Matchbox Twenty to make debut in HK

Mainstream rockers Matchbox Twenty promise to give fans a night to remember with their first appearance in the city, writes Charley Lanyon

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 10:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 10:41pm

Anyone who thinks of Matchbox Twenty as a throwback band hasn't been paying attention. Not only is anticipation high over their upcoming appearance in Hong Kong, but the group are still making hits, such as last year's She's So Mean, which went gold.

Matchbox Twenty are, to put it mildly, polarising - sometimes pigeonholed as relics of the 1990s rock scene, sometimes belittled as soft-rock wannabes. Either way they still command a faithful following and continuously attract the younger generation to their unique brand of shimmering, confessional pop rock.

We spoke to the band's rhythm guitarist and drummer Paul Doucette as the band prepare for their first visit to Hong Kong. Doucette's excitement about the tour was palpable and he oscillated between swaggering self-confidence and the soft-spoken, down-to-earth manner for which the group is known.

"We're not sure what to expect, but we are very excited to come to Hong Kong," Doucette said.

If he doesn't know what to expect, he certainly knows what the fans should expect: "The best show that they have ever seen."

Fans should grab tickets while they can because there is reason to believe this might be the last opportunity to see Matchbox Twenty for the foreseeable future.

"We're taking a break from Matchbox to work on some solo work," says Doucette.

Despite their commercial success and sometimes rough treatment in the press, the guys of Matchbox Twenty are known as some of the nicest people in the music business, particularly charismatic vocalist Rob Thomas. It is that grounded unflappability and authenticity that is partially to credit for their massive following.

"We understand what is real and what isn't," Doucette says, referring to the media circus that so often surrounds the group. "We don't care about celebrity."

When asked about how it feels to regularly be labelled as a '90s band, he brushes it aside: "At the heart of it we just want to make and play music."

In fact, it seems Doucette actually embraces it. "I think the music is reflective of our lives at the time we made it. That's kind of the point … to capture where you are at that given moment."

For his part, Doucette sees that tastes in music are changing, but he's not worried the Matchbox Twenty sound will become obsolete. "Music today is way more dance oriented, [but] I'm sure it will change. Music always does."


Matchbox Twenty, Star Hall, Kitec, Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay, November 4, 8pm, HK$788, HK Ticketing. Inquiries: 2629 6240