Face | Out from Dave's Shadow

Acoustic musician Tim Reynolds comes to rock out Ball State tonight at Emens Auditorium.

There's a long-standing joke between Tim Reynolds and his fans and friends on the East Coast that he's an acoustic musician, much like his longtime friend Dave Matthews.

"I can't really play that game of just doing something that my friend does really well," Reynolds said in a recent phone interview. "Because you know, there's tribute bands, but to me that's all just rip off. And I'd rather spend my energy and what money I make on all of that on doing something original because really that's the best way to return the opportunity..."

When it comes time to perform, Reynolds puts his music where his heart is -- in heavy metal. But in the past few years of having played on the earlier Dave Matthews Band albums and live in concert, he seems to have found a steady mix between the two.

"It's a means to express myself in different ways," Reynolds said. "And so I usually go for a couple of years and make money on acoustic and then go out on electric guitar and just lose it."

Reynolds admits that he's even lost a college audience before due to the stigma placed on him from his work with Matthews. He said it was expecting acoustic, but got the other of Reynolds' two modes instead.

"It doesn't make it right or wrong, it just makes whether or not I want to base my career on being popular and doing what everybody else wants or just doing what I want," he said. "You've got to kind of go in between."

The audience can expect just that tonight. As one of the only college stops on his Chaos View tour, Reynolds has combined his views on social injustice and war in to a one-man show. Along with prerecorded drum machines, Reynolds uses imagery, video footage and animation to reflect his anti-war message.

"It's funny, I've had a band for years and then started playing solo for a couple of years acoustic, but now that I've figured out how to teach the drum machines how to play...I'm just diggin' it," Reynolds said. "I've kind of got so used to playing solo that it doesn't really matter what I'm going to do."

But for Reynolds, his heavy metal makes it easy for some to categorize in a collective way. Because of the distortion guitar, Reynolds said it's limiting because he also includes reggae and funk.

"It's all like rock and roll to me, but I guess since I'm 45 my idea of what is rock and roll is a little spread out," he said.

Reynolds doesn't fear piracy, in fact, of his seven solo albums, two have been released over the Internet. There's no harm done for the man who has yet to sign with a major record label by choice, but he said most musicians including Matthews, have benefited from it.

"Music comes from nowhere and goes to nowhere and in a way it's given to the musicians for free," he said. "Other than all the hard work they do ... I can see both sides, but I also think it's kind of crazy. We're all people on the same planet and in a way nobody owns anything. We're all born into whatever we think we own and when we die, we don't own nothing."

He's not trying to make it big, he said. Born in Germany, Reynolds now calls Santa Fe, N.M., his home. He got his taste of stardom working with Matthews, he said, and now he's doing it for the love of music.

"Whatever mode it is," he said. "In general if somebody finds one moment of escape or relief or release in one bit of any song that I have, that is a fulfillment for me ... That's what I get out of music that's the most important thing."


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