In a new interview with Vulture, Dave Matthews opens up about the departure of longtime fiddler Boyd Tinsely, grappling with DMB’s reputation as a “party band” and the raucous environment that surrounds his live performances.
“In general there’s a connect and a disconnect,” he says about DMB’s live experience. “People are coming to see the Dave Matthews Band and dance and sing — and that’s a good thing for there to be in the world — but when I listen to music I sort of want everyone to be quiet. So respect is being paid at our shows, but maybe not exactly the same way I would pay it.”
Matthews goes on to explain that he’s found other, enlightening creative avenues, like scoring Halo of Stars (a film by Anthony Lucero) and how the Oscar-nominated Lady Bird helped shift the perception of his fans. “Without question — and some express it with more vinegar than others — there are people who truly don’t like my band,” he says. “I think a lot of them just go, ‘I hate the Dave Matthews band’ because they saw someone they didn’t like in one of our T-shirts. But everything to do with Lady Bird was flattering. It was so lovely to see [“Crash Into Me”] used as a central tool in someone else’s story.”
Finally, the conversation shifts to Boyd Tinsely, the band’s longtime fiddle-player who left the band suddenly in February, right after they had announced their first summer tour since 2016. “I have a deep love for Boyd, and he has to deal with his stuff,” Matthews explains. “In many ways I’m sure it would’ve been a lot easier for him to just say, ‘I’m good. Let’s go play.’ But you can’t just throw yourself away, your wellness away, because you play violin in a band. It doesn’t make any sense to do that.”
He acknowledges that Boyd’s departure may not be permanent, but the situation is emotionally fraught. “I can’t say, ‘I can’t wait till he comes back,’ because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Matthews adds. “But right now being away is better for him. Nobody is happy about this situation. Except that we’re happy he can figure some stuff out. I hope he does. But I’m going to miss having that whirling-dervish Adonis-Muppet over there on my right. I know the audience is, too. But we can’t serve that desire.”
Read the full interview here.