NEW YORK – The recording process for Matchbox Twentys new album was somewhat like living in a frat house.
While creating North – and living together in Nashville – lead singer Rob Thomas jokes that the foursome spent, like, $40,000 on wine. Just on the wine.
At 5, 6 oclock, wed break for dinner and things would just go south, Thomas, 40, said in a recent interview. And we would think it was awesome, everything we were doing was awesome, and wed come back in and we would meet some new band out in the middle of Nashville and bring them back to the studio ... and play all this crap. I know they walked away going, Dude, the new Matchbox Twenty record is going to suck!
None of those songs made it on the album North – which may be part of the reason it debuted at No. 1 on Billboards 200 albums chart this month after selling 95,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The rockers recorded the album in New York, Los Angeles and in the woods of Nashville. They hadnt lived together since doing so when they recorded their 12-times platinum 1996 debut, Yourself or Someone Like You.
But they said reuniting felt natural and the musicians began writing material while Thomas toured his second solo album in 2009. Paul Doucette, the bands drummer, said they recorded more than 60 songs.
We became really overwhelmed with the material and really the amount of different directions we (could) take with the material, he said. Within those 60 songs there was an Americana record, there was a pop record, there was a rock record.
The albums first single, the lighthearted Shes So Mean, is a departure for the rock band.
Our songs are lyrically a bit heavier and not as many tongue-in-cheek kind of songs, and it was kind of nice to come out with something thats not our typical (sound), Doucette said of the Top 40 hit.
Theres also Put Your Hands Up, an upbeat tune about a girl who wants to escape her tough week on the dance floor.
The minute I wrote the line Leave your heart out on the dance floor Im like, Im going there! Im going there, a smiling Thomas said, as Doucette laughed.