Emblem/AtlanticRob Thomas releases his fourth solo album, Chip Tooth Smile, today. The first single, "One Less Day (Dying Young)," deals with mortality, and Rob says overall, the songs on the autobiographical album deal with more mature and grown-up themes, because finally, he's got the life experience to write about them.
"If you're writing when you're really young, you're singing these songs about love and loss, and it's all speculation, right? 'Cause you don't really know what you're talking about," Rob tells ABC Radio.
"I think that when you start getting to the point where you're having frank conversations with yourself about things like mortality, and about the things that are important, I think that's when it really starts to get interesting."
Another thing that's come with time, Rob says, is the way he writes songs about his marriage. While in the past, his wife of nearly 20 years, Marisol, has directly inspired songs like "Smooth," "Her Diamonds" and "Ever the Same," Rob says now, "It's just, our life together is the muse. Like, who we are now informs everything."
He explains, "So, you're not necessarily writing songs about relationships. You're not writing songs about breakups. There's songs that are informed by the point of view of somebody who's been with the same person for 20 years."
Rob's tour in support of Chip Tooth Smile kicks off May 28, and starting next week, you can buy tickets for as little as $20. Next year, though, you may see him back with his band, Matchbox Twenty.
"Just the idea that next year is 2020…we thought 'Matchbox Twenty, 2020' and maybe we play 20 shows, something like that," Rob says. "I just think the aesthetic is good to pass up. We need to do something with that 20."
Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.