Matchbox Twenty have quietly woven their songs into the very fabric of American popular culture. No matter where you are, it’s impossible not to hum along (or even sing aloud) to generational anthems like “3AM,” “Push,” “Unwell,” “Bent,” “If You’re Gone,” or “She’s So Mean.” Earning hits in each of the last three decades, they’ve gone from perennially dominating radio airwaves and ruling MTV to piling up streams in the billions, speaking to the enduring appeal of their music. As such, they’ve sold over 40 million records worldwide, dominated charts, garnered multiple GRAMMY® Award nominations, and played to millions of fans in arenas, amphitheaters, and stadiums across continents. Their catalog encompasses the diamond-certified 12x-platinum classic Yourself or Someone Like You , quadruple-platinum Mad Season , double-platinum More Than You Think You Are , and gold-certified North , which marked their first #1 on the Billboard 200. Beyond dozens of syncs on film and television, their music has been either covered, interpolated, or sampled by everyone from Steve Aoki and Kiiara to RMR, while Billboard cited Matchbox Twenty as “one of the most consistent groups of the alternative boom of the 90’s back half.” For their first album in 11 years and fifth overall LP Where The Light Goes [Atlantic Records], the band— Rob Thomas, Brian Yale, Paul Doucette, and Kyle Cook —simply did what they do best and wrote another great batch of real, relevant, and relatable songs.
“We’re a band that makes songs about relationships, life, and how people deal with people,” notes Paul. “These songs are about everything from the acceptance of aging and recapturing youth to positivity, love, and hope.”
“When we get back together, we’re all much more secure and, yeah, a little older,” smiles Rob. “We’re not worried about fitting into a box.”
This album benefitted from the musicians’ respective solo journeys. Rob Thomas has proven one of the most highly decorated artists of recent years – releasing five solo albums and receiving three GRAMMY Awards, 11 BMI Awards, the first-ever Songwriters Hall of Fame Hal David Starlight Award, two Billboard “Songwriter of the Year” honors, and top 5 placement on Billboard’s Top 20 Hot 100 Songwriters (2000-2011). Meanwhile, Paul Doucette has scored and contributed original music to film and television series such as Utopia, For All Mankind, and more. As the Global Pandemic scrapped the group’s 2020 tour plans, they wrote and shared ideas from their respective home studios. At the end of 2021, they finally congregated as a band with GRAMMY® Award-nominated producer Gregg Wattenberg [Train, John Legend, Goo Goo Dolls].
“We were all doing so many things, and it was easy to bring these elements into Matchbox Twenty,” Rob goes on. “It’s nice because we go off and learn these fresh perspectives and transfer them to the band.”
“Then, we have all of these different ways of looking at music and abilities to now bring to the fold,” agrees Paul. “It’s almost like we’re a new band every single time.”
“This album was definitely informed by what was happening in our individual studios,” adds Kyle. “There was a little more freedom. An idea would be shared by one of us, and somebody else would take it another direction. We’ve never worked this way before. We explored our own creativity and used it to make an album that really embodies what we love about music.”
This energy surges through the upbeat first single “Wild Dogs (Running In A Slow Dream).” On the track, a propulsive rhythm, iridescent keys, and lush guitar charge towards the luminous refrain, “In a world of people, there’s only you and me—the wild dogs running in a slow dream.”
“It was the last song we wrote, and it had a freshness and vitality,” Rob reveals. “There’s a bit of an eighties vibe too. I grew up in the South as a weird little kid who didn’t know anything about sports or cars. When you find other weird little kids, it changes the game for you. To me, those childhood friends were the ‘Wild Dogs’ outside of my window at two in the morning. They were knocking and saying, ‘C’mon, let’s go!’ You finally find your missing piece, and you don’t feel alone.”
“It sounds like who we are now,” Paul goes on. “We were in our early twenties when we made Yourself or Someone Like You. Our lives are drastically different today, and you can hear it in the songs.”
“One of the best things about this job is how fortunate and lucky we are to still be here,” Rob leaves off. “These songs have been a part of people’s lives. They’ve been in weddings, they’ve become tattoos, and they’re the soundtrack to Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. My only real hope is for more people to let this album be part of their lives. To me, it’s the greatest compliment.”
“Honestly, when we play 3am on a Tuesday night in the Midwest at some outdoor amphitheater, it has its own meaning,” grins Kyle. “For as much as we’re playing the same set of chords, it connects to people in another way. I’m always taken aback by what this music means to the fans. I’m looking forward to it now more than ever though.”