This year, Matchbox 20 decided to change their name to matchbox twenty (with small letters and letters). " There are so many band with numbers... Eve 6, Eiffel 65, Blink- 182... We really wanted to relief a little bit all that confusion", says Rob Thomas. A lot of people would find that name familiar... Rob Thomas. He was in charge to co-write and put the voice to " Smooth", the song that brought Santana back to the spotlight in the music scene. Besides Thomas, matchbox twenty is completed by Kyle Cook and Adam Gaynor in guitars and background vocals, Brian Yale on bass and Paul Doucette on the drums. The band has just released their sophomore album, "mad season by matchbox twenty"; following their successful 1996 debut "Yourself or someone like you". The band had a very hard time not thinking about the 10 million records their debut album sold when they were making their new album.
"Everybody was saying that this band was over," Michael Lippman (their manager) says. "We were extremely tired of hearing that this record was going to be a failure; that we were just a one-hit-wonder, even without thinking about how we had four successful singles from the first album. Things like that made us work harder on this album and we decided to face this more together than ever."
"mad season by matchbox twenty" marks a growth in the band’s career, unfolding their characteristic pop/rock that they showed us in their debut, but with stronger melodies and adding a wind section, reaching their peak in "Black and White People" and "Stop".
The ballads are also present in this album. "If You’re Gone" is maybe the ballad with more potential to be a hit mainstream. Behind it appears "Rest Stop," "Bed of Lies," "Leave," and "You Won’t Be Mine," the closing track that includes chord instruments and a piano.
The rock highlights of "mad season" are the first single "Bent," the furious "Angry," that opens the album, and "Crutch." The album gets up-tempo with "Mad Season," the track that offers an "almost reggae" in the best Eric Clapton style. " Last Beautiful Girl" is a mid-tempo song with a brilliant melody. Through the 13 tracks of "mad season," matchbox twenty talks about relationships with lovers, friends and with oneself. Rob Thomas clarifies: " It’s all about interaction. Everything I write is about that, ‘cause that’s the only thing that comes out from me... Human relationships is something that we all can relate to, no matter your race, how much taxes you pay or in which city you live in."
With "mad season" matchbox twenty grew up, but without getting too far away from their roots. Based on their well-known formula -and a very successful one, by the way, the band tries to move slowly towards new territories. And after all we’ve heard, the fast growth that the quintet has experimented has been for best.
By Rodolfo Poli
Translated exclusively for "Rain In Boxes" by: María José Carreño