This cumbersomely titled song is the lead single from Weezer's seventh studio album, Raditude.
The general consensus of Weezer fans and bloggers is that the song's subject concerns frontman and principal songwriter Rivers Cuomo's 2006 marriage to Kyoko Ito.
The song debuted on KROQ L.A. on August 17, 2009. It wasn't supposed to hit radio stations until August 25, but after it leaked onto the Internet, the official release of the single to radio was moved forward.
The song was produced and co-written by Butch Walker (Fall Out Boy, All American Rejects, Pink). He twitted: "Just heard the new Weezer single i produced and co-wrote on KROQ.. sounded real nice."
Cuomo twitted that the album title was the idea of The Office star Rainn Wilson. According to the Songfacts dictionary "Raditude" is a brand new word. A possible definition: radical, with an attitude.
The song's music video, which features a town full of Weezer look-alikes, was filmed in Piru, California. It was directed by Marc Webb, who helmed the indie hit movie (500) Days of Summer and features the four Weezer band members and actress Odette Yustman (Kindergarten Cop). Webb explained the promo's concept to MTV News: "The idea of the video is really simple: It's a town that's made up of clones of Weezer. There are multiple versions of Brian and Patrick and Scott and Rivers, and they're just going about their business, until one day, this woman shows up. And after that, everything basically goes to hell."
Webb added: "We shot with a bunch of little kids too [because] we're going to replace their heads with the band members of Weezer. They're going to be the little versions of them, because the spawn here all look like their parents. I don't know how they reproduce... That'll be for the sequel. They just split in half. It's amazing."
Cuomo told MTV News that there is plenty of bloodshed in the video. He explained: "We're all in Weezerville, doing our daily routines, then one day, this beautiful young woman comes out of nowhere, enters Weezerville, heads start turning, accidents start happening. Scott Shriner gets hit by an arrow, Pat Wilson gets run over by a car - I happen to be behind the wheel - Brian Bell gets his arm chopped off by a chainsaw, because we're all flustered when we see this girl, we lose our focus, our concentration. Next thing you know, accidents start happening."
Cuomo found the album cover for Raditude while flipping through the pages of National Geographic. The winner of one of the magazine's reader-submitted photo contests caught the frontman's eye and he decided the shot of a dog in mid-flight across a living room would make the perfect cover for the album.
Butch Walker lives just down the street from Cuomo in Los Angeles. On one occasion he brought some old Meatloaf albums to Cuomo's house. "Rivers wasn't familiar with Meatloaf, and he loved the idea of coming up with something that had a crazy, long, parenthetical title," Walker told Billboard magazine. The end result was this song.
Cuomo told Billboard magazine: "As a songwriter, I usually have to do a lot of revision to get the exact right tone. The first draft can sound too cliché or ironic or just be off, and I have to keep moving things around." He added that he struggled with that on this song, "because the lyrics are very sweet, but I wanted to give it some edge."
Rivers Cuomo on the meaning of this song: "Kind of a true story inspired by a situation with the woman who ended up becoming my wife eventually. I don't want to go into too many details 'cause it's kinda personal. But, yeah, it's just about that awkward moment when you like somebody but you're not sure they like you back and you're not sure if you should make the move and kind of hoping that they would make the move."