"I'm doing fine," says Dave Matthews, checking in from his Seattle home before kicking off his first South African tour November 30th. "I was stuck in traffic this morning." After a huge summer tour, the singer has been staying busy hanging out with family and working in the studio on his band's follow-up to last year's Away From the World. Matthews reveals he's teamed with producer Rob Cavallo and engineer Doug McKean, who both worked on 2009's Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King (the band worked with Steve Lillywhite on Away From the World). "I've been in the studio trying to get a couple of things ready for the band to go back in, having fun," Matthews says. "I'm just trying to come up with something that doesn't sound like the past."
He won't give too much away, but fans may already be familiar with some of the upcoming material. "There are some songs the band has been playing for a long time," he teases. "And then whenever I start messing around in the studio, I start writing, so hopefully we can come up with something worth listening to."
Dave Matthews Band will play a milestone show in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Matthews was born, on December 3rd, before heading to South America for a string of dates. After that, their schedule is mostly open aside from an Australian tour in April. "I'm excited about some of it," Matthews says of the songs. "I'm just trying to suck blood from a stone."