Ryan MacMillan of Matchbox Twenty interview
Matchbox Twenty is a small little indie rock band that gets very little airplay. Just kidding. They have sold 45 million records and basically if you removed them from the radio a large portion of stations would have dead air for half the day. Since 2007 Ryan MacMillan has been Matchbox Twenty ‘s drummer. If it’s not a testament to his skills to be hired on by one of the biggest bands in the world I don’t know what is. I had the absolute honor to meet Mr. MacMillan and a few of the other members of Matchbox Twenty at a dinner at NAMM in January 2009 and I have to say they are some of the absolute coolest cats ever…I knocked over a waitress and her platter of food while I was rushing over to shake their hands but that’s a whole other story. Recently I had this phone interview with Ryan Macmillan of Matchbox Twenty.
HMM: What’s happening with Matchbox Twenty these days?
Ryan MacMillan: Rob’s solo album came out last June. So he’s going to out on tour on that for about a year. And their will be another Matchbox Twenty album after that. So we’re about a year away from recording the next album.
HMM: What are you working on currently?
Ryan MacMillan: I’ve been working with Paul Doucette, one of Matchbox Twenty guitar players, and his band The Break and Repair Method. We are recording a new record right now. So I’m working with him right now and it’s fun. I don’t know what the new album is going to be called yet. He hasn’t told me yet. (Laughter.) Or maybe he doesn’t have a name yet. (More laughter.)
HMM: What else are you working on?
Ryan MacMillan: I’m working right now with Phillip Sayce who’s a guitar player from Toronto. It’s him and I and Joel Gottschalk on bass and Fred Mandel on keyboards. We’re making a record right now. So I’m looking forward to that. Phillip is a super talented guy. Great guitar player, singer, and writer.
HMM: What’s the craziest funniest stuff that has happened on tour?
Ryan MacMillan: I think a lot of the times the craziest stuff happens with fans. Just like running into some crazy fans or people just doing weird funny stuff. I remember one time years ago in North Carolina we had just got off the stage and we went outside to cool off. These three girls came up to us as we were standing outside toweling off and I remember one of the girls literally just took her shirt off and didn’t have a bra on. She just took her shirt off and came over to us. It was so bizarre we were just like, “Oh! How you doin’?” (Lots of laughter.) There was no prompting or asking on our part for her to take off her shirt she just felt that she should take it off I guess.
Probably the funniest thing that ever happened was one time when The Push Stars were opening for Better Than Ezra and it was the end of the tour and we were all pulling pranks on each other. The last show of the tour was in Phoenix I think and for our first song they had smoke machines on the stage and just ran them full blast for the whole first song. So by the end of the song you couldn’t see anything. You couldn’t see the crowd and there was just smoke everywhere. And then Better Than Ezra came out and completely Silly Stringed everything so when the smoke cleared all you saw was 4 guys covered in Silly String. So to get them back in the middle of one of their songs we all took off our clothes and put bags over our heads with eye holes so we could see and went out and danced on stage. (Laughter.) But the funniest part of that was Chris the singer and I had run to the side of the stage where you had to go outside to actually reach the stage. We ran through this door and ended up outside in a parking lot across from a bus station. Me and him are standing in a parking lot with bags over our heads and no clothes on in the middle of Phoenix. It was pretty funny. Luckily we got back inside before we got arrested for being indecently exposed.