June 2, 2006 -- What inspires Matchbox Twenty frontman and first-time solo artist Rob Thomas to write music?
Are he and his wife planning a family? What's his advice for an artist just starting out?
Thomas answered these "Good Morning America" viewer-submitted questions and more before his performance with Jewel at the Times Square Studio.
Question: Your songs inspire so many, what is your biggest inspiration in your life that drives you to write music?
-- Wendy Hogan, Chicago Ridge, Ill.
Rob Thomas: I think that you kind of find that your life becomes your muse. Everything from my marriage to my job itself inspires me to write my music. You become your muse.
Question: How has your time as a solo artist differed from that as the lead singer of Matchbox Twenty? Have you learned anything that will help the group when you guys hit the recording studio and the road in the future?
-- Melissa Reilly, Charlottesville, Va.
Rob Thomas: We've all been so busy working on our own things, we all feel like we know what we're doing. We're all going to get together and it will probably be a harder record to make, but it will be a better record.
Question: The song "3 AM" on piano is so beautiful. When and how did you learn to play piano?
-- Lynda Close, Syracuse, N.Y.
Rob Thomas: I learned the piano when I was 14. I learned it so I could start writing songs. The piano version of "3 AM" is actually the original way it was written.
Question: You and your wife Marisol are one of America's favorite famous couples. Have you talked about having children?
-- Jackie Franklin
Rob Thomas: We talk about it all the time. We're just trying to find a window where we can do it where it's not overshadowed by my job.
Question: You've mentioned recently that you've been listening to a lot of jazz. Who are the most inspiring jazz vocalists for you? What style of Jazz is your favorite -- bebop, fusion, straight-ahead, etc.?
-- Susan Tabnik, Atlanta
Rob Thomas: I like jazz vocalists, but I'm more of a fan of instrumental jazz. I'm a big bebop fan. I like a lot of Miles [Davis'] stuff and Charlie Parker. My favorite jazz record is "Sketches of Spain" by Miles Davis.
Question: What part of the music industry do you wish you could change?
-- Michelle Bailey, Vernon, N.J.
Rob Thomas: There's a thing called "call out" where radio stations decide whether they want to play a song based on an eight second snippet they play at random. The only things that are on the radio are things that already sound familiar to people, so it makes it hard for new sounds to break in.
Question: What's your advice for a young singer/songwriter?
-- Britt, Dalton, Ga.
Rob Thomas: Think harder about what the music says to someone as opposed to what it says about you.