TR3 - Watch It

Friday, September 20, 2002
Tell Me - Q&A

Guitar wizard and Dave Matthews Band collaborator Tim Reynolds, never one to follow the predictable path, has a new CD and solo electric tour called "Chaos View." The show features Reynolds' mind-bending guitar-playing set against a completely prerecorded virtual band and a visual onslaught of computer-generated imagery, animation and video footage. The multimedia "Chaos View" comes to the Tralf at 9 p.m. Tuesday; we spoke to Reynolds in between stops, in Canton.

This very tech-heavy show is really different from what people might expect, people who are only familiar with your work with the Dave Matthews Band.

As a guitar player, I like to play with stuff. I've always been into machines, the music I listen to - machines, industrial rock. Done right, this music is very accessible and very arranged. Seriously arranged - even the jams, what jams there are.

What inspired all this gadgetry?

I've been listening to bands that use some of this stuff, Godflesh and Skinny Puppy. I've had these machines for a while, and I play them more like instruments when I record. Once I learned to program them, you can get a good live recording anytime you want. Now I've got a very consistent sound every time I'm on stage. It allows me to be much looser. I'm having so much fun with this band.

But it's not really a band.

Oh, yeah, the "band" even has a name. The Pagan Underdogs. Sometimes I talk to the 'dogs on stage.

What's the theory behind the multimedia images?

I brought the images in because if i didn't, it would be so Las Vegas. Mostly it's just digital animation. Not common stuff, not just the stuff they play at raves. Footage from the war in Panama, all kind of sources. Since there's no band on stage, there's a live element, something to look at. Sometimes there will be a connection, between visuals and music. The chance for something really cool to happen is greater because we're not matching the visuals up with the music. Just come and enjoy the colors!

Reviews of the new album are calling it a concept album dealing with aliens landing on Earth, a "disarming and disturbing trip ..."

What? I make a joke about that on the album, and they probably thought i was serious. It was totally in jest. I personally don't believe in aliens. It's just goofy mythology created by Hollywood.

You last played with DMB in 1998 (when "Live in Chicago" was recorded) and with Dave in winter 1999. Any plans to play with him or the band again?

We may get together to do some acoustic touring sometime in the future. I was contacted last year, by his manager, to do something. But I never heard back, maybe due to 9/11. Dave is the most giving, the sweetest person. He'd be like, "Hey, Timmy, I love what you're doing. Go for it.' "

Do you remember the show in Buffalo on that acoustic tour (in March 1999)? The fans were completely rude, Dave stopped in the middle of "Wild Horses," he told the crowd to shut up?

Yeah, I remember that! Somebody sent me a tape of that show, with Dave yelling at the crowd. I remember thinking, when I go out with my band, I'm going to play really loud and not take any time between songs - go right from one song to the next - to keep everyone quiet. You know, here are these kids with this acoustic show, they're not used to the quiet. I think Dave needed to yell at them. What else could he do?

What do you think of their last few albums?

I know everyone didn't like the album the did with Glen Ballard ("Everyday"), but for me it was cool to hear them do something different. It was really fresh for me.

The Internet is full of rumors that there was a falling out, or that some of the other members of DMB don't want to work with you.

That's so crazy. I could see how that happened, but no way. For one thing, I know he's busy. I'm not going to call him up and say, "Hey Dave, can we do an acoustic tour?" That would be crazy. He's so much bigger now than he was the last time we did the acoustic shows. On my part, it would be a sell-out move, because it's not what I want to do. And I could just sail along into the big time on Dave's name - John Mayer is totally copping that sound and living off that. I've already gotten what I need from working with Dave, spiritually. But I knew I had to go out and do my own work.

- Elizabeth Barr