Matthews Gets 'Personal' On 'Some Devil'
Dave Matthews tells Billboard.com that his recently completed solo debut reveals a side of the singer/songwriter that his fans have not yet seen. Matthews says "Some Devil," due Sept. 23 on RCA, incluDave Matthews tells Billboard.com that, in many ways, his recently completed solo debut reveals a side of the singer/songwriter that his fans have not yet seen. Matthews says "Some Devil," due Sept. 23 on RCA, includes some of his most introspective material to date. "This was very, very, very, very personal," he says. "It was a good soul-searching thing for me to do. I think the songs are more introspective in many ways."
The album features an as-yet-untitled track co-written by Matthews and Phish's Trey Anastasio, who also adds guitar work to the record. Steve Harris, who produced Dave Matthews Band's last studio effort, "Busted Stuff," played on "Some Devil" and co-wrote and arranged some of the songs with Matthews.
The bulk of the album is composed of songs written this year. Some fans will recognize the tracks "Stay or Leave" and "Gravedigger," a pair of cuts Matthews has played over the last year at his acoustic dates with Tim Reynolds. Reynolds plays guitar on the set, which also features drummer Brady Blade and bassist Tony Hall, both of whom have played with Emmylou Harris.
"Some Devil" was created gradually over the past year and finished about a month ago. Initially, Matthews says he didn't know "what I was gonna do with all this. And then it all started to fall together and get personality, and started to sound a little more legitimate. Going into it, it just seemed like a good therapy, ya know? And then it started to really take on some personality. [After a few months] we started thinkin', 'We might be makin' something worthwhile here.'"
Of "Gravedigger" and "Stay or Leave," Matthews says, "They didn't ever really sit in with the band. They never really got their heads above the water. They never really developed, and I'm not sure what the reasoning was, maybe just the wrong day. They're songs that I like, so I was messing with those, but I was also messing with other ideas."
"I think the idea of recording a couple of things that just didn't have a place with the band grew into a sort of, just a writing experience and recording experience that in some ways I hadn't really expected," he continues. The vast majority of the Dave Matthews Band catalog is composed of songs co-written by its five members, the exception being songs from the album "Everyday," many of which were co-written by Matthews and songwriter/producer Glen Ballard.
Matthews says there's really no comparison between the songs on "Some Devil" and those on his band efforts. And as the album nears release, he says that he's excited, but he is being cautious not to get his hopes up: "Like most of what I've done, it's done, and so now I just move on from it. I'm excited, I hope people like it, but I try not to get too excited because what if everyone f***in' hates it? Then I can let it go like an empty beer can. That's the way I look at it now: My part in it is done, and I hope people like it. But in case they don't, I'm gonna try not to invest too much in it that I might be disappointed."