Published on November 1st, 2012 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Matt Mira’s Dave Matthews Band Nerd-Out, Part 2

We’re halfway there, folks! Read Part 1 over here if you missed it.

I’d like to clarify that yes, this is still a comedy website. And no, we won’t be talking about comedy at all during the second half of this interview either. Haters gonna hate.

THIRD BEAT: How much downloading of shows do you do?

MATT MIRA: Not much. Whatever’s released as Live Tracks and if I hear of something amazing that happened. You know what I’m looking for that I can’t find? If anyone’s reading this ever finds it, let me know. They did New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2005 or 2006, and they played Me & Julio with Paul Simon. And I cannot find that.

Was it during Paul Simon’s set, I wonder?

I don’t know. I don’t know. I just know that they played it. I have like old versions of them from like ’92 at Trax playing Me & Julio, but I would love to hear it with Paul Simon.

[Ed. Note: This is likely the 2001 performance listed here, recorded only via IEM, and thus a wee bit frowned upon to distribute. But surely someone has this and can hook Matt up?]

Have you ever done the Gorge?

No. One year I was going to do the Gorge and had gone into the Warehouse and done the thing and ordered all the tickets. But then my mother’s credit card was declined. [laughs]

No! That’s heartbreaking!

So I have not been to the Gorge. I would like to. But at this point, I feel like an old man, I don’t want to camp. It seems like a big hassle.

It seems magical.

I think the SPAC shows are the ones to go to. It seems like I’d rather go to that. It seems more do-able than camping at the Gorge.

Ah, these kids. I feel like I don’t fit in at shows. People try to pass me a joint, and I’m like “oh, no thank you!”

I had my first beer at that first concert. It was Rolling Rock. It was terrible. I was 15. It was like “ugh, this is awful, I never want to drink again.” That didn’t last long, though.

Ok, so let’s go through some favorites. Favorite member?

Favorite member of the band is probably Carter.

Me too.

He just consistently puts on a great show.

And he’s just so happy.

But Tim, if Tim is officially a member of the band, I’m a big Tim Reynolds fan. Least favourite, Stefan.

Whoa, really?

I find his solos to be meandering. I find whenever he does a bass intro, I’m like, this seems like something I could just accidentally play. I mean, he seems like a great guy… It got to the point when I was going a lot, where I could tell you the song they were going to play just based on what instruments they picked. Like, “okay, it’s a tenor sax, and he’s got the 6-string bass, which he started using on Crash, and Dave picks up the Taylor, which is the 6-string Taylor, so oh – they’re gonna play Grey Street”. I used to be able to do that. Actually, I wasn’t terrible at the Hollywood Bowl. But yeah… definitely Carter. I have the sticks, and I don’t even play. You can’t pick Dave, because that’s cheating.


I do have the Dave Matthews model Taylor. Left-handed. Got that after the Nerdist tv shows, got a big check and I was like “I’m gonna get this fuckin’ guitar”. And then what killed me was that he stopped playing it. Now he plays this… it’s a small company, I think out of Colorado, Rockbridge or whatever. They make these guitars and he just exclusively plays those now. They use this Brazilian Rosewood and stuff like that, these crazy materials. And I priced out his guitar, and it’s like eight grand. I’ll have to do a lot more tv shows.

Have you met any of the band?

No. Never once.

You should get Dave on the podcast.

I’ve tried. I tried to get Dave on the podcast. When they were in LA I tried to do it. And I actually got invited to go to Kimmel when they were on, but I had shit to do that night. It was a Thursday, and we tape two Attack of the Shows so I couldn’t sneak out.

Yeah, your schedule is crazy. And you don’t have a lot of control over it.

No, not really. Because it’s a daily live show that we do on Attack of the Show, so I’m there Monday through Friday. And I sporadically have shows during the week, and travelling. Like this week we’re in Toronto, and next week I gotta go to Boston for a wedding, and the week after that I gotta go to New York.

So how much would it suck if you were doing the podcast in another city the same night that the band was playing there?

Y’know, I’d be okay with it.


Yeah. I’ve seen them 42 times? I’m okay. Y’know, I wasn’t even going to go ‘til they added that Hollywood Bowl show. I was like “well, it’s up the street, might as well go to that”. I wasn’t gonna go to Irvine or anything like that. Sort of waited on it. Then they announced the Hollywood Bowl show, and it was like okay, I can do that.

When Everyday came out, it leaked early on Napster, and I downloaded it, and I felt so bad that I bought three copies of it. True story.

Aww, that’s sweet.

That’s how bad I felt. Not thinking that “oh, you went to like 20 of the shows, I think you’re okay with them”.

They really are the only band that I’ll go out and buy the actual CD of, just to have the physical album.

Yeah, when Big Whiskey came out I bought the big one that had the DVD and the CD and the lithographs and stuff like that. And I’m like, what am I going to do with this? But I have it.

In retrospect: best album, worst album?

Best album I think is Before These Crowded Streets. It’s so conducive to straight-through play. Just because even just the little musical interludes they do, between the songs and stuff like that, and it all sounds very cohesive. Even though some of the songs, like Don’t Burn the Pig was written years before. Some of the songs weren’t written nearly at the same time, but just something about that album, the polishedness of it, just sounds so cohesive. And that’s my favourite album. The one I don’t frequently listen to – and I don’t want to say any of them are bad because some of them have great songs and find their legs live – but I think Stand Up is not nearly as good as it could’ve been.

I’m pretty sure anybody reading this far into the interview will agree with that.

Thing is with Stand Up, all the songs that are on that record, they play them live and they haven’t really evolved that much from what they were on the album. But even Everyday, people give that album shit, but you’ve got Everyday itself, and they do now the 36 into Everyday thing, they stretch that out and it’s a good time. If I had It All, if you ever hear that live that’s great. And I’m trying to think of the other one I like off of that. I’m gonna cheat.

[Takes iPhone out, points out playlists.]

If you look here, you got your Dave & Tim right here. You got Dave Light, that’s when I’m in the mood for lighter fare. And then you’ve got Studio albums. So you click on studio albums… and they’re in order, chronological order including the Lillywhite Sessions.

Of course.

What You Are. What You Are live I think is one of the best songs you can hear live. So because of that, Everyday gets a little bump in credit. But Stand Up… it’s just weird. Mark Batson is a rap producer. He was into playing loops and stuff like that. So you hear these drum fills that Carter’s doing, and they’re just repeated. They’re not letting Carter really be Carter. So I don’t think it’s terrible, it’s just my least favorite of the bunch.

That’s it! Did you make it? All the way through? You are either a massive DMB fan, or a massive Matt Mira fan. Either way, kudos to you.

Thanks to Matt for a fun chat, and conspiring with me to alienate all my readers. I regret nothing.

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About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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