Gearing up for tour

By CHELSEA J. CARTER, Associated Press

Rob Thomas is going it alone, taking his best-selling solo act on the road.

Well, sort of alone. He's taking along his wife. And his dog. And his new band.

Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas is going on tour to promote his solo album Something to Be.

The Matchbox Twenty frontman on Monday announced a two-month national tour to support his multiplatinum solo album Something to Be. It kicks off Oct. 5 in Albany, N.Y., hitting mostly medium-size venues like Houston's Verizon Wireless Theater, where he'll play Oct. 29.

"It's about trying to cover as much ground as you can cover," Thomas said. Nationwide tours "always cover the best ground anyway: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, you name it. But I'd even just play a month in New York. I'm just so sick of not playing."

Opening acts will be the all-female quintet Antigone Rising and Anna Nalick.

Thomas' album, which was released in April, entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1 the first time a male artist from a rock or pop group debuted at the top.

Thomas, 33, is modest about his success. But pressed about the naysayers who dismissed his solo effort, he doesn't feel he needs vindication.

"There's always going to be somebody who doesn't like you or your band. Success doesn't change that. If anything, it makes them hate you even more," he said. "The real success is 20 years from now. Did you do anything that they remember? So many people have big success and get remembered just in the moment."

So for this moment Thomas is focusing on touring.

"Because we've spent so much time promoting the album, doing radio shows where you play one or two songs, and doing interviews, I'm all about wanting to get on the road and just play," Thomas said.

"I can't wait to move into a bus. Neither can my wife."

And the terrier-basset-hound mix he and his wife, model Marisol Thomas, adopted last year?

"This whole thing centers around the dog. We're probably going to have to buy the bus so we can take him," he said.

In fact, Thomas confided, the couple recently had to leave the dog with family in Florida while they went to Australia to promote the album. When they returned, they did something for the dog Thomas said they never do for themselves.

"We chartered a plane for our dog" to get him back to New York, he said. "It wasn't a big plane, either. It was a small plane."

Besides his solo material, Thomas plans to perform a few Matchbox songs.

"I play the Matchbox songs in the way that I wrote them. Then I don't use any of the other parts the guys wrote," he said. "You want to ride that line because some of the fans came because they are fans of Matchbox Twenty, and then there has to be that (musical) element of the reason you are on a break."

And yes, it is a break.

"Our only question is when," he said. "But it's definitely going to happen."