Matchbox 20 surprised by sudden popularity

“We’re just five rednecks,” Matchbox 20’s lead guitarist Kyle Cook said in a phone interview Oct. 24. Five rednecks with a hit first album and a single that has topped the charts nationwide.

Matchbox 20’s debut album, Yourself or Someone Like You (Atlantic), has been on Billboard Magazine’s Top 15 list for more than 32 straight weeks. The band, originally from Orlando, has hit the big time in the past several months. Sunday it will perform to a sold-out crowd at the 9:30 Club.

Yourself or Someone Like You contains realistic lyrics about relationships. The album’s first hit single, “Push,” is considered controversial by some because its lyrics talk about emotional and physical violence in relationships.

“(It) seemed to strike a nerve. I didn’t perceive `Push’ doing what it did. `Push’ kind of exploded the music to another level of people,” Cook said.

The band was taken aback by its success. According to Cook, when he and rhythm guitarist, Adam Gaynor sat down to make a list of singles that might make it big, “Push” was not even included.

“We’re not trying to change the world (with our songs).We’re a pretty modest band,” Cook said.

The name Matchbox 20 has an interesting origin. Cook explained that when drummer Paul Douchette was a waiter, he saw a customer wearing a jacket with a lot of patches on it. One patch on the front said Matchbox, and another on the back said 20, so he put them together.

The band’s next album is in the works, but will not be out for a while. “It will be a more collaborative effort,” said Cook, “We don’t want to be that band that just comes out with another record.”

According to Cook, the band will be playing some new songs at the concert this weekend. After this tour, Cook said Matchbox 20 will be ready for a long break before the new album is ready.

“Every show is a new little adventure,” Cook said.

Matchbox 20 is performing at the 9:30 Club Sunday night. Lili Hayden is opening.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.