On June 22, 2001, the Dave Matthews Band held a live chat session with MSN. A transcript of that session appears below.
DishDiva says: Welcome to MSN Live. This afternoon we are pleased to welcome June's Artists of the Month, Dave Matthews Band. Please join us in welcoming Carter, Stefan, Dave, LeRoi and Boyd to MSN Live!
DMB: Hello! Hi folks! We're in Philly and this is strange!
DishDiva says: Have you guys done this before?
DMB: We've done some chats in different places. To do it like this is kind of strange. Almost all communication technology of modern day. (laughs)
DishDiva says: We seem to have lots of questions about monkeys.
QUESTION: Why did you change Big Eyed Fish to Fish Monkey Man? What will you call the "old" Monkey Man?
DMB - David: The reason that we changed it is because we never name the songs, when we were calling it one thing, I always change the name at night and it's my form or protest.
QUESTION: Who decides the playlist for a show?
DMB - David: I usually write the playlist out an hour before the show and then run around to everybody and ask how it looks. Depending on how my voice feels, and if someone has an objection, I try and get it up slow. I see if it's cool with everyone and if they want to add something.
QUESTION: Does it ever freak you out to know you have such a devout following? Seriously.
DMB - David: We're all here, but I'm doing all the talking because I had 3 cups of coffee this morning. (laughs) I think it's great to have a big fan base. Being a musician I can't ask for anything better than a fan base that cares about what we do. Some more devoted fans might get offended if we do something they might not like, that is kind of creepy, I still like to have some kind of ownership over myself. I still think it's an amazing luxury to do this and can be adventurous.
QUESTION: Is it a conscious effort to add Middle Eastern, or Egyptian themes to your music? Are you trying to be inclusive of world music, or is it just a natural progression of the way the band plays?
DMB: I think we are just interested in different music and find different sounds. There's a lot of places we haven't gone to, we do like to take whatever influences we've had. To say 'we have to do this now' is the opposite of music, it's just curiousity that guides us more than anything else.
QUESTION: Could you explain the religious significance behind "Two Step"?
DMB: I think that's up to Stream, because if I step in the way, I could screw everything up.
QUESTION: Will Lillywhite sessions ever get released?
DMB: They're songs that are already out on the internet and we play them live. They were a great project and the songs out now are great and it would be strange to go backwards. I love that album we didn't release, but for us to go back to it and relive those 5 months we took making it, would be silly. Those songs won't be forgotten by the band and we'll play them live. We would rather try and do something else creative, say be the first band to record on Mt. Everest. (laughs)
QUESTION: What was your reason for putting Jamie Presley in "The Space Between" video?
DMB: That would be Dave Meyers decision. Jamie asked him I think.
QUESTION: Were you always into music, even as kids?
DMB: Oh yeah! All of us!
QUESTION: Dave, are you ready to be a father of twins?
DMB: Ready or not, here they come
DishDiva says: I know the audience has been asking about names of the twins. Any hints?
DMB - David: Number One and Number Two, get up and eat your breakfast!! (Laughs!) Carter is expecting one and I'm expecting two, so we're expecting tripplets together.
QUESTION: If there was one song that you would want to leave as your legacy, what song would that be and why?
DMB: "Ants Marching."
DishDiva says: I should say that we are with Dave Matthews Band in Camden, New Jersey before their concert tonight.
QUESTION: "The Dreaming Tree" is an incredible song. Why do you guys so rarely play it?
DMB: I think we go through phases that different songs are our favorites. There are a lot of songs that don't make the playlist and some that recur all the time. A lot has to do with me depending on how I'm singing. It will be back.
QUESTION: What is an easy DMB song to learn on guitar?
DMB: "Digging a Ditch" is an easy one.
QUESTION: Who writes the vocal arrangements for the Lovely Ladies and who initiates that process?
DMB: I think the first thing we did together was "Stay." We were together shooting it back and forth. Since then it's been a continuation of how the bands writes and how we do arrangements, we sort of play with things. That's how it is with The Lovely Ladies. We invite them to be on a song and they write their own arrangements. When they came out on tour with us this year, they learned all the songs and wrote their own arrangements for half of them. They will come up with things during sound checks and during shows.
QUESTION: Carter, what is the hardest song for you to play?
