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Matchbox 20 feels heat of success

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August 12, 1997
Web posted at: 4:19 p.m. EDT (2019 GMT)

From Correspondent Mark Scheerer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- It's been a slow burn for Matchbox 20 up the charts and into the public consciousness.

Their album, "Yourself or Someone Like You," came out last fall. Though their first single, "Long Day," had a respectable showing in the rock charts, it was their follow- up release, "Push," that really caught fire.

The record's slow build was just fine with the band.

vxtreme See Matchbox 20's music video of their song, "Long Day."

"People get kind of leery of things going too big, too quick," says lead singer Rob Thomas. "So I think that everything's going exactly as we would want it to."

Well, almost. Along the way, notoriety brought a bit of criticism and controversy. For starters, there are the constant comparisons to the Counting Crows.

"I think we do more press for Counting Crows than they do for themselves," Thomas says.

"Did we say, 'OK, we're going to start a band that's going to sound like Crows?' No. We were out for a while. We just sound like this. They just happen to sound like that," explains drummer Paul Doucette.

Anti-women lyrics?

But Matchbox 20 is taking a lot more heat for the seemingly misogynous lyrics in "Push," which repeatedly beseech, "I want to push you around. I will. I will."

Band members, however, insist the song is not about physical violence.

"It was all about emotional violence, about being manipulated, controlled and how relationships can become a game of who can control who," Thomas says. "That was the whole intent behind it."

"I personally think it's really obvious," adds Doucette. "Especially the one line in the song (that says), 'I want to take you for granted.' That gives the song away."

Despite having to defend their sound and their song, the band says they are enjoying their newfound success.

"It's like it's OK that we do this and you didn't go to be lawyers and OK that you didn't head off to university. It's OK that you don't own a chain of dry cleaners or whatever it is other people set out to do. Now, it's like our parents can be proud of you," Thomas says.

Only time will tell if Matchbox 20 can keep the flame of success burning.

 
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