drummer Ryan MacMillan of Matchbox TwentyOver the past ten years, Matchbox Twenty sold over 28 million records, including three multi-platinum albums and a string of hit singles. Their new two-CD collection, Exile On Mainstream, contains their greatest hits plus six brand-new songs featuring recently arrived drummer Ryan MacMillan. (Ryan fills the space left by Paul Doucette, who’s now playing guitar and keyboards with the group.) MacMillan and Doucette, along with frontman Rob Thomas, bassist Brian Yale, and guitarist Kyle Cook, are currently finishing up touring the US before heading off to Australia and Europe.

The stars aligned for the former Push Stars drummer, as MacMillan says landing the gig with Matchbox Twenty is a dream come true. “I basically hit the lottery,” he says, excitedly. “It’s awesome!”

How did MacMillan land the matchbox gig? “I met the guys through my former band’s producer, Greg Collins, who sent our album to Rob [Thomas]. Greg had just engineered the Matchbox record. They all liked our record and asked us to do a three-week tour with them. During that time, I got to know Paul [Doucette], and he told me he was going to be making a solo record and wondered if I would play on it. I was like, Yeah, sure, I’d love to!”

So what’s next for MacMillan? “After this Matchbox tour, Rob, Paul, and Kyle will be making solo records. I’ll be touring with Paul, and I might be recording new records by Push Stars and Red Car. As for Matchbox, we’re planning on recording a full-length studio album after that.”

For more on Ryan MacMillan, go to www.myspace.com/ryantology or www.myspace.com/ryanpushstar. And for more on Matchbox Twenty, go to www.matchboxtwenty.com.

Billy Amendola