TR3 - Watch It

Friday, October 15, 1999

Music Preview: Tim Reynolds' power trio doesn't sound anything like Dave Matthews Friday, October 15, 1999 By Scott Mervis, Weekend Editor, Post-Gazette

Let's say I'm a guy (OK, or a girl) who really likes the Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows, that kind of stuff? Will I walk out of Graffiti tonight when Tim Reynolds starts playing?

"Probably," Reynolds says and he laughs.

"If they come expecting anything like that, they shouldn't even come 'cause it's so not like it. Unless they're wide open."

Fans of the Dave Matthews Band know Tim Reynolds as the behind-the-scenes, sixth member of the 2group. He's supplied the lead guitar work on all the Dave Matthews Band records, has toured with them on occasion and provides some amazing acoustic playing to the duo of Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds, as heard on the two-disc set "Live at Luther College."

But when he isn't with Matthews, Reynolds is fronting TR3, also known jokingly as Puke Matrix. Right now, he's on the road, promoting "Astral Projections," a newly released, independent CD that sounds like Ozzy fronting a dark funk band.

"It's a power trio. Hendrix's Band of Gypsies is what this is modeled after," Reynolds says. "It's Band of Gypsies through Nine Inch Nails and everything in between. We do some jamming, but not in the sense of the Grateful Dead or the Spin Doctors or anything like that. It's coming from a totally different area. The rhythm section has a lot more soul, a black-rock fusion thing."

Reynolds, an Army brat born in Germany whose strict Christian parents once limited his playing to the church, has been fronting a variety of bands for the past 15 years. His fortune turned when he was leading a loose-knit Monday night gig at a club in Charlottesville, Va., where Matthews was tending bar.

He and Matthews -- a happy-go-lucky guy who used to serve the musicians until 4 in the morning -- struck up a bond and started jamming together.

"When we first met," Reynolds says, "we recorded all kinds of things that were hard rock but have since been destroyed. We were doing something similar to what industrial music is now. We'd just get all high and have fun."

But they were also playing together as an acoustic duo, and a lot of that organic sound was incorporated into what the Dave Matthews Band put on record. Reynolds chose not to become a regular member of the DMB partly because of the rigorous touring schedule, and partly because "I had my own band going, and I was into playing a variety of styles. This is just the kind of music I didn't get to explore in my earlier studies. I'm rocking out a lot harder."

By having his own band and hanging out with Matthews on the side -- "just don't ask about the gay sex that we have," he jokes -- he gets to go back and forth between different worlds, while not having to worry much about his bank account.

"I just really dig contrast. I'm sitting in this hotel looking out on this town right now," he says from New Haven. "But I live in the country, in Santa Fe, and when I look out I can see 100 miles in every direction. It's great to have contrast -- the contrast of playing acoustic tours, and the contrast of playing this hard rock with strobe lights and all.

"It may not be easy for the people who like Dave Matthews music to assimilate, they should be able to dig it. Most people nowadays aren't hung up on just one style...," he says, then stops himself. "Well, maybe they are. But there are a lot of people who aren't. And that's the kind of people I'm going for."