The venues for Dave Matthews Band’s upcoming North American tour will be split between stadiums and outdoor amphitheaters, but Matthews tells Billboard.com he isn’t fazed by the demands of presenting his music to such large crowds. The group’s new RCA studio album, “Everyday,” hits stores on Feb. 27; the tour, which is still being routed, will kick off in late April.
“In order to get into bigger places, we haven’t had to compromise musically,” Matthews says, phoning in from Miami, where the band is shooting a video for “I Did It,” the album’s first single. “I don’t feel like we’ve lost any of the urgency that was there in the smaller venues. People will argue with you, but there’s always people who will say they were there when we played to 500 people, and now we’ve sold out. Well, yeah, we sold out Giants Stadium, you know! I don’t feel like I gave something up in order to get there.”
“I Did It” cracked the top-10 of Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart in just three weeks, and Matthews says the song reflects the new album’s spontaneous vibe. “I think the music has a lot of movement,” he says. “It’s got a lot of push. It’s driving. It’s really fresh.” The airplay-only single is at No. 71 on The Billboard Hot 100 this week.
As first reported here, the band had nearly finished an album this past summer with producer Steve Lillywhite, but scrapped the entire session to start fresh in Los Angeles with producer Glen Ballard. All of the set’s 12 tracks were written in a nine-day flurry of composition that surprised even Matthews.
“There’s not a song on the album that, in the writing and really getting a whole sketch of what the song was going to be like, took longer than an afternoon or an evening,” Matthews admits. “A couple of them took half that.”
“Everyday” brings out an edge in DMB’s sound that may surprise some longtime fans. For the first time, Matthews played predominantly electric guitar, lending additional texture to the songs. Although the tracks are largely uptempo, a handful hearken back to Matthews’ more familiar ballad style, including “Angel” and the tearjerking “The Space Between.”
As for Matthews’ rumored film role alongside Courtney Love and Charlize Theron in “24 Hours,” on which Ballard is serving as executive producer, the artist says with a chuckle, “No, I don’t think I have been [cast]. If I got the role, nobody told me about it!”