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Slow burn: Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas likes feeling ‘carefree’ on stage

Singer-songwriter Rob Thomas is touring in support of his latest album, “Chip Tooth Smile.” (Courtesy of Randall Slavin)

Life on the road never gets easier.

What makes it worth it is the time spent at home.

Rob Thomas is taking advantage of it for five days.

“It’s always great to be at home with my wife and children,” he says. “Touring can be rough on you. I’ve managed to make time for myself in between a lot of the dates on the road.”

Thomas broke out in the music scene in the mid-1990s with the band Matchbox Twenty. The band has sold millions of albums and had numerous hits on the radio.

Thomas began his solo career in 2005 and has released four solo albums. His latest is “Chip Tooth Smile,” released on April 26. The first single is “One Less Day (Dying Young).”

Thomas brings his tour to Albuquerque on Friday, Sept. 13, to Legends Theater at Route 66 Casino Hotel.

When writing “Chip Tooth Smile,” Thomas wanted to have a different sound from 2015’s “The Great Unknown.”

“The way that you make records changes over time,” Thomas says. “I think the writing part is pretty much the same. If you back up to my last solo record, there were moments I didn’t connect with the songs.”

The 47-year-old musician called on Butch Walker to produce the album.

The album is full of songs in which Thomas reflects on what’s he’s learned as he’s gotten older.

“I feel like getting older is the goal and you want to get older and see how this thing turns out,” he says. “Getting old is up to the user. It’s the way you look at it. In my life now, I have more responsibilities and I live a life that allows me to be more carefree when I get on stage. I’m still lucky to be doing something that I really love. The completion and the presentation is part of the catharsis and part of the process.”

With more than 20 years in music, Thomas is at a comfortable place in his career.

The hard work and drive to perform are still apparent. Putting together a set list is a challenge for Thomas.

“You have new songs, and you like to play the new stuff,” he says. “There are a few Matchbox (Twenty) songs in there. I’ve realized it’s best to maximize the time and make people feel the most with the set. Picking the set, it’s not for my pleasure. The best part is entertaining a crowd for a few hours and giving them the songs that we’ve all grown up with.”


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