Published on October 29th, 2012 | by Sharilyn Johnson1
Matt Mira’s Dave Matthews Band Nerd-Out, Part 1
Almost anything can be nerded out about on the Nerdist Podcast.
Poor Matt Mira. All he wants to do is openly love Dave Matthews Band. But can he? No. The relentless mocking from Nerdist Podcast cohorts Chris Hardwick and Jonah Ray makes it impossible for Matt to get any further than a simple mention of his favorite band.
I feel his pain. I, too, am subjected to the stifled guffaws of friends and coworkers upon uttering those three little letters: D… M… B.
So when Matt was in Toronto last month for JFL42, we talked about the band. And only the band. Because we understand each other, dammit.
(Yeah, this is happening. Deal with it.)
THIRD BEAT: What do you think of the new album?
MATT MIRA: First listen, didn’t care for it. Second listen, a little better. Then I went to the Hollywood Bowl show which was the record release show and I saw some of the tracks live. And then i gave it a third listen and I liked it. So it took 3 listens. That’s a pretty high amount of listens for me to like a Dave Matthews record.
Was the Hollywood Bowl audience as chatty and weird as Dave was saying? He was on Kimmel and he was saying that people weren’t really paying attention. Was it a weird audience?
It was an LA audience, which is correct, yeah. Dave made mention of it during the show. Just making fun of people for being on their phones. Like [miming phone], “I dunno, I’m at the DMB show, it’s kinda cool I guess…”. LA audiences are weird. It’s weird when they don’t stand up for the show, which is something I’m very used to. It was select songs they were standing up for. It was a weird crowd.
I just went to the CMAC show, the Dave & Tim show. It was my first Dave & Tim show. And it was an outdoor amphitheater so everyone stood. And we were like “noooo, sit down you assholes!”
No, you sit for those! That’s the joy of a Dave & Tim show. You get to sit down. That’s like my favourite thing about going to see Dave & Tim. The sitting.
Well, I’ll get another shot at it. Maybe Vegas or something. Or if they ever announce the fall tour. Do you read Ants at all?
Yeah, I do, I’m on antsmarching.org
There’s like 80 pages now of fall tour speculation in one thread [note: interview conducted prior to the announcement]. It’s the funniest thing in the world. I never want them to announce the tour, because I’m loving that clusterfuck so much.
I can’t deal with the threads. I like the stats they keep for the shows. You can look at mine, my stats are there. MattMira is my username. I haven’t logged all my shows on there, but most of them. There’s like 20 or 30 shows that are on my list. But I cannot go to the boards. People are just weird. People are just angry, like when Butch Taylor left, all that speculation about what the hell was happening. I wasn’t particularly upset that Butch left, ‘cause I was getting a little tired of piano fills where they didn’t really need to be. But to each his own.
Yeah. And it’s all like, “if you were on a desert island, and had to eat one of the members, who would it be, and which song would be playing?”
Probably Carter. And I’d probably listen to Don’t Drink The Water. I mean, why not?
There ya go. And then people would argue with you.
That’s the beauty of the internet.
So when was your first show?
My first Dave Matthews show was actually the Foxboro show, 1998, Foxboro Stadium. It was their first stadium tour. That was actually the first stadium they played. That was the year they did Giants Stadium, and they had that Two Step in the rain. I don’t know if you know Two Step in the rain…
That was a good show. Ben Folds Five and Beck opened up. And I was 15. It was great. I’d liked them for a few years before that. It was a really really good first show to go to. Especially with the openers.
I missed out on those early years. I was just not paying attention.
It’s cute that you say those are the “early years”! It feels like those were the later years.
[laughs] I remember hearing them on the radio and stuff, but I didn’t really get into them until like 2000, 2001. And I was living in Winnipeg at the time, and they had already played Winnipeg and sold like no tickets. Dave told a guy who I worked with “yeah, we’re never coming back here”. So I always had to drive 8 hours to Minneapolis. By myself, because my friends didn’t care.
