Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas Happy To Be Scared Again As He Records Solo LP

Singer plans to release album near end of 2004.

When Rob Thomas finished the last Matchbox Twenty album, he thought he had enough songs left over for three solo albums. Then he listened to the tracks more closely.

"You start thinking about all of the people that are gonna be listening to your record and you really want it to be good and then you're like, 'Yeah, I've got like three or four songs,' " Thomas said recently. "I've got like three or four really good ones and maybe an album's worth of OK ones. And then another album of really bad ones."

Armed with those three or four really good ones and the desire to write more, Thomas entered the studio in February to start work on the solo album he first mentioned last summer.

"[Matchbox Twenty] have been playing together for a decade now, and we need a year, a year and a half just to kind of see what we're like on our own," he said of the decision. "You start to get that feeling like, 'What if I suck without them?' And they feel the same way, so they all have projects they want to work on this year and it was just a perfect time for me to work on a solo record."

Thomas, who collaborated with Santana five years ago on the massive hit "Smooth," has yet to reveal any collaborators and is most excited about just working alone.

"I've [always] gone into the production of the song thinking it has to have two guitars, a bass and a drum no matter what we do because that's what our band is," Thomas explained. "So it will be nice to be able to do a track with me and a piano. Or me and a drum machine. It's just good to be scared again. You know what I mean?"

The singer plans to take his time on the album and release it near the end of 2004.