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Matchbox twenty's guitarist steps in front of the mic

Matchbox twenty's guitarist steps in front of the mic
Doucette put together The Break and Repair Method, stepping in front of the microphone as the group's lead songwriter and singer (Associated Press)
Paul Doucette's experience as one part of the hugely successful matchbox twenty taught him a little something about the break and repair method of music-making.

Not too long ago, Doucette along with other band mates wondered if matchbox twenty would have a future. After years of friction, the band took an extended hiatus with some wondering if they would ever regroup.

It was during that time Doucette put together The Break and Repair Method, stepping in front of the microphone as the group's lead songwriter and singer.

"It was a product of definitely being in a band, and being in a band where I wasn't a songwriter," Doucette told The Associated Press in an interview announcing the band and its new album. "It was an experiment: What do I sound like on my own?"

The result, he says, is "milk the bee," the anticipated debut album from The Break and Repair Method set to be released this fall. The first single, "You Won't Be Able To Be Sad," drops later this month.

It's an album, Doucette says, that almost wasn't after going through three different labels before finding a home with bluhammock music.

"The title came out of that frustration: Putting out a record is like milking a bee. It's pointless," he said.

It's an album that appears to also have been born out of musical frustration.

"It kind of started as a mine, mine, mine thing," he said.

It has since grown to include a number of musicians and singers, including his wife Moon Zappa, who sings on several tracks.

A first listen to the album reveals that is a musical departure from matchbox twenty. From the first single to the last song recently added, "The City (Is Bound To Do Us In)," Doucette's affinity for dark lyrics set to upbeat melodies is evident. But it's his sometimes bluesy, gravelly vocals that drive it home.

Doucette says he doesn't expect to have an explosive solo career, like matchbox's lead singer Rob Thomas.

"I don't expect people to go 'Oh, he's in matchbox. I love his record,'" he said. "They don't know me. They know me as matchbox twenty."

Since the completion of "milk the bee," Doucette has been making music again with his friends in what some may call a repaired matchbox twenty. He also switched roles in the band, moving from drummer to rhythm guitarist to replace Adam Gaynor, who left the band.

"One of the things that helped us on the matchbox thing is that we all went off and did our own thing," he said.

Doucette said matchbox plans to reunite to put out another album some time in 2009. In the meantime, he plans to tour with The Break and Repair Method.

"In an ideal world, I'll be going back and forth between the two," he said. "That's a good problem to have."

And by the way, he has since learned people really do milk bees. It's a term used to describe the extraction of bee venom.
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