Singer-songwriter Rob Thomas still splits his time between two musical roles: He's the lead singer of Matchbox Twenty, and the solo artist behind singles like "Lonely No More" and "This Is How a Heart Breaks." Following his latest album, "The Great Unknown," and ahead of this summer's tour with Counting Crows, Thomas chats about his new work, collaborations in country and the recent departure of one of Matchbox's founding members.
How did you link up with Counting Crows for this summer's tour?
I've been friends with Adam [Duritz] for going on 20 years, but I think we've done maybe two shows together … oddly enough we'd never toured together, and we thought that was kind of funny. It was just something that happened naturally, they were going out and I was looking for someone to go out with this summer.
I read that the new album's title track, "The Great Unknown," is about the health issues that your wife's been battling for so long. How's she doing now?
It's still kind of a day-by-day thing. [Last year] while we were out on the first tour for this record, we had to stop and take a break because she had to have brain surgery. So I think considering that, she's amazing, just the fact that she's upright and she's engaging and she's a part of the living world now.
I think that when you're dealing with somebody who's had chronic illness for a long time it's always just a good day, bad day situation, but you do learn to do more with a good day than I think a lot of other people do, because you appreciate it more.