Dave Matthews Band taking success in stride

September 8th, 1998

a090898.jpgATLANTA (CNN) -- For the Dave Matthews Band (DMB), the goal was not to become one of the most popular music groups in the world. Instead, it was to make enjoyable music that would respectfully cater to the wants of fans. Now, seven years after the band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, DMB is enjoying the best of both worlds: worldwide acclaim and sellout venues coupled with a newly released album ("Before These Crowded Streets") that was welcomed by the band's growing fan base.

"There's no plan, it's completely luck," says founding member Dave Matthews, explaining the band's talent of melding so many musical styles. DMB blends jazzy horns, acoustic guitar, unconventional percussion, and Matthews' sweeping voice to create a sound that is at once fresh and familiar. 'We didn't know what we wanted'

"There was no thought when we got together, 'Do we want to be rock, do we want to be heavy metal?'" says Matthews. "We didn't know what we wanted. We knew what we were going to do is, I was going to play guitar and sing, and Carter (Beauford) would play drums." Add Boyd Tinsley on violin, Leroi Moore on sax and wind instruments, and Stefan Lessard on bass, and DMB is revealed as a band that has learned to work well together. "We just enjoy ourselves and I think the tightness comes from just knowing each other," says Matthews. "No two takes in the studio ever sound the same either, when we're in there, so it's sort of the same thing. No two nights repeat themselves too much."

Success and simple things

DMB began to receive acclaim with the release of "Crash" in 1996. The songs "So Much To Say" and "Too Much" were nominated for Grammys, as was the album. In 1998, another single from the album, "Crash Into Me," was nominated for two Grammys. After taking off most of 1997 from touring, DMB has been selling out stadiums around the world as it tours "Before These Crowded Streets." The band is currently readying for a Latin American tour, with concerts scheduled for Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. "The fun of it is sort of to be adventurous," says Matthews. "We're not ever being sort of safe, hopefully. Every song is a little of a challenge to us in its own way." Matthews says he's enjoying his time in the spotlight, but enjoying the music more. "Our job is to focus on real simple things -- treasuring our friendships and treasuring the music, and treasuring our time doing what we love to do, because it will pass," he says. "And then what happens next? I don't know. We'll have to wait 'til we get there."

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