A Year In the Life of the Rentals

A Year In the Life of the Rentals
With their horn-rimmed glasses and synthesizers, the Rentals always leaned in the A/V club direction of high school clique hierarchies. But the one-time "Friends of P" have taken the stereotype to new heights with their online mixed-media project Songs About Time. Combining music, film and photography it's an ambitious project with a stringent timeline: every day a new photo, every week a new video and every three months a new EP are posted at therentals.com for an entire year. "I just wanted to have it set up so we were constantly releasing things," says group mastermind Matt Sharp. He says the band was looking for a way to curb their tendency to obsess over minute details. "The balance between how much you're working and how much you're releasing has been so out of whack the entire time I've been making music," he says. "[The project] is just a really constant structure that keeps you working and makes sure that you can't look back.

While taking photos and making movies for a living might not sound very gruelling to cubicle monkeys, the former Weezer bassist says it's been a real challenge to constantly come up with fresh ideas. Every day Sharp shoots a roll of undeveloped film as well as a new digital image. At year's end everything will be packaged together as a deluxe physical release, with the first 365 orders receiving one of Sharp's undeveloped rolls of film. "The amount of work that has to be done doesn't allow for very much outside of it," he says, "but I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't love it."