April 1st, 2006
Rollingstone.com Article: Confirm: Regarding DMB Return to Studio - April, 2006
"We're having a blast with the new stuff, and it's lifting the old songs, too," says Dave Matthews, whose band is jamming through a good chunk of its new album, Stand Up, each night on its summer tour. "The way we recorded these songs was a lot like how we improvise onstage, so playing it live came very naturally."
The tour, which kicked off on June 1st and runs until September 11th, is on course to match the $41.2 million earned by last year's outing: According to figures released by Pollstar, the first eighteen dates earned $13.4 million, making the tour the year's thirteenth-highest-grossing so far.
The Dave Matthews Band have spent the last thirteen summers on the road, but this season marks the first time they've hosted their own festival. Island Getaway, held July 30th and 31st on New York's Randalls Island, drew about 60,000 to see DMB (who jammed with pal Trey Anastasio), plus guest bands including the Black Eyed Peas and Barenaked Ladies. "That audience is a toughie, because they don't listen to the radio," says Peas rapper Will.I.Am. "But I think we won them over."
Why throw such an elaborate event? "Going back to the small, original crowd we used to play to at Wetlands or CBGB, New York has been kind of a home base for us," says Matthews, who also played a free Central Park show in 2003. "So as every year progresses, we want to do something in that city that sticks out a little bit."
Meanwhile, the band is planning to go back into the studio in early 2006. "I don't want to go in armed with a bunch of tunes -- I want to go in barefoot and unprepared," says Matthews, adding that Stand Up producer Mark Batson will return. "It's an ongoing relationship," says Matthews. "We like the way he works, and he likes the way we work together, so I don't think it's even a question."