Matchbox Twenty On Taking A Break After Their Katy Perry-Style Success

Matchbox Twenty are gearing up for the release of their first studio album in a decade – “North” – and they told Access Hollywood on Wednesday the title actually made one of their musical pals green eyed with envy.

“Jakob Dylan writes me and says, he’s like, ‘Dude! We were gonna call our new album ‘North.’ He’s like, ‘I hate you.’ It’s like, ‘Ha! Ha! We beat you to it,” frontman Rob Thomas laughed while discussing with Access how Matchbox Twenty narrowly beat out The Wallflowers for the moniker on their upcoming album.

Rob noted that it actually took time for his group to come up with the new album title, and it came to them in an unusual location.

“We finally did it in [Las] Vegas,” he said. “At a tattoo parlor!”

A decade is a long time between studio albums – although the guys all kept busy with independent projects (and in 2007 the band released “Exile on Mainstream,” a greatest hits album, with a handful of new tracks) – and guitarist Kyle Cook said, quite frankly, they needed a break.

“If you think about the success of the first record and you go back and you look at someone like Katy Perry — minus the cupcake hats — like the kind of career she’s having right now, the moment she’s having — we had that moment,” he explained. “It’s really taxing on everybody, the amount of time that we spent together in vans and planes and trains, travelling. We had a lot of success early on, so I think it afforded us the opportunity to get involved in other projects… It felt like the right time to get back together and figure out what the identity of the band is in 2012.”

Among the songs that make up Matchbox Twenty’s 2012 identity is the new single, “She’s So Mean.”

“It’s not about my wife,” Rob insisted when Access asked about the meaning behind the new tune.

“Or my wife,” Kyle chimed in.

In fact, it’s not about any particular mean girl at all.

“Sometimes really intelligent people will do things that they know aren’t good for them. They’ll get in relationships that they know aren’t good for them, and that was kind of what this was about,” Rob said of the number. “It was more like an intervention between you and your friend, like, you’re sitting down with your friend and explaining to them how this person’s going to derail their life and they just don’t seem to care.”

“North” drops on September 4.

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