DMB - Carter: "What You Are" from the new record. There's a lot going on in that tune. It's a workout but it's becoming more easy for me because I'm training those muscles, so it's been getting easy lately. But you watch once we take a break and come back to it, it will be hard again. (laughs!)
QUESTION: Have you ever just gotten completely lost in a performance?
DMB: Yeah, it happens every night. That's the moment that we aim at. There's only going to be one moment like that. If it's a good night, it will be the whole night.
DMB - David: What I thought she meant was that when we all go to a different door and we are all standing there. I do that a lot too. (laughs)
QUESTION: The lyrics to the song "Crash," were poetic, as are many of your lyrics. Are you heavily influenced by poetry, and if so, by whom in particular?
DMB: Your Irish buddy, W. B. Yeats, from my dad, I grew up with a lot of that. I also like pretty things so my ignorance flourishes.
QUESTION: Dave did you ever take guitar lessons when you were younger?
DMB: Yes, and it was frustrating for my teachers because I wasn't that good. Although I wouldn't be able to play if it wasn't for them. The rest of the guys are really the ones that play in the band.
QUESTION: Do you have any plans to release some of your scrapped studio material, such as "Granny" off Under the Table and Dreaming, "Machead" off Before These Crowded Streets, or #40?
DMB: I don't know. Maybe in 10 years if we have nothing then maybe we'll search through our archives and think "that sounds good." Hopefully there will be a surplus of the ones that don't make it.
QUESTION: Stefan. I heard you have a house made of tires? Is that true and could you describe it more?
DMB: Yes, it's true, it's foundation is tires stuffed with dirt. They cement the outside, the walls are basically made out of tires. It's very cool looking. You can't see the tires.
QUESTION: Does your wife ever get upset because when you write a song for her and then put it on the album? Do you find it hard to share some songs?
DMB: No. As soon as they leave the house, they're not about my wife anymore, they're about whoever is listening. And I don't include birthmarks or anything. (laughs)
QUESTION: If you could meet any musician, living or deceased, who would you choose and why?
DMB: Bill Asner, there are too many of them. Carter: Beethoven. He's a freek. (laughs)
DMB - David: Bob Marley, I'd like to meet him before I got high. Beethoven would probably get you drunk. (laughs)
QUESTION: What exactly is a bomb of love?
DMB: It's that thing in the video, you saw it, it's made out of glass. (laughs!!) I don't know what a bomb of love is Female deer?
QUESTION: What is the most important thing in life to remember always?
DMB: That we only matter when we're kind.
QUESTION: What is your inspiration everytime you go into the studio to record a record?
DMB: To get it done.
QUESTION: What is your favorite venue to perform at?
DMB: Depends on the audience. Anywhere in Rio, anywhere in Brazil. I know it's not a venue, but it is I guess.
DishDiva says: Why?
DMB: Because they LOVE music. I don't know, it's hard to say. They're totally into music and not the "scene" but the art coming out of the instrument, not the clothes we have on. It's about the music.
QUESTION: Can you tell us what kind of incense Boyd burns at the shows?
DMB: Funky stinky! (laughs!!!) Smokin, it's funky, it's the worst! (laughs)
QUESTION: Is there something you all do before every show?
DMB: People ask us that question a lot. Stefan sleeps, Dave warms up his voice, people ask if we get in a circle and chant (chants) but we don't. We wish each other a good show before we go on stage. But we don't have a ritual, maybe we should get one and put on Irish skirts and dance around (sings). (laughs)
QUESTION: How did you feel about the way that "Everyday" was recorded in the studio? (Each band member recording their track seperately in an isolation booth) Will you use that method again or will you go back to recording with the band playing simultaneously?
DMB: I think the way it was recorded was unusual for all of us. We have a perspective after the experience because it was so fast. It was very inspirational, but every foreign to me. A lot of good came out of it, but I certainly wouldn't say we would do that again. It's hard to say what we'll do next time, we may record in a cave or many different ways, anyway, as long as it's being played.
QUESTION: Do you enjoy playing for huge crowds or would you rather be playing for a small venue?
DMB - Stefan: They're both fun. We like big crowds. I think it's how intense they are. Big or small, as long as they're intense.
