Songwriter's Corner|

Photo: Rob Thomas [This paragraph was taken from the Wikipedia article on Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty] Thomas writes all of the time, saying “it’s a lot easier to come up with ideas than it is to edit them.” Thomas admits that his songs have “a radio sensibility”. He writes songs that he hopes people will like and does not strive to follow or set trends. In his opinion, this is the reason that he has maintained his career; the music never sounds dated. Each of his songs can stand alone without special effects; Thomas wants his listeners to feel the message of a song even if he is just playing it by himself on an acoustic guitar. [Ricky Nelson also espoused the same advice – if it sounds really good with just an acoustic guitar, it will sound great no matter the production.]

Initially, Thomas tried to write epic love songs, in the vein of Lionel Richie. He did not like most of those attempts. After he finished “3 A.M.”, which was inspired by his mother’s battle with cancer, Thomas realized that he ought to focus events in his own life. Many of his later songs are inspired by his wife and her battle with an autoimmune disease.

Lisa Rockman, music reviewer for the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote, “There is a reason millions of fans across the world relate to lyrics penned by Rob Thomas. His words come from the heart.”

Thomas chooses his words carefully, “trying to make my phrases more colorful when I’m writing, trying to find the longest way to get to the point that I’m trying to make as opposed to the quickest way.”

As his career has progressed, Thomas has more frequently collaborated with other songwriters in order to “keep things fresh and not feel like I’m going back to the same well and just writing the same songs over and over and over”. In 2021 he admitted his songs come to him the same way, and his confidence as a writer comes and goes and he does not want to rip himself off. He describes himself as an “emotional dude”

Photo: Rob Thomas

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