Let Rob Thomas describe Matchbox Twenty for you.
“Greatest pop-rock band in the world.”
Out of context, you can easily attest his words to ego. Accumulating Diamond and Platinum certified albums over the course of twenty years would justify that behavior to some. But that isn’t Rob Thomas.
Thomas is a man who has spent the past 15 years performing an annual benefit with Scott Shannon, and other stars, at Blythedale Children’s Hospital and sticks around after his set to play Uno with children who couldn’t see him on stage in person.
There’s a humility present in Thomas, an understanding of how lucky he is to be doing what he does for a living. If there is an ego, it isn’t overbearing. And if you ask Thomas to describe his career, you’ll see there is plenty of self-deprecation present as well.
“If I had to describe my career and my music it would have to be, ‘it’s really stupid, but it makes sense for me.'”
It doesn’t make sense to many other people, either. That doesn’t mean Thomas’s work isn’t loved and appreciated, especially among his peers.
“One time I met Ryan Adams, who is one of my favorite songwriters,” says Thomas. “And he comes to me, ‘That song ‘Bent.’ I love ‘Bent.’ That solo, that opening *guitar sound*, it’s just stupid. It doesn’t make any sense at all, but I love it.”
Combining “stupid nonsense” with hard work isn’t your typical blueprint for success, certainly not longevity. That’s why you never hear from bands like Fastball or Better Than Ezra anymore. It’s not that their nonsense wasn’t any good or they didn’t work hard. They just weren’t privy to the most important ingredient.
“If there was some kind of formula,” says Thomas, before changing direction. “Everybody that I know that does this, works hard. Everybody that’s at a certain level is talented. But to continue on, there’s got to be a lot of luck involved.”
“It’s like lightning in a bottle for that to happen,” he adds.
Thomas, of course, hopes that there is still some luck and lightning left for his third solo album, The Great Unknown. You can watch Scott Shannon’s full interview with Rob Thomas above and watch the video for The Great Unknown‘s lead single “Trust You” below.
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