Yourself or 7,000,000 people like you

by By Paul Cashmere

Last week, Matchbox 20 received the news that their debut album Yourself Or Someone Like You had gone seven times platinum in the USA. That means one in thirty five people in the USA have adopted a copy of the album into their home. In Australia, the CD is six times platinum and will be the biggest selling album of the year. The band have been touring constantly since it's release and are finally coming to the end of the tour, which will see them in Australia for the third time. Following, Australian dates in November, they will take a well-earned holiday.

Guitarist Adam Gaynor spoke with Undercover Executive Producer, Paul Cashmere.

A third Australian visit is coming up next month. You must love it here.

It is really just amazing to us all the success we are having down under. I mean, basically all Amercian's know about it Paul Hogan. Ummm...he was the lost war hero in Hogan's hero's right?(he say's with a laugh) But really, it is such an amazing feeling to leave your own country and go toa place where demographically speaking, your record is doing even better. The fact that we never want to leave your freakin' country doesn't hurt either. I think Paul our drummer was the first one to seriously say" I would move there in a second!" I think he loves Melbourne, but there are few places in Australia I wouldn't love to hang for a while. We have a blast everytime we go there. It may sound like a crock of horse-radish. But the truth is...we enjoy EVERY place we spend time...but there is something VERY magical about the place where the Dingo's Roam. Hooooowwwwwwlllllll!!! (he says with his front fangs blazing)

We are just really looking forward to spending some more time down there. We have been on the road for 2 years now supporting this record. Really crazy this will be the actual last tour for this record. So it makes it even more special. We finish in the states in October...than it's off towrestle some croc's! Than we take a nice break and start to write the second album next year.

All in all....we're ready for some more Aussie love. We'll see you all real soon. And please...don't be skimpy with the Vegemite!

Start by telling us how you guys all got together.

Rob, Paul and Brian, they were in another band that had a good local following in Orlando, Florida. They broke up with their other two guitar players, then I joined. Then we picked Kyle, our other guitar player and then a few month's later we got signed. And that's history.

The song Push has been surrounded by controversy wherever you go. What do you think of the feminists who are protesting it?

I think when that song came out, a lot of people thought it was about physical violence. So there was a lot of women that created a lot of controversy, which wasn't a band thing. It was kind of fun because people talked about it. But at the same time, and I'll talk for our singer here, the song is basically about manipulation and relationships. It's more a verbal thing, not a physical thing. I think you can really get that out of the words. I don't think anywhere in the song does it say I want to punch you in the face. If you ever meet us, you will know we are not physically intimidating people.

A lot of media compare you to Counting Crows. How does that sit with the band?

Yeah, I think that the biggest comparison we've had to anyone is to the Counting Crows. I would think some of us get a little mad and a little angry. Not too mad though. I think it's a fair comparison. I think if you listen to the albums back to back, we have a different sound and a different accent. The lyrical content is based on writing nice songs. I think it's a great compliment because I love that band but they are two totally different albums, so it's hard to say it generally.

Who is the guy on the cover of the album?

That's Paul's dad. Our drummer's dad is a crop duster from Kansas. Every morning he puts on his aviator helmet and has a glass of orange juice and takes off in his bi-plane and dusts the fields. That's a lie, actually, but the truth isn't much fun. That's just some guy who works for a modeling agency in New York called Funny Faces Inc. What it is, it's a modeling agency that uses regular looking people. We had this whole photo shoot for the theme of the cover. It wasn't just meant to be him. It was meant to be an abstract picture with him in the background looking through a window. It turns out that that one picture came out and when we looked at it we all went "that's it". I think it's a really brilliant picture. There's a lot of character in that guy's face. We love that picture.

You also took part recently in "Rumours : A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac. What was all that about?

Oh, it's a Fleetwood Mac tribute album. Lava Records who were our original label (we've now been added to Atlantic) put it together. They used a bunch of different artists like Elton John, Tonic and Jewel. Everyone does a different song from the original Rumours album. It came out really cool. We did Never Coming Back Again. It's actually one of our favorites. We twisted it around and made it kind of dark and melancholy. There are lots of drums in the background, because originally it was just acoustic guitar and vocal. We added a lot of stuff to it and made it fun.

You have a very complex website.

It is It's our web site that a friend of mine created. It's a nice place where you can find some funky photos of us. You can write to our guest book which has turned into quite the phenomena for our fans. They can connect with each other there. We have an IRC chat room as well that you can connect too from there. Basically speaking, it's just a fan base for us where people can post messages and find out a lot of information on the band.

Did you know there is even an Adam Gaynor fan club page on the internet?

My mother has too much time free time. (laughs) There was this girl, I think in Baltimore. She was so sweet, she was like 12 or 14. She came to a show and was wearing a T-shirt that says "Adam Gaynor" fan club. The whole band was dying. That was great because I had something over the other guys in the band. It was all my little bragging rights for the day. She was sweet. We took good care of her and signed stuff for her. Now, I'll have to go and check out this site.

Touring with the Stones must have been cool.

Well, Mick Jagger is an old buddy of mine. I am the oldest man in rock and roll, besides Mick and Aerosmith. So it was about time that we got back together. Seriously, when people ask what our dream gig is, most of us say opening for The Rolling Stones. So it was a dream fulfilled.

Have you spent your first royalty cheque yet?

It takes a while to recoup a lot of money from an album. We are fortunate enough to be doing OK at the moment. We're not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but $1.50 can get you a lot in the United States.

Tell us about your first car?

My Cheval Malibu. It was just a big tank is what it was. It was an ugly looking car, but it had the best air-conditioner and stereo in the business. That's what I liked about it. It had a really cold air-conditioner and a great sounding stereo. But it was a tank. You know what happened to that car? It got smashed up when I was going to school in Texas. Some drunk guy came down a hill. He didn't see us at a stop sign and turned it into an accordion. I'm surprised no-one is dead. The next car is a nice one that I bought before I got this job. It's a Nissan Maxima. It's all decked out. It's comfortable and it has a good air-conditioner and sound system. I miss it more than my ex-girlfriend.

True or false. You've been quoted as saying you would like to dance with Michael Jackson.

It's a very bad quote. I meant maybe like dance with in a video, not hand to hand or anything. I'd like to sing with him too but not hand to hand either. Michael, if you are listening, call my agent.

What's this shoe size thing on the CD cover. Who is what size?

You are talking to the right man. I'm going to take full credit for this shoe size thing. I was very excited about putting shoe sizes on the cover. I think it's quite the novelty. It keeps the kids guessing. I would be the 19 , but hey that would be bragging. I don't even know the actual sizes anymore. I think Paul would be the smallest shoe and I would be the largest. Let's just leave it at that. I'm very tall, I'm 8 ft 3 inches for any of you who can't see me. Let's just leave it at that.

Matchbox 20 will finish their current world tour in Australia in October / November and then take a well earned break. They are happy to say that their next album won't be out until the next century.

Adam Gaynor's interactive interview with Undercover is featured on Issue 7