.
"We take breaks and come back to it and it feels fresh and exciting and I love it."
Weezer will perform July 27 at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond. The band's 1994 self–titled debut was a smash, containing hits such as "Buddy Holly," "Say It Ain't So" and "Undone — The Sweater Song." They followed "Weezer" up two years later with "Pinkerton," which failed to match the commercial success of its predecessor but has become a favorite amongst the Weezer faithful.
The hits resumed for Weezer with a 2001 self–titled set, which included "Island in the Sun" and "Hash Pipe." Subsequent '00s sets such as 2002's "Maladroit," 2005's "Make Believe" and a third self–titled effort from 2008, also charted high throughout the globe and spawned many a modern rock hit.
Last year, Weezer — Wilson, front man Rivers Cuomo, guitarist Brian Bell and bassist Scott Shriner — revisited their 1994 debut and "Pinkerton" by playing the albums front to back on what they christened the "Memories Tour."
Like many a music fan, Wilson is an aficionado of the full–length album as well as of a vintage means of music distribution and acquisition popular before he and his band mates became radio and in–concert favorites.
"I'd like to see it go back to vinyl," he said. "It was like a big piece of art that you could hold in your hand and it kind of demanded your attention. These days, it's harder. I don't want to sound like an old man, but when you have a file on your computer or your phone, it's harder to feel like what you're experiencing is something real and it's kind of like a background noise that you could easily dismiss."
The band's stop at The Venue — which Wilson said will feature their best–known hits alongside album cuts to appease their most loyal fans — is one of only a handful of dates on their itinerary this summer, which suits Wilson just fine.
"We all have kids now.," he said. "We're not going to put everybody in a couple buses and drive around for six months at a time anymore. Our kids are in school. And I think it's fun to shoot into a place and play a show and everybody leaves happy. You don't get burnt out ever."
Wilson, though, has hardly been resting on his laurels. In May, Wilson, under the moniker Special Goodness, released his fourth set, "Natural," playing every instrument on the 10–song set.
"It's fun to pursue what you're interested in," he said. "Weezer always has lots of stuff to do, and when we're not doing stuff, I get excited about pursuing other things."
Weezer's last original release, "Hurley," was released in the fall of 2010. Wilson kept relatively mum when asked if a follow–up to the set was on the horizon.
"As soon as something legit is going on," he said, "we'll let everyone know."