With the Dave Matthews Band on hiatus throughout 2017, the US-based group’s South African-born namesake is keeping himself busy with a series of supposedly “intimate” concerts – hello, the Hammersmith Apollo holds three and a half thousand people! – performed as one half of a duo with the guitarist/multi-musician Tim Reynolds.
You once said of your bond with Tim Reynolds: “It’s so intimate it’s like going out for a candlelit dinner, except we’re not eating.” Why does it work so well?
That remark has almost a romantic or sexual quality – I didn’t intend that [laughs] I don’t know what I was thinking. I’ve played music with Tim for almost thirty years, and right from the start there was an understanding and openness that we felt together. It allows for a lot of spontaneity.
Is that reflected in the set-list?
Yeah. In whichever band I’m with, improvisation is important. With just two people on stage there’s far more potential to go exploring than when there’s seven of you. We never play the same show twice. We’re doing two nights in London and I don’t expect to repeat any songs.
Song-wise, what’s on the menu?
We’ll pull songs from the history of the band [the DMB] and play a few covers. I’ve also got some songs that people won’t have heard yet.
There are numerous live recordings of the two of you. Is it likely that someday you’ll make a studio record together?
There’s certainly a chance. Tim and I have never done a record in the studio [together], and you’re right, it’s about time we did.
What’s the timeline for getting the Dave Matthews Band up and running again?
I’m really not sure when we will hit the road again. Put it this way, there’s no plan for us not to get back together. As dysfunctional as we can be, it’s like a family.
You’re politically motivated. How are you settling into a Trump-run USA?
We made our beds. Maybe this will cause us to take social and political action above and beyond showing up [to vote] once every four years.
Matthews & Reynolds play London on March 20 and 21, Dublin 23.