Entertainment

Matchbox Twenty Star Puts Anti-Trump Celebrities in Their Place

Here's why Rob Thomas — singer, husband, father, taxpayer — is sick of the whining from privileged stars

The leader singer of the rock group known as Matchbox Twenty is no fan of the new president — but even he is getting a little tired of the constant political whining from so many celebrities.

“I’m not a fan of Donald Trump, but I am so tired of hearing celebrities talk about not being a fan of Donald Trump that it almost seems like white noise,” Thomas said in an interview with The Hill. He was promoting his Tuesday appearance at the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation’s annual “We Write the Songs” event at the Library of Congress.

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Thomas went on about celebrities or artists who use their public platform to spout their politics. “I have opinions, but my opinions are as a 45-year-old husband, father, taxpayer. No matter what I say, they always kind of come across as a guy who sings music and it’s always, ‘Well, you need to shut up!'” he said.

Of his own opinions about President Trump, Thomas said he is not a supporter, but he has no illusions about influencing fans. “I think that he’s a man that’s not really equipped for the job, but I think no one really cares what I think about that.”

The Grammy-winning singer even somewhat complimented the president when he said Trump’s base is likely pleased with many of his actions. “I think that there is a huge part of his base that thinks he’s killing it right now and it’s really hard to speak against that because somewhere somebody thinks he’s right. Not me.”

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Rather than going political — Thomas has used his celebrity for advocacy. He’s been vocal about songwriters being taken advantage of by corporations that exploit outdated government regulations.

“American songwriters, composers, and music publishers are some of the most heavily regulated small-business owners and entrepreneurs in the country because three-fourths of the income that songwriters receive is subject to federal regulation,” wrote Thomas for Quartz on Wednesday.

The singer told The Hill that old regulations are hurting independent artists as the industry moves into a more digital age. “They just told me today that on Pandora, ‘Smooth’ [had] 24 million streams. And I split that with another writer. I made a whopping $600 on that.”

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He added, “I’m fortunate, I made money. But if you don’t have another income stream, and if you’re just starting out … you can have one of the biggest songs in the world and not be able to make your car payment.”

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