Dave Matthews Band have been around since the early nineties. Despite how you look at them, they’ve been consecutively touring each year to the point that fans that met at DMB shows are more than likely bringing their kids to the shows. While the group are aiming to release their latest effort Come Tomorrow next month as well as embarking on their North American trek this Friday (18th), Vulture recently interviewe Matthews. The discussion surprisingly had a few mentions of heavy metal music.
It might take some people by surprise, but Matthews admitted to enjoying heavy metal:
A lot of people — you included — seem to have serious extra-musical feelings about the Dave Matthews Band. How much of a hindrance is that?
Yeah, it used to be “If you like Nirvana you can’t like the Dave Matthews Band”; “If you like Pearl Jam you can’t like the Dave Matthews Band.” But if I can like all those bands as much as I do, then why can’t someone else? I guess we all have our tribe and you’re not supposed to be in more than one. I remember the Miles Davis quote when he’s asked, “What kind of music do you like?
And he answers, ‘Good music is good music.’
Good music, yeah. I love some country music because there’s great country music. I love some heavy metal because there’s great heavy metal. Someone is going to have brilliance inside of whatever box they’re in. That brilliance is what I look for. There’s great every kind of music just like there’s great every kind of liquor.
However, he then admitted being against “legitimate rock music” during the early 90s:
What do you think was going on in the ’90s that allowed for bands like yours, Phish, Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, and so on, to find a big following? Was it just a coincidence that jam bands broke out back then?
There was a scene, and we were kind of against what was viewed as the legitimate rock music of the time. “Jam band” was pejorative, you know? It was never “the critically acclaimed jam band.” We were dismissed. But that also made what we were doing feel like a response to something and that made it exciting. There was also the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones — all these cool, amazing musicians that didn’t fit into one box but that had an element of spontaneity. There was comfort in the togetherness of not belonging, if that makes sense. And I say that understanding the irony of my saying “I don’t belong” when I’ve got so many people listening to my music.
The discussion moved towards the subject of drinking as Matthews went from admitting to enjoying heavy metal music to stating his fans are better looking:
Given what you’ve said about drinking, is it at all weird to spend your summers getting up in front of crowds where you know a bunch of people are absolutely loaded?
There’s probably not as much drinking at our shows as there are at heavy-metal shows — and our crowds are probably better looking! But yeah, you see the most hammered people in the world from the stage. There’s a lot of revelry around me. I’ve reined a lot of mine in over the years.
Sure, if “better looking” involves khaki instead of denim, and polo shirts as opposed to battle vests, then DMB fans have that down. We’re going to agree to violently disagree on that one, however. He might be right about the drinking though. You can read the full interview here.