Just How Fucking Baked Is Dave Matthews In This Interview?

Dave Matthews—leader of the Dave Matthews Band, chill dude, and observer of ants marching—has always enjoyed the Good Weed. He wants to smoke one up when the apocalypse comes; he knows that lighting one up makes him feel “better for a small time;” Willie Nelson got Dave—fans call him Dave—so baked at Farm Aid that he was, apparently, “useless.” In 2008 he claimed to have given up smoking weed because the “five tons of carbon dioxide” he was putting into the earth’s atmosphere every year was an affront to Mother Earth. That would have been the equivalent of 217,000 blunts every day. So, nah. Dave loves getting high, man. Dave loves to chill.

Just how fucking baked is Dave Matthews in this interview with Stephen Colbert from last night though? Let’s take a look.

Late night TV intros are naturally weird. Dave met Colbert already backstage—why must he shake the host’s hand now, as though for the first time? Why must he walk from one side of the stage to the other, without acknowledging the crowd to his left? Or the cameras? Why are there horns blaring? What do you do when confronted with all of this? I have no idea. But Dave Matthews applauds the applause.

Now, Dave has reached the chair. Nobody else is here. It’s just Dave and Stephen. And a live studio audience. Don’t look at the audience. Look at Stephen, Dave.

The interview begins. “If I’m not mistaken,” Colbert begins, “we haven’t met before. Have we met before?”

Dave says that they have but that he, Dave Matthews, leader of the Dave Matthews Band, was “star-struck.” This was in Jersey, Dave recalls; “a lot was happening” for Colbert. Dave tries to explain how he felt during that experience. Words fail him; he turns to mime:

Dave then explains that he is often paranoid and nervous on stage. How paranoid and nervous?

At this point, Colbert gets it. “Is that a side-effect of anything?” he asks, like a high school teacher letting a student off one last time. Fuck it. Dave isn’t dumbing this down. “Could be,” he says, chill as a fuck. “Sometimes I watch the audience and I think, ‘That’s a good night.’ And sometimes I look at the audience and I think, ‘Why are they on their phones? Why are they talking to each other? Why aren’t they looking at me? Do I suck? I’m freaking out.”

What follows is a—pretty much unprompted—conversation in which Dave explains how his audiences have changed over the years. No more lighters now, he says, all cell phones. This is how he explains it:

“That’s why I feel old-timey,” he says. “Because I’m from the days of fire.” He pauses and then laughs a laugh beyond words, beyond poetry. His neck pulls back, his lungs kick in, and he unleashes a true, honest laugh. A baked laugh.

Look, you wanted to know how fucking baked Dave Matthews was in this interview, right? Well, this is what it looks like when Dave Matthews says the words, “I feel really weird.”

Here’s Dave Matthews explaining how his nine-year-old son compared Nirvana to the Dave Matthews Band. Nirvana sounds like this:

And the Dave Matthews Band, according to the younger Matthews, sounds like this:

As the elder Matthews observes, that’s pretty accurate music journalism. Noisey is looking for an intern.

Again, you ask, how baked is Dave Matthews in this interview? Baked enough to say something intelligent about Fyre Festival while also barely containing his glee at the shitshow.

“I don’t want to belittle suffering,” he says, almost breaking into a giggle. “But I do hope that Fyre Festival goes down as almost as fantastic as Woodstock. Because it is one of the greatest things that ever happened[…] Just that kind of disappointment, that kind of surprise…” He then starts talking about a beer commercial in which things keep getting better through every open door. Fyre Festival, he says, is not that. “It’s the worst. It’s the best!”

And so the interview must conclude. Dave has a vineyard, Colbert notes, pulling out a bottle of red. They will try the wine on the show, because these things are convivial and this is how talk shows work. The vineyard, Colbert says, it’s near Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, is it not?

“Yeah, I can see… well, the house… from… my vineyard… I can look across the valley and there… there it is… Cheers.”

Dave Matthews is extremely fucking baked in this interview.

Alex Robert Ross is lighting one up on Twitter. Follow him there.

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