Mad Chatter (Interview with Adam)

Endless season of touring driving matchbox twenty guitarist 'round the bend

By JOHN KENDLE -- Calgary Sun

Nearly a year into the tour for his band's latest album, matchbox twenty guitarist Adam Gaynor is obviously experiencing the onset of road madness.

It's a peculiar affliction, one which affects those who travel from city to city, providing the soundtrack for other people's fun.

Its symptoms include an inability to take oneself seriously, absolute boredom with the eternal, infernal wait for every night's show and a complete unwillingness to engage newspaper interviewers in any form of serious conversation.

It usually appears in bands while they're enjoying huge success, as matchbox twenty did with its first album, selling 10 million copies of Yourself or Someone Like You, on the strength of the singles 3am, Push, Real World and Back 2 Good.

Or, road madness can manifest itself in the conversations of bands who have achieved a huge degree of success and who are trying to follow it up. Group members become impatient with earnest interviewers while they're busy touring.

It's clear from the beginning of a phone conversation with Gaynor -- conducted while he was travelling to matchbox twenty's gig in Ottawa last week -- that he's on the verge of full-fledged RM.

Good thing his band's latest album is called Mad Season. Gaynor knows what that feels like.

GAYNOR: This isn't gonna be one of those movie interviews, where you ask me all sorts of serious questions, is it?

SUN: Uh, no, it doesn't have to be. Let's just start by asking where you are.

GAYNOR: I'm in a car with the lovely lady from the record company, a driver and Paul (Doucette), he's our drummer. We're on our way to the Corel Centre, to corral some fans.

SUN: Have you corralled a lot of fans on this tour?

GAYNOR: Thank you for asking, I believe we have, especially a lot of 16 to 35-year-olds who seem to like our music.

SUN: So it's truly been a mad season for you then?

GAYNOR: Thank you for asking, yes, I believe it has been. We just got back from Florida, which isn't quite home, but where many of us spent some time, and yet, it was mad down there.

SUN: I'm losing my train of thought, so let's stick to the basics. Who has the biggest wardrobe case on tour?

GAYNOR: Thank you for asking. I would have to say that would be (singer) Rob Wouldn't you say so, Paul ... Uh, Paul says no. Pookie, our bass player (Brian Yale), has the most gear on the road.

SUN: Is that because no one ever watches the bass player?

GAYNOR: Thank you for asking. I'd have to say yes.

SUN: So, who travels with the biggest entertainment system for their hotel room?

GAYNOR: Thank you for asking. Actually, I would have to say it's Pookie again. He needs a tech in his hotel room to hook up all his video games.

SUN: Do you think he's maybe got insecurity issues?

GAYNOR: Oh, no, he's got a gun-toting bodyguard.

SUN: Uh, OK.

GAYNOR: But I hear he's a good golfer.

SUN: So's Michael Anthony, the bass player from Van Halen, I hear.

GAYNOR: That's what we should do then. Start an annual bass player's golf tournament -- we could call it the John Kendle Invitational.

SUN: No, thanks.

The interview continued in this fashion. We gleaned that Gaynor likes hockey, that guitarist Kyle Cook is rather quiet and that Gaynor -- who joined the band after a stint working at Miami's Criteria Recording Studios -- is incapable, at the moment, of taking himself too seriously.

That's what road madness does to you, I guess.