The Dave Matthews Band has parted ways with longtime producer Steve Lillywhite and will begin sessions for its fifth studio album with Alanis Morissette and No Doubt producer Glen Ballard in Los Angeles.
Although Matthews and Ballard have been working together for the last couple of weeks, formal sessions with the entire band will begin on October 9. The switch pushes the release date of the album, which had been slated for November (see “Dave Matthews Band Pushes Back Album Release” ), back to mid-to-late January.
A spokesperson for the band said that there were “no hard feelings on the band’s part toward Steve, but they needed a change, a fresh start.”
Lillywhite, producer of DMB’s last three studio albums (1994’s “Under The Table And Dreaming,” 1996’s “Crash,” and 1998’s “Before These Crowded Streets”), was originally the producer on the group’s latest project and had been at the helm of recording sessions
in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Sessions were halted when the band hit the road for its annual summer concert trek. A number of the group’s new songs had debuted during those live performances, including “Bartender,” “Grey Street,” and “Digging A Ditch.”
While the band is effectively restarting the recording process from scratch, Ballard told MTV News on Tuesday it’s likely that songs written during the Lillywhite sessions, such as “Bartender,” would not be scrapped. He and Matthews are rapidly writing new material and laying down demos, and the two have written six new songs in the last five days. “What’s happening between me and Dave is magical,” Ballard said. “We’re on a creative high tide.”
The pair has been working out of the producer’s home studio in L.A., with Matthews on guitar and Ballard on keyboards, and the two have already laid down numerous demos for the album. “[Matthews] has enormous musical and intellectual curiosity,” Ballard said. “He never
repeats himself or falls back on a bag of tricks. He has incredible capacity and appetite.”
The balance of the band — violinist Boyd Tinsley, drummer Carter Beauford, saxophonist LeRoi Moore, and bassist Stefan Lessard — is expected to arrive in Los Angeles in a few days.
Ballard said he was brought on board the project to bring a “certain musical sensitivity to the writing” and that the band has been very open to Ballard’s efforts toward “arranging and tightening” its sound.
The producer hopes that the recording sessions will wrap by mid-November, and he plans on working six days a week, “hard days into the night.”
“I’ve got a great band to work with,” Ballard concluded, “which means that I can work on a higher level. This is the most fun I’ve had in ages.”