Today marks the release of Dave Matthews Band's eighth studio album, Away From The World, and the band will celebrate with appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on September 12 and Jimmy Kimmel Live on September 13. DMB also will play a special show at the legendary Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday night. The group recorded Away From The World earlier this year in Seattle with producer Steve Lillywhite, who also worked with the band on its first three studio albums. But this time, Matthews says it was harder to get into songwriting mode than it was in his younger days.
"I'm still desperate to try and make something beautiful and not redo what I've done in the past. It's good work, but it's not easy for me," Matthews told Rolling Stone. "Nowadays, I have to dig a lot harder when I'm writing. I'm more critical. There's a freedom to being young that is harder to come by as time goes on. I try to justify what we do with our lives, and that question becomes more difficult to answer. And I don't have enough time to be as drug- and alcohol-soaked as I did 15 years ago."
For the new material, Matthews choose to focus his lyrics on love and the scope of human history, saying that he envisioned "a sort of torn-up soul trying to give advice to his kids" as inspiration.
"My daughters and I were watching a documentary on Yellowstone, which talked about how the volcano erupted 600,000 years ago and covered a third of North America in ash," Matthews explained. "My daughter said, 'Would that kill us?' I said, 'There's a far greater chance human beings won't survive long enough to see the next time it erupts.'"
When asked about the future of the band, Matthews said he's not sure where DMB will go from here. "There are two sides to everything," he responded. "I feed this beast that I'm part of, and in some way I worry that it loses legitimacy. Then there's the other part of me that says I'm really lucky to be part of something that turns a lot of people on and still turns us on."