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The Biography of The Dave Matthews Band
The South African vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews formed the Dave Matthews Band in Virginia in the early '90s.
Featuring Matthews, Stefan Lessard, Leroi Moore, Boyd Tinsley, and Carter Beauford, the group's music presents a more pop-oriented version of the Grateful Dead crossed with the worldbeat explorations of Paul Simon and Sting. The band built up a strong word-of-mouth following in the early '90s by touring the country constantly, concentrating on college campuses.
In addition to amassing a sizable following, their self-released album Remember Two Things sold well for an independent release; soon, they were attracting the attention of majors. Signing with RCA, the Dave Matthews Band released their major-label debut, Under the Table and Dreaming, in the fall of 1994. By spring of 1995, the record had launched the hit single "What Would You Say" and sold over a million copies.
A year and a half after the release of Under the Table and Dreaming, the record had sold over four million copies in the U.S. alone. In April of 1996, the Dave Matthews Band released Crash, which entered the charts at number two and quickly went platinum. Throughout 1996, the group toured behind Crash, sending it to double-platinum status.
Also in 1996, Matthews launched an attack on bootleggers in conjunction with the Federal Government, targeting stores that were selling semilegal discs of live performances. The efforts of Matthews, his band, and his management resulted in an unprecedented crackdown on bootleggers in early 1997 -- with nearly all of the major foreign bootlegging companies placed under arrest by the United States -- thereby putting a moratorium on the entire underground industry.
To further combat the bootleggers, Dave Matthews released an official, double-disc live album, "Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95," in the fall of 1997. It was an unexpected success, debuting at number three on the charts and selling a million copies within the first five months of its release. The live record paved the way for the April 1998 release of "Before These Crowded Streets," the group's most ambitious album to date.
Another live effort, "Listener Supported," followed a year later. Summer tours also packed the late '90s, with sold-out shows across the U.S. The new millennium, however, saw the band back in the studio with Glen Ballard to record its fourth studio album. "Everyday" was issued in February 2001. The following summer, the band issued Busted Stuff. Debut single "Where Are You Going" was also featured on the soundtrack to the Adam Sandler flick Mr. Deeds. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
Dave Matthews talks about life on the road
NEKESA MUMBI MOODY
The Dave Matthews Band is on road so much their tour bus has become their second home - so they've tried to make it just as comfortable as their real abodes.
Besides their instruments and gear, they also bring a caterer so they don't have to take a chance on strange cuisine. They also have decorations to make things aesthetically pleasing - and their spouses and kids often tag along for the trek.
AP: What's your diva request for backstage?
Matthews: I don't think we've got too many really unusual requests. I think there always has to be a little Scotch, a nice wine, and a couple cases of good beer.
AP: How do you wind down after a show?
Matthews: After a show, maybe I'll have a Scotch. Often my family is on the road, so now what I do is I get off stage and if my girls (3-year-old twins) are still awake, I get on the bus and read them a bedtime story. Sometimes I get into bed and I try to get my soaking wet shirt off so that I don't get the sheets all wet when I lie between my daughters, but that seems to be the thing that most quickly brings me down to earth.
AP: Do you have a must-have book or favorite reading?
Matthews: I always try and have something. I always like to have an atlas just so that I can find things out. It's always good to have an almanac; those sort of things. But then I also like to have a little fiction, and maybe a little bit of history, and some crappy magazines. But I've gotta have stuff to read.
AP: What's the gadget you can't live without that's not your iPod?
Matthews: I'm not a real gadgety person. In fact, some people think that I'm kind of primitive. Probably a bottle opener is probably the gadget I can't live without. Actually, I can open a bottle of beer pretty easily without it, but wine is always too much of a pain in the (rear) to open that up. So a corkscrew is probably the gadget that I can't live without.
AP: What kind of DVDs do you watch on the bus?
Matthews: Well, anything crap. Probably most of the time I watch children's movies because my kids are on the bus, so it requires them. Other than that, I watch World Link TV most of the time. I like that channel. They have some great documentaries.
AP: What's your favorite hotel alias that you've retired?
Matthews: I've had Strangely Brown ... what other ones did I have? Stinky Pinky. nobody else likes those, but I like those. Strangely Brown is probably my favorite. I've got a good one right now but I'm not gonna tell it to ya.
AP: What's the chance we'll find you hanging out in the city where you're performing?
Matthews: It would have to be the quietest, dive-iest place in town. That's where I would go. It would be following my wife that I would go out for a drink. But otherwise I would go be boring.
AP: I don't know if this applies to you since you're a family man and all, but what would a groupie need to do to get backstage?
Matthews: Ask anybody but me. Because I don't even know. That's what I say when they say, "How can I get backstage?" I say, "I don't know!"
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