Matchbox Twenty coming to UVSC

By Larry D. Curtis Deseret News staff writer

To hear Paul Doucette tell it, he is like any other blue-collar guy, punching the clock, doing his job day after day. It just so happens that his job is climbing onto a stage and playing some of the most popular music on the airwaves today . . . but it's still just a job.

"It's kind of like going to work," Doucette said. "I do my job, it is what I do. We are doing Leno ('The Tonight Show, with Jay Leno') in a couple of weeks, and it sounds so jaded saying it, but none of us are."

The 'us' Doucette is speaking of is the rest of his band, matchbox twenty, which is currently on tour supporting its second album, "Mad Season," and is headed for its Utah stop at Utah Valley State College's McKay Events center on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

In case you have been hiding in a musical black hole for the past four years, the band's debut album "Yourself or Someone Like You," was heard all over the radio dial, and went platinum -- more than 10 times over. The band's new single, "Bent," is all over the radio now, and with touring scheduled into 2001, it's hard to escape.

Despite the flash of quick success, Doucette says the band is comprised of people who are just like anybody else -- five working guys. He insists the other four -- including songwriter/vocalist Rob Thomas, guitarist Kyle Cook, guitarist Adam Gaynor and bassist Brian Yale -- are unfazed by their success.

"We don't live the whole rock 'n' roll lifestyle at all. We are normal people, we go home to our wives," he said in a telephone interview from Carbondale, Ill., a small town that is typical of the first portion of the tour supporting the new disc. "We have played some pretty small U.S. places. We're doing smaller cities first, instead of going to big major cities and pushing small towns to the end."

This is a common touring strategy for this band that has recorded but two albums and which has a limited number of tunes in its arsenal. Radio songs can entice people to buy albums, but building a loyal, concertgoing fanbase is something else.

"Our only goal (before the first album) was to go gold," Doucette said. "To make enough so that we could make another album and then make enough to make another album."

Instead, the album exploded on the charts with three smash singles -- "Yourself or Someone Like You," "Real World" and "Push." All this from an initial studio album the band had trouble working on.

"On the first record, I hated the studio," Doucette said. "We were very inexperienced, and we weren't that competent of musicians, and we weren't competent as a band. I personally was extremely timid."

Playing more than 600 shows changed all that for the time-keeper and his bandmates. They enjoyed the entire creation experience on their new album so much that Doucette said he now actually prefers the studio to playing live.

"We knew each other, and we had no qualms about saying, 'That sucks, try this,' " Doucette said. "It was the kind of record we wanted to make."

"We weren't unaware that we just had this huge album, and it probably wouldn't happen again, so we had to continue to grow as a band and make what we consider to be substantially better records. If people come along, great. If not, we cannot control that."

The changes are evident, with Thomas -- who collaborated and won a Grammy with Carlos Santana on "Smooth" -- doing nearly all of the songwriting but with all the band members contributing during the studio session. The result is a work that is much more of a signature piece for the band and that even includes some orchestration.

"As a band, we never want to make the same record twice, and (we want) to continue to grow as a band," Doucette said. "This record was a lot of fun to make. Everybody had an even say, and everybody left their mark on it."

Fans have responded pretty well, too, snatching up more than 2 million copies of the new disc and pushing the album all the way to No. 3 on Billboard's top 100, where it has spent the past 17 weeks. And, thanks to the tour, it figures to stick around even longer.

Thanks to ZenLaup20 for the article!