QUESTION: Carter, what is that contraption that mounts above your Zildian zil-bel? What is it's purpose?
DMB: It's a Chinese Wedding Bell. Like everything I have up there, it's about sound trying to inhance what we're doing on stage. There's a story behind it, but it's a long story and I don't want to get into it. It has a beautiful tone and if I wouldn't wear it out, I would use it every song. (laughs)
QUESTION: Will there be a live DVD of this tour?
DMB: We've been talking about it.
QUESTION: Do you ever get "sick" of any of your songs?
DMB: Yeah. Do you?
DishDiva says: Any song in particular?
DMB: It really depends on the night, sometimes. I'd hate to put a bad omen on a song when it's about to turn around and become my best friend again. I would hate to say this song is pissing me off and it comes back to me and says it's going to be my best friend again.
DMB - Carter: It depends on how we're playing. Every song we play sounds different every night. Some nights one tune will sound so great and the next night it will suck. So it varies depending on how we are feeling when we play it. Personally I love all our songs, but there are sometime when I'm really struggling.
QUESTION: Dave, what kind of medicine is your wife studying? If you had to go to school, what would you study?
DMB: My wife is studying Naturopathic Medicine and I can't imagine even going to school, but if I was, I would probably be studying poetry. I can't even imagine it though, I would probably be trying to get laid. (laughs)
DishDiva says: Ok then.
QUESTION: Is it hard to find time for you lives outside of Dave Matthews Band?
DMB: This is kind of our lives. It's hard. It's also hard when you miss home a bit, but this is our lives. We get tired of being on the road, but like anyone, sometimes you get tired of being home. We are very lucky to have this job and we will keep on doing it. Sometimes I feel like a martian. (laughs)
QUESTION: What was the first concert you attended?
DMB - Carter: First one I attended at 3 was Buddy Rich,
his big band.
DMB - Dave: Pete Seeger, he's a folk band.
DMB - Stefan: Cabla players.
QUESTION: What is the greatest concert moment you have experienced during this tour?
DMB: The other night we played in Giant Stadium, the first night out of three, I thought it was incredible! The crowd was into it and a storm came in with rain, lightning storm, the whole thing. That was the biggest for me, it got a great review in the paper the next day and that stood out the most in my mind. (Carter)
DMB - Dave: There were some great shows, the last song at Giants Stadium was mind blowing.
DishDiva says: Speaking of Mother Nature. . .
QUESTION: Did that earthquake in Seattle scare you? I know you were still traveling around when it happened.
DMB: We were in Memphis when the earthquake hit there. Carter felt it when we were down there. It wasn't that small, but it was at the time of night when most people were sleeping so it sort of slipped past.
QUESTION: What music are the bandmembers listening to these days?
DMB - Carter: There's a few things. I've been listening to Benny Reitveld the bass player for Carlos Santana. Also Victor Wooten, he's got a new record coming out, incredible stuff on his part. And Steely Dan, I'm diggin his new thing. He just impresses me every time without a doubt. I'm listening to a lot more, but those are the 3 things I'm focusing on now.
DMB - Dave: I'm listening to a lot of Willy Nelson. Also there's a new record by Chris Whitley "Rocket House."
QUESTION: Even with all of your accomplishments, is there any thing in particular that you still want to do?
DMB - Carter: Yeah, I want to be a new father, I'm
looking forward to that. Eventually I want to finish my instructions to get
a pilots license. I'm just as much into flying as playing with the band.
Also to get my solo record finished and out on the Jazz market.
DMB - David: I want to be a mountain man. I want to vanish into the trees and never be seen again. I'm looking forward to that. I also want to be a farmer, I don't know what order I'll do them in. I think I can be a mountain man and a farmer at the same time. I think maybe a mountain man and a farmer and then just a mountain man. I'll have my family and people will be afraid of me. Stefan doesn't have any plans for the future. (laughs!)
DishDiva says: Guys, thanks for joining your fans tonight here on MSN Live as the Artists of the Month. From all of your fans around the world, best of luck on tour. And David and Carter- best of luck with fatherhood!
DMB: Thanks a million times for listening to our music, released or unreleased. What we continue to do, you continue to enjoy. Thanks to all the folks out there that buy the records and come to the shows!