For all the world, it seemed as though Matchbox 20 had simply materialised from the ether when their debut album, Yourself Or Someone Like You, first shot up the charts early in 1997. In reality, though, the band had been knocking around for quite a while, and they’d experienced what frontman Rob Thomas described in a 2016 interview with US TV host Larry King as “a really long overnight success”.
“At the very beginning we were opening for The Lemonheads and we pulled into Five Points Music Hall in Birmingham, Alabama,” Thomas elaborated to AV Club. “It was maybe a 1,000-seater club and there was this line outside the door and people clamouring to get in. We thought, Wow, The Lemonheads are having a good night. Then we found out it was because that town was the only one playing [Yourself Or Someone Like You’s second single] Push on the radio, and it was the biggest hit in Birmingham, and they were all there for us. It was a huge change for us. We were so used to playing to 20 people, or sometimes to six people.”
Listen to ‘Yourself Or Someone Like You’ here.