Matchbox Twenty's new album North debuted at number one on Billboard's 200 albums chart last week. The rockers recorded the album, their first release since the 2007 compilation album, Exile on Mainstream, in New York, Los Angeles and "in the woods" of Nashville, says the lead singer Rob Thomas. The band had not lived together since recording their 12-time platinum 1996 debut, Yourself or Someone Like You.
But they said reuniting felt natural, and began writing material while Thomas toured his second solo album in 2009. Paul Doucette, the band's drummer, said they recorded more than 60 songs, so selecting the final tracks was tiresome. "We were overwhelmed by the number of different directions we could take," he says. "Within those 60 songs, there was an Americana record, a pop record and a rock record."
Thomas adds: "Not to mention you'd pass out and wake up the next day and somebody would come in and be like, 'I turned it into a ragtime record.'"
The album's first single, the lighthearted She's So Mean, is a departure for the rock band, best known for the hits Unwell, 3 AM and Bent.
"It was kind of nice to come out with something that's not our typical sound," Doucette says of the track.
There's 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', I was like, 'I'm going there, I'm going there!'," a smiling Thomas says, as Doucette laughs. - AP