Music: The Rentals, by Rishi Deva

In September 1994, I had just graduated university and started my first real job, at an indie record label in Toronto. Apart from helping many bands, one of the biggest perks was being guest listed to attend concerts at almost all of Toronto’s music venues. I was out three times a week at CD releases, press conferences, and concerts just for the sake of enjoying live concerts. I felt like Toronto was mine. I felt free and the music that took me there was liberating.

During this period in my life, music was great. Record labels were signing all kinds of acts, Indie had taken over the world and mammoth recording budgets had fizzled out. The energy of the small band was more important than the budget and the labels were taking chances on all kinds of artists. One trend that had arisen was the rise of the Geek. From Silicon Valley to suburban garages, the Geeks were taking over the world. The summer of 1995 was no exception. “Geek Rock” was at its height and Weezer were leading the way for a new generation of rockers who were far less “cool” than the groupie-laden bands like Van Halen, Aerosmith and KISS.

In the fall of 1995, Matt Sharpe, the bass player for Weezer, started a side project with Patrick Sharpe, Weezer’s drummer. The project was called The Rentals, and they released a record called “Return of the Rentals”. The group had a hit with a song called “Friends Of P”.

What I loved about that song was the Moog synth mixed with layers of guitar, bass, violin, and happy catchy female backup vocals. Here is a link to the song:

For those of you who ever wondered who P is, it is rumoured that P is Paulina Porizkova, the wife of “The Cars” frontman Ric Ocasek. Ric had produced the first Weezer record. During that time, Paulina made a claim that no one had ever written a song about her, so Matt took on the task and it led to a top ten hit.

The Rentals are anything but prolific and I had not heard anything about them in years. In fact, they quietly broke up in 1999. So when I found out that they are releasing a new record this year, I became excited.

Now with Patrick Carney, the Black Keys drummer, The Rentals are about to release a third record in August entitled “Lost In Alphaville”. The lead off single was just released a few days ago. True to The Rentals form, this song’s driving guitars, sunny harmonies and lyrics about freedom are reminiscent of a band I used to love. The single is called “Thought of Sound”. Check out Thought of Sound on YouTube:

Lyrically the song is about freedom. It celebrates love of sound. “There is nothing more beautiful right now than the thought of sound… The sound of pure emotion lifts up from the ground. You are free as a sunset, you are free like the thought of sound.”

This song reminds me of why I got into the music business in the first place and brings me right back to a time when I felt endless possibility working in the music industry, a time when the music made me feel so free.


Rishi bioSince 1994, Rishi Gerald, founder and CEO of RishiVision and entrepreneurial coach, has empowered thousands of businesses. Rishi has an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurial studies and a BBA in accounting. He has spent nearly twenty years coaching, consulting, managing and supporting thousands of businesses from new startups to active global leaders.

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