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Matchbox Twenty Singer Makes Solo Debut

Since 1996, singer Rob Thomas has led the popular rock band Matchbox Twenty. During the past few years, he's also collaborated with such legendary performers as Santana, Willie Nelson and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. Now, Thomas is striking out on his own with his first solo album, Something To Be.

Rob Thomas calls the making of Something To Be a "fun outing" that gave him the chance to experiment with different musical styles.

His band, Matchbox Twenty, released its latest album in 2002. With 25 million copies in worldwide sales from the group's three releases, the members unanimously agreed that it was time to take a break.

As Matchbox Twenty's main songwriter, Rob Thomas held onto many songs that didn't quite fit the band's sound.

"There are a lot of things I wanted to say that I couldn't say in Matchbox Twenty," he says. "The guys didn't like the song, or I couldn't finish the song. These were songs I wanted to see out."

Although the tracks on his solo album feature Rob's unique rock vocals, the instrumentation contains elements from a variety of other influences, including blues, African, Caribbean, and even Country music. Famed steel guitarist Robert Randolph makes a guest appearance on the album, which, by the way, was produced by Matchbox Twenty's producer Matt Serletic.

Rob spent the past month promoting his solo album with more than a dozen U.S. concerts. He wants Matchbox Twenty fans to know, however, that the group is not breaking up, and to expect future albums and tours from the band. Rob also plans to continue collaborating with other artists.

Something To Be debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. It marked the first time a male artist from a rock or pop group has entered at Number One with a debut solo album since Billboard introduced the chart 50 years ago. In addition, the album made chart history as the first album released in the new DualDisc format to reach Number One. Something To Be contains the full 12-song album on the CD side and more than 20 minutes of exclusive video material on the DVD side.