Matthews was born in South Africa. His family moved to Virginia when he was 2, then back to South Africa when he was 13. Living in both places gave him an interesting perspective on politics and racism.
The band's self-produced debut album, Remember Two Things, sold at a rate of 10,000 copies every month. This despite being distributed solely out of the band's office. The album was recorded live at The Muse Music Club on Nantucket Island.
Matthews has his guitars custom-made by Martin.
Tinsley once appeared in a commercial for Twix candy bars.
In August 2000, Matthews married his girlfriend Ashley. They had been together for nine years.
Matthews' father died of cancer when Dave was 10.
Matthews moved from South Africa to the United States when he was 18 because he had been drafted and did not want to fight for a racist country. He formed the band in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Prior to joining the Dave Matthews Band, Tinsley was a member of the Boyd Tinsley Band. He is a classically-trained violinist.
Matthews has donated money to Nelson Mandela, the University of Virginia, and various friends.
One of Matthews' biggest inspirations as a teenager was Bob Marley.
For the 2001 album Everyday, the DMB chose to go with producer Glen Ballard, instead of their regular producer, Steve Lillywhite. Lillywhite has produced U2, Talking Heads, and Rolling Stones. Ballard has produced Alanis Morrisette, No Doubt, Aerosmith, and worked with Quincy Jones.
The band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1991 when Matthews decided to record some songs he had written. He recruited Beauford and Moore, who were local Jazz musicians, and later found Tinsley and Lessard based on recommendations from friends.
Matthews runs a record label called ATO Records, which is part of his label, BMG. His first signing was David Gray.
Along with John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson, Matthews is on the board of directors of Farm Aid.
The first public show for the band was at the Charlottesville 1991 Earth Day Festival. They started playing weekly gigs, and developed a huge regional following.
The band allows fans to tape their shows, which helped create a large interactive community, but also led to problems when illegal bootleg CDs hit the black market.
Matthews toured with Tim Reynolds as an acoustic duo during the winters of '96, '97, and '99. Reynolds was a guest guitarist on all of the Dave Matthews Band albums, and toured with the band as a guest musician.
They signed a major label contract in 1993, but unlike many bands, they were able to negotiate favorable terms, which include ownership of merchandising and music publishing rights.
In the US, they were the top-grossing touring band of 2000. (thanks, Live Freak - Beirut, for above 4)
In 2003, Matthews had twin baby girls. Their names are Grace Anne and Stella Busina. Grace Anne is named after his sister Anne who died just before the release of Under The Table And Dreaming), and Grace (many of his songs mention grace, sometimes in the form of a girl or as in God's grace). (thanks, erin - palo alto, CA)
The Lillywhite Sessions, a never finished work in progress started on just before the recording of Everyday, includes many of the songs found on Busted Stuff. It is one of the most pirated works on the Internet. (thanks, staci - holdenville, OK)
LeRoi Moore died on August 19, 2008, due to complications after suffering injuries in an ATV accident at his farm outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, which occurred on June 30. He was 46. The band went ahead with their show on the day of his death, dedicating their performance at Los Angeles' Staples Center to Moore. (thanks, Randy - Colerain Twp., OH)
Dave has two daughters: Grace and Stella. Dave has two songs with mentions of both of them: "Grace is Gone" from Busted Stuff
and "Alligator Pie
" from Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King
. (thanks, Patrick - El Dorado, AR)