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In addition to more than 30 million records sold worldwide, Matchbox Twenty has also earned countless accolades, including five Grammy nominations, four American Music Award nods, the 2004 People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Musical Group, and they were named “Best New Band” in the 1997 Rolling Stone Readers Poll. What’s more, Rob Thomas has proven one of the most highly decorated artists of recent years, receiving three Grammy Awards, 11 BMI Awards, and two Billboard “Songwriter of the Year” honors for both his chart-topping solo work as well as collaborations with such legends as Santana, Mick Jagger, Willie Nelson and Big Boi. Thomas’ collaboration with Carlos Santana on “Smooth” was also named the #2 Most Popular Song Ever on Billboard’s List of the 100 Most Popular songs behind “The Twist.” He was also named to Billboard’s Top 20 List of Hot 100 Songwriters 2000-2011 at #5 and was the top ranking artist/songwriter on the list. Get in touch with Command Talent, a Matchbox Twenty Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
“Matchbox Twenty existed a lot as a vehicle for Rob’s songwriting in the beginning,” Doucette explains. “Through the years Kyle and I have slowly started to write more and more songs. When we got back together we wanted to reflect that within the band.”
Thomas acknowledges that the more collaborative method was “weird” for him at first. But the quality of the jointly written material made it easy to embrace the new path. “You just have to leave your ego at the door,” he says. “When you’re in the room together it’s just everybody throwing out their ideas at each other. You have to dare to suck, dare to say something stupid and dare to take things in a wrong direction, and everyone in the room has to follow that and let it go along until it becomes something. It’s a little nerve-wracking but pretty damn exciting.” Get in touch with Command Talent, a Matchbox Twenty Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
After EXILE ON MAINSTREAM’s Top 5 success, Matchbox Twenty continued the collaborative process as it headed towards NORTH. Thomas, Doucette and Cook traveled between each other’s residences to put ideas together, then the entire group headed to Nashville to hunker down together in a cabin/studio — a kind of songwriter’s survivalist camp where Thomas says “you could wake up and you had the whole house wired for sound. You’d walk out of your room and there’s a piano in the living room all mic’d up and ready to go.” The music kept flowing, and before long Matchbox Twenty had more than 40 songs in various states of completion, which Thomas laughingly admits “got us even deeper into this hole of not really knowing what the hell we were doing! We could have made three or four distinctly different albums.” Enter Matt Serletic, the band’s trusted friend and longtime producer who worked with Matchbox Twenty on their first three albums. The group brought him to Nashville to help sort through the material and make his suggestions; before long, and perhaps not surprisingly, all concerned decided Serletic should once again take the producer’s chair. The band then decamped for his Emblem Studios in Calabasas, California. Get in touch with Command Talent, a Matchbox Twenty Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
“Originally it wasn’t going to be Matt producing the record,” Thomas says. “He just came in as our friend to try to figure out what songs were really worth it. By the end of that night, at like three in the morning going through his copious notes, we were like, ‘Hell, you should just produce this record.’ “Doucette adds that, “Matt’s basically family at this point, a really big part of our organization. We have a shorthand with Matt that we don’t have with other producers…and he didn’t want to go places we’d already been, either. Everything kind of took off once we made that decision.” Get in touch with Command Talent, a Matchbox Twenty Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
Thanks to all the preparation in Nashville, the sessions at Emblem went smoothly and quickly, with a determined sense of how the songs should sound. The romantic “Overjoyed,” according to both Thomas and Doucette, was “the first time we felt like we had something special,”. Kyle Cook took lead vocals on the incredible ballad “The Way,” which he and Doucette penned together. “She’s So Mean,” meanwhile, represents a “storytelling exercise” during which Thomas, Doucette and Cook sat around a microphone free styling lyrics that they eventually sculpted into the cautionary tale about a hard-to-handle woman who Doucette promises bears no similarity to anyone in the group members’ real lives. Get in touch with Command Talent, a Matchbox Twenty Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
“No, not even remotely,” he says. “The original lyrics weren’t even about that, but once we came across ‘she’s so mean’ it was like, ‘OK, now we know what the song can be about.’ We were just trying to write something fun, really.” And the group has been both pleased by the out-of-the-gate positive reaction to the song.
Listening deeper to NORTH, meanwhile, reveals even more different nuances, approaches and feels because of the group-writing dynamic. “When I first played this record for my wife, she had a hard time figuring out which ones Paul wrote, which ones I wrote and which ones we all wrote because we all stepped into each other’s skins,” Thomas says. “That’s really important because I didn’t want it to feel like these songs were written by different people. I wanted them to just sound like the band.” Get in touch with Command Talent, a Matchbox Twenty Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.
NORTH has sent Matchbox Twenty back out on the road for the first time since EXILE ON MAINSTREAM, which saw the band playing SRO shows to their biggest crowds ever around the globe. The response has been overwhelming — the group already has back-to-back sold out tours through North America and Australia under their belt, and will be embarking on another headlining tour of arenas and amphitheaters across North America this summer, beginning at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, on June 25th.
“Matchbox Twenty is pretty all-encompassing,” Doucette says. “Once it gets rolling, we just devote all our time and energy to that. I can speak for everybody on this; it’s the thing we hold the most dear because it’s the thing we built the longest, so we want to give it its due. We don’t make records that often anymore, so when we do we want to devote our time and energy to not only doing it; but also bringing that music to the fans.”
Get in touch with Command Talent, a Matchbox Twenty Booking Agent to discuss pricing for private parties, corporate events and concerts.