I was lucky because I was in Boston, and they were on the east coast all the time. I got into them in ’94. I got a tape of Remember Two Things. Had a cassette tape of that. Ants Marching is the first song on that record, and I was just like “what is this?”. And then I just got really into it. I was 11, and I just needed to branch out into other music, because I was just listening to oldies. I listened to the Beatles and oldies because that’s what my parents listened to. And then in school everyone was listening to weird music, and I was like, what’s this “Nirvana”? I don’t understand. So I was like, I guess I better find my own music, and then I wound up with the Dave Matthews Band tape.
So did you have friends who liked them too?
There were a few other kids. I mean, think about it: it was a suburb of Boston in the mid-90s, everyone liked DMB. It wasn’t shameful at that point.
Like it is now.
You could even listen to a Blues Traveler record and not get looked at weird.
Wow. So how many shows have you actually gone to?
Like 40-something. 42 or 43.
Most memorable shows?
There was one they did in the winter in Manchester, New Hampshire in I think 2003 or 2004, and that was a really good show. Rarely have I ever seen them inside. I normally see them in outdoor venues. And then there was one before Everyday came out, I think it was in 2000, and it was at the Fleet Center, now it’s called the TD Bank North Garden, essentially where the Celtics play. And it was just the five of them. Butch was not there.
No Lovely Ladies?
No Lovely Ladies. I was thrilled with that. And they just played. Oh, and another show I was at, which was amazing and sad at the same time, I was at the Staples Center show in LA the night that Roi died. That was like… no one really knew, and word started to spread through the arena crowd. You were looking at your phone, trying to see if it was true. Then Dave comes out, and they did Bartender, and Dave announced it, and said they were going to play a bunch of Roi’s favourite songs. And it was amazing. It was an amazing show. Bittersweet.
So are you Warehouse, or for how long…
I’ve been in the Warehouse, my membership has never lapsed, I’ve been in it since December of ’98.
Nice! You must do well.
I do alright. But here’s my deal. I don’t understand how it works. I feel like every time I request a show in Boston, for Boston, I get pretty good seats. But ever since I changed my address over to Los Angeles, every time I request an LA show I get shitty seats. I feel like they play home favourites, but they don’t realize my home has changed. I don’t know if there’s any truth to that whatsoever.
More and more it seems like they’re doing shows where it’s totally random. A friend of mine just joined this year, and she got GA pits for Toronto.
In ’99 they played Foxboro Stadium again and that was the first year I requested tickets through the Warehouse. And I got row 1. And then I got row 8. And those were amazing. Santana opened up for them, so I was front row for Santana and Dave Matthews Band. That was fuckin’ great.
Do you collect the show posters?
I don’t. I have all the Fenway Park show posters, I have those all framed at my house. But the LA ones I just don’t. I have enough framed shit on my walls, I don’t need to be collecting that too. I have old movie posters and stuff. So I’ll keep the Fenway Park ones, and if they ever do Dodgers Stadium or a special kind of show like that, I’ll get the poster. But otherwise I tend not to.
I was collecting them, but then I went to Madison Square Garden and was too late to get the night 2 poster. And it’s like $200 on eBay. Ruined everything.
Watch those auctions. They never sell. People are asking too much for them.
My lovely, well-meaning parents… I was bitching about it to them on the phone, and then at Christmas they gave me this big tube. And I opened it up, and it was not the right poster.
Aww, but that’s really nice.
Yeah, and I told them I’d be able to trade it for the right one. Which I can’t, at all.
Can you trade?
People deal on daveposters.com.
There’s a thing called daveposters.com? I had no idea.
I know the Vegas is sought after, the Ace and the Jack.
Yeah, all the series. The Toronto ones are never good. The Toronto one this year we got screwed on. It’s like, thanks, Methane. Not only is it a horizontal, but it looks like something you’d put in a kid’s nursery. It’s like child versions of the band, sort of, just drawn. It’s not great.
I used to draw stick figures of the band when I was in 6th or 7th grade. With the guitar, and the saxophone and the violin…
Seems like a good place to take a break: just when everyone is realizing there’s something deeply, terribly wrong with both of us. Part 2 is still to come, where we get back on the rails and talk about the mystique of the Gorge, attempts to get Dave as a guest on the Nerdist Podcast, and the one recording Matt desperately wants to get his hands on.