About The Artist
The Set List
Back From Exile
Wal-Mart Soundcheck hit up Center Staging in Burbank, California, where five-time Grammy nominee Matchbox Twenty was set to take the stage. Performing some old hits and a few new tracks from their fourth album, 'Exile on Mainstream,' the guys showed they've found their way 'Back 2 Good.'
Five years after their last studio album, Matchbox Twenty return with a greatest hits album combining 11 of their biggest hits with six brand new songs. "We look at it as a new EP with a greatest hits attached to it," front man Rob Thomas says. If the band's first release off the new album, 'How Far We've Come,' is any indication of things to come, then 'Exile' should be a must on your CDs-to-buy list.
How Far They've Come
With over a decade-long career under their belt, Matchbox Twenty broke into the mainstream with their debut album, 'Yourself or Someone Like You,' in the fall of 1996. Named Best New Band in the 1997 Rolling Stone Reader's Poll and with three multi-platinum albums, they were an overnight success. After their third album, 'More Than You Think You Are,' in 2002, the band members decided to pursue separate endeavors.
Rob Thomas followed with a solo career that scored him three Grammy Awards, while Paul Doucette and Kyle Cook embarked on solo careers of their own. After going their separate ways, they felt that their fourth Matchbox Twenty album would be their last. "Paul and I had a sense going in that this was our last record," says Rob. "It seemed like a good one to go out on. We'd do a greatest hits album and put one new single on it."
In the Studio
The band members reconvened with their individual styles to write new material. "We'd worked with different people, we'd really developed our own sounds, and they're very different from each other," Paul says. "We just felt like we each have that separate space to get ourselves out, so why don't we make Matchbox something where we all have an equal say."
Working together again, the guys quickly realize what they loved about being in the band. "We got together, we fought, we laid our stuff out about what was important to us now, and we started to write," states Rob. "And suddenly it was like, 'This is fun, maybe we should do a new album'." Excited about their new evolution as a band, Matchbox wrote an astounding 13 songs in four days.
As the band winds down with their new single, 'These Hard Times,' you feel the synergy of four guys who grew as a band, went their separate ways as individuals, and then reunited, stronger than before. With the evolution of 11 years packed onto one album, Matchbox Twenty, once again, brings their fans something worth listening to.
So enjoy this exclusive set and pick up a copy of their latest album, 'Exile on Mainstream,' in stores and online now.
- The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
Did You Know?
-Matchbox Twenty are: Rob Thomas, Paul Doucette, Kyle Cook and Brian Yale
-When Matchbox Twenty originally formed, Rob and Paul hit it off immediately and have been the best of friends for 15 years
-Paul Doucette used to play drums, but then took over as guitarist after Adam Gaynor left the band in 2005
-Rob, Paul and Brian formed Matchbox Twenty in Orlando, Florida after responding to an ad in the paper. They later found Kyle in Atlanta.
-Matchbox Twenty drew inspiration for their latest album, 'Exhile on Mainstream," after watching the 20th anniversary DVD of Live Aid
Rob launches into a piano solo in this bluesy third single from their third album, 'More Than You Think You Are.' With an attempt to depart from the mainstream, Matchbox hits an emotional tone of love lost to the big city. Rob sings as if he knows by experience: "You'll find something that's enough to keep you / But if the bright lights don't receive you / Well turn yourself around and come on home."
How Far We've Come
In their first single off their new album, Rob takes center stage to belt out the lyrics of this doomsday song about the end of the world. "Not happy, not happy," laughs Paul when talking about the lyrics. "But that's always been this band. We've always done more uplifting melodies with really downer lyrics."
If You're Gone
The lap steel guitar brings an eerie sound to this soulful ballad. The lyrics express the paralysis that comes with losing someone to your own fears and longing for their return: "There's an awful lot of breathing room but I can hardly move / And if you're gone, baby, you need to come home / 'Cause there's a little bit of something me in everything in you."
With the driving beat of the drums along with the guitar riffs, Rob launches into the band's second smash hit. "I still hear '3 AM' on the radio at an alarming rate," says Rob. "Listen, my goal in life is to be this weathered guy who everybody is like, 'Oh, I grew up listening to you.' I think that's the coolest thing in the world."
These Hard Times
Matchbox Twenty takes the tempo down in this ballad to which everyone can relate. Produced by famed music producer Steve Lillywhite, "These Hard Times" addresses the necessity of moving on: "Say goodbye. These days are gone and we can't keep holding on."
Watching this group deliver such a strong performance today, it seems they've at least temporarily let go of the days as solo artists and are moving forward together, stronger than ever.