TR3 - Watch It

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Interview with Tim before show @ BSU Muncie, Indiana.
By: Rachel Puckett, Feature Writer for

Rach: So why Ball State? Did you get a lot of requests to come here?

TR: My agent booked me here, I'm just taking advantage of you poor people here.

R: Why do you say that?

TR: Oh I'm just joking, I'm just being facetious.

R: I also read that you were an army brat, I was also.

TR: Yeah also a preachers kid.

R: Oh one of those PKs...

TR: Yeah, he got one of those things in the mail, so he was sort of a second string preacher.

R: So how many places did you live?

TR: Oh I can't remember, a lot, all over. I was born in Germany but we didn't move around a lot in Europe.

R: Yeah, my family was stationed in Germany for a little bit also, I was too little to remember it.

TR: Yeah same here. When I was a kid my parents would be like here's the german boy.

R: Do you ever get people asking you if you can speak German, because I get that a lot.

TR: No, but in grade school I used to carry around a little German dictionary, thinking I could learn it. But of course your in grade school where you don't have time to learn another language, especially when you can barely speak your own.

R: Well what's the question you wish you were asked in an interview but never were?

TR: Thats a great question, I'm so spaced and fried I don't know if I can answer that. That's like going into the part of my brain thats waiting to go home. That's a great question though. The best question ever asked.

(Side note: Tim then graciously bowed to me and I received the Best Question Award as everyone in the room chuckled.)

Fluffy, Tim's manager, then spoke up to say, "Thats the first question I've ever heard him not be able to answer!"

(Side note Again: Tim then proclaimed me "The Master".)

R: Your parents were pretty conservative while you were growing up, do you think they ever imagined they'd be raising a rock star?

TR: Well I don't really think I'm a rock star. A certain amount of success leads to that label, but I'm a dad you know, I've got kids and stuff, I guess like other rock stars are. But it's hard for me to put my name and those words together, I don't think of it like that. Although, growing up as a kid obviously you have delusions of grandeur. When I rock out it fits an element of that vibe, but I'm more into the music. I'm rocking out, it's more that I just enjoy it, you know. Like the rock star thing, I think of Kid Rock. I got my hair cut today, because someone called me Bon Jovi. This (as he points to his head) is not the hair cut of a rock star.

R: Yeah it looked a little fresh cut. I think it's quite liberating that you continue to do your own thing, do you find that your fans respect this?

TR: "My" fans do. (Tim looks down @ some fliers advertising his show, where in bold letters it reads, "Tim Reynolds from the Dave Matthews Bands") I don't know who they are.

R: They seem to be pretty prevalent on your message boards at .

TR: Yeah I read those a couple days at a time and then I have to disengage because it's so crazy. It gets real busy when I'm on tour. I have the real narrow vision of someone who is involved in what I am doing, so I don't really see (with fans) what all is going on. It's like what is the universe like? You can surmise and guess, but we are like part of the universe and the universe is so much bigger than us. The idea of what's going on among masses of people is kind of beyond me.

R: Besides other musicians, where else do you get your inspiration?

TR: Man... I get it from books. I'm reading a book now called "The People's History of the United States". It makes you realize that people have always had a brain. Nobody can say that all that's just bullshit. The great thing to do is read, that's what inspires me.

R: Why do you find major record labels "constricting"?

TR: Because they are. They want you to do one thing. They want to start out focusing on one song and one style. It all makes sense for business, but that's not my impression of music. It's much more of what can be done differently the next time. More like, I won't even play Stream, I'm just tired of playing that. This is a free country and I can practice the freedom. Obviously my approach isn't necessarily bent upon being more popular. Although, I like the idea of being popular. I want people to like my music, but not to the point that I'm going to make music with that in mind first.

R: Do you think the voice of the guitar is more powerful than the human voice?

TR: Oh no. I think the human voice is probably the most powerful thing. The guitar at it's best is kind of mimicking the human voice in the sense that your communicating. Although, in the modern mind thinking of what a guitar can do, you think up way more things than a human voice can do. There are some crazy mother F*****'s that can make some crazy mother F***ing noise, no I'm kidding. Ultimately, the guitar and the human voice is the same thing, their the voice of music. It's up to me to be inspired, but the music is already there.

R: Is it true that you rely on a lot of improv to make each show different and special?

TR: The shows are different at this point with the machines. There's less improv, really it's a lot of weirdly arranged things. I do a lot of improv, but over the years I've kind of gotten satisfied with the idea of having an arrangement and then you kind of find the improv in that. As well as with classical music, they'll play a song the same way and same notes, but then they'll improvise the way that they play the notes differently. So it all kind of levels the improv. I look at what I'm doing as like the back of my hand, I don't even think about it. Like with David Bowie, when someone asks, "Who are your influences" and I'll forget and say a bunch of modern things and forget about stuff that's already so much a part of what I do.

R: So why so much emphasis on the electric guitar in this tour?

TR: Most of the time the emphasis is unspoken about the acoustic guitar and I just want to make sure that people know this is what's coming and it's not going to be like Dave Matthews. It's going to be very little acoustic and I just don't want people to be shocked. We make a great effort to do that. I'm not doing that to piss people off, but honestly if I want to make music like Dave I would.

R: Why did you choose 'Chaos View' to express your views on politics and world issues?

