Every Bro remembers the first time they heard a Dave Matthews Band song. My first was in, like, 7th grade when a friend's college-age older brother blasted out the Live at Red Rocks version of "Dancing Nancies" from his bedroom while home on spring break. My mother happened to own a copy of "Under the Table and Dreaming" and listened to it on repeat. It was my jam before Little League games. I was hooked on the DMB bandwagon at an early age, buying a personal copy of "Crash" from a Columbia House Music catalog a few weeks later.
That was almost 15 years ago. Every summer, millions of "Dave fans" still flock to amphitheaters and stadiums around the country to see DMB continue his reigning dominance of the live music scene. It's ritual at this point for Bros of a certain age, like hot dogs and fireworks on the Fourth of July. The dates for DMB's summer tour are already posted and on-sale, so plan your summers accordingly.
Meanwhile, the folks at Relix Magazine sat down with Dave for a cover-profile that appears in the magazine's March Issue. The issue is now available on newsstands everywhere, so go pick-up a copy. Here are the three most important takeaways about Dave from the Relix Profile:
Dave Matthews fans aren't A.D.D. like other band's fans. Via Relix:
“I read all the stuff about how people don’t care about anything that’s long-form or substantial anymore, and I get it, I’m aware of it in my own life,” Matthews says. “But I think we buck that trend, in a way. What we do is not instant. Our music requires a bit of effort on the part of the listener. I think people who come to our shows know that we are committed to pursuing some new something when we play—for us, a show is an invitation to come be part of this thing we’re going to explore together. That seems to encourage a sense of investment in what we’re doing or a measure of patience—because it’s pretty obvious this isn’t an autopilot situation.”
Drummer Carter Beauford is more interested in a live music experience than simply replicating what's on a record. Via Relix:
“I see so many bands doing their music just like the record,” he says. “I’m like, ‘Don’t tell the story the same way every time. Give it some different punctuation.’”
A good night, he continues, is not when he and everyone onstage and on the production team executes flawlessly. Instead, a night is successful when they go tearing off and wind up someplace they’ve never visited before. This is not easy, he adds. It requires an enormous openness, a receptivity to the ideas of others, and (not least) the technical facility necessary to react to anything.
“There are nights you struggle with every note and that can lead to panic,” he admits. “If you’re not right there, physically or mentally, you could have a night where you can’t get the landing gear up. The music will kick your butt from note one.”
DMB fans aren't down with the radio hits these days (except pop-country and Avicii fans who only want to hear "Levels," is anyone?), but then again, when were they? via Relix:
“I’ve noticed, lately, that there’s this large contingent of our audience that doesn’t want our hits,” Matthews says. “We start playing one of the radio songs and you can almost hear them groaning.” He adds that this is, in a way, all he could ever hope for: “Because it says that our listeners really are about the journey. There’s an openness to elation, which is what we’re always seeking, and at the same time an awareness of its opposite. Which is always lurking.”
TL;DR: just Dave being good ole Dave. Nice to know that some Bro musicians never change.