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Strike A Light

Strike A Light

Who: Matchbox Twenty
Where: Newcastle Entertainment Centre
When: Tuesday July 29, 2003

ACCORDING to frontman ROB THOMAS, MATCHBOX TWENTY has always been the underdog.

``We've just been about writing songs and sometimes that comes across as not hip, because it's not on every magazine cover,'' Thomas said.

``But at the same time, we've managed to be not on the sidelines, but be in the game and see trend after trend go by us.

``When we started, it was like, `Well, we're never going to be successful, because everybody's listening to nothing but grunge'.

``And then it was like, `You'll never be successful, because everybody's listening to the Backstreet Boys'.

``And then it was all rap- metal.

But I just think that songs never go out of style.

'' Considering the fact that the Florida five-piece's debut album YOURSELF OR SOMEONE LIKE YOU has sold in excess of 12 million copies worldwide, the fans obviously agree.

Matchbox Twenty exploded onto the music scene in 1996 with the monster hit PUSH and paved the way for a string of hits which went on to become radio staples.

A combination of harder edged but ultra-melodic rock won over fans worldwide and created an outlet for similar US acts like CREED and TRAIN.

But the success of Matchbox Twenty has far surpassed its contemporaries, primarily due to Thomas's skill for penning a hit record.

As well as writing a string of hits for Matchbox Twenty, Thomas has also written for the likes of MICK JAGGER.

But his most notable collaboration was with CARLOS SANTANA and the worldwide smash hit SMOOTH.

``That's always been my goal, to be recognised as a songwriter.

``I'm lucky enough now that this is my only job, so when I'm off I can spend my time writing.

``Hopefully it gets better and I'll become more prolific.

``The more that you write, the more you want to try and write other kinds of songs, whether it be the subject matter, or the style, or feel of the song.

``You don't want to rewrite Push or If You're Gone over and over.

'' Thomas's latest stab at songwriting is featured on Matchbox Twenty's latest album MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE.

Released in November 2002, the album debuted in the Australian top 10 album charts and is already certified platinum and rising.

While album sales are healthy, Thomas is honest about success and concedes that topping the success of the band's first album is unlikely.

``We were lucky enough to have enough success with our first record that we could get to this third record, where we feel like, `Wow, this is what we'd like to sound like as a band, forever'.

This is good.

``That first one was such an anomaly, I can't imagine how anybody could do that more than once.

'' Thomas has also been vocal about his dissatisfaction with the band's second album MAD SEASON.

``The last record was so produced, there were no moments of silence.

``We just filled everything we could .



but this time, we wanted to make a record that sounds a little more like we sound live and a little more like a record we'd listen to.

'' Matchbox Twenty will perform at NEWCASTLE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE on July 29.

Tickets are available from TICKETEK on 4921-2121.

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