TR: Well in a way the original name of that song was just the general idea of chaos. Then, we were trying to decide on what to call this tour. We were looking at a bunch of songs that I was doing and my wife actually thought, "Chaos View, thats great". And really it fits in with the overall thinking about politics. Like in chaos theory and physics, you take all these random events, random numbers and you try to make an order out of it. The idea being that we have a limited intelligence to see order in a lot of things that look like just a mass of chaos. Several hundred years ago the universe was like a big question, eventually everything becomes order because we just understand more. Same with politics, we see all this war and all this crazy stuff and it looks like a bunch of "what the f*** ". But it really makes a lot of sense when you know what's really going on in history. It's kind of scary and f***ed up cause there's a lot more control than there seems to be. The control is basically the people who want to make money and the people who have to work to make stuff for them to make money, and thats the whole history. It's just a big battle between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' and the varying stages between that. Now is the best time to try and change, you won't see it on TV, but change happens in peoples hearts.

R: There's been big talk about the computer generated imagery and video footage that is in your tour, what did you want that to add to your show?

TR: Well besides just something to look at besides my scrawny little a** up there... (haha). I've always been a big fan of visuals and shows that have really good music and have a 'big' show, kick a**. I've always wanted to do that but I've never had the means, so for this it's a very small scale thing. But if you expect just the acoustic guitar this will be a pretty big deal. The lyrics are very political so we show stuff that kind of enhances the message of the lyrics, which is basically an anti-war thing ultimately. I would like to keep that going.

R: I read one of your quotes where you said, "Music is not just for entertainment it is created to inform and help us focus on what is true and inspirational", what exactly did you mean by that?

TR: You kind of find solace in music that is sad, because you feel sad and there's like a repore there. You don't feel sadder, you feel the release of emotions. Or a song about being happy, it's the same thing. Music is the whole gimmick of emotions and the gray areas in between. It's Rage Against The Machine that inspires me to want to just get up and go, and Peter Gabriel just breaks your heart because he sings about the most sensitive issues and you just like "God." That's the amazing thing about music. Rock and roll is a great thing cause it covers all that area and just like all the music before it classical, folk and everything did that. Rock and roll is just a modern setting.

R: You also called the "Chaos View" tour your most accessible show to date, why is that?

TR: Because it's got drums, base, and vocals and it's pretty much rock music 101 to me. It covers reggae, funk, and others. And because I'm associated with the Dave Matthews Band, when people hear "accessible" they're going to think it's like that. But to me accessible is like Def Tones and whatever, it's all kinds of different stuff. It's just a different kind of accessibility, so I don't know if people are going to get that. But like I said it's accessible to me, because it's the kind of music I like to listen to.

R: Last question, do you have any weird pre-show rituals?

TR: No. Not that anybody else doesn't have. I've been playing music forever, it's kind of like going into my living room when I get on stage.

R: That's it? Oh come on! Nothing weird at all?

TR: Nothing weird, just pretty much smoke pot, but that's a no brainer. Drink coffee and make my set list. The first time I ever played on stage, was when I was in high school for a concert. I remember being freaked out and then I got up there and I was like, "Hey...I like this". Once in a while you get a gig where you get apprehensive, maybe it's just the mood or whatever, but generally it's just normal.

R: So what's up with the green nail polish on your fingers?

TR: Well Halloween was recent and my daughter advised me to wear it.

After the interview, Tim pulled me aside to have me ask him my "unanswerable question" again.

R: What's the one question you wished you were asked in an interview, but never were?

TR: Where were you when the rapture came?

R: Where were you when the rapture came Tim?

TR: That's a good question. It means it already came, therefore I ask you another question. The rapture is a momentary thing, it's happening now and then five minutes later it happens. The rapture is a religious experience, it doesn't take you somewhere, that's the metaphor. People are getting smarter, your getting smarter, I'm getting smarter.

R: After talking to you, I do feel smarter. ha.

TR: And we just continue that, that's it really. The rapture is when we all get smarter. (and I answered the question after all)

Tim Reynold's show was stronger than I had imagined. I had read about the images that were to be shown and the strong political mood Tim wanted them to bring to the show, but I had no idea what I was in for. Subliminal messages of strong words and thoughts flashed in between scenes of poverty and war. It was as though Tim's crew had unscrewed your head to view the vulgar words and fears that inhibit your thoughts. Explicates, and words like WAR, SEX, and DRUGS littered the screen behind Reynolds. It was powerful to see him standing on stage expressing his emotions through his guitar and to have these images directly behind him. His silhouette stood small before the chaos of the pictures. The audience felt a mixture of emotions from shock to amazement as they all began to appreciate the message Reynolds was trying to convey.

Fluffy, Tim's manager had this to say about the show:

Fluffy: " I feel like we're making a difference. When people come up to me after the show and say something about like, "Oh I didn't know the show was going to be quite so political", whether that's a positive or negative statement, it does say that it made them think. We had a guy right after the very first show of the tour (when we first started doing the visual) who really complained on the message boards about the politicalness of the videos. I told him, "I really respect your opinion but we did what we set out to do, which was to make you think". He responded with, "I go to a show to get away from the news." Then he went into this long backtrack about every image he'd seen on the screen that night. At the end of this argument with this guy, I said "We accomplished what we wanted to do, we made you think. I can tell by what you've written, you thought about every image you saw on that screen. You say you hated it, but you thought about it. I want you to go away and be annoyed so that you do something about it." So we effected him, and that's what's important."

"But we discussed it before we went out. We said some of these images might offend people. When we played in New York we took out a lot of the World Trade Center images just out of respect to the people. We've discussed a lot of what goes on on that screen and decided "Yeah it may offend some people, but we've got a message to get across beyond just putting on a show."