Dave Matthews Band plugging away

Collaborative album in the works

The Dave Matthews Band is emphasizing the "band" part of its equation on the group's next album. "It literally was a collaborative effort from beginning to end," violinist Boyd Tinsley tells Billboard.com. "Every song was written by everybody at the same time -- we've never really done that before."

"We all got together and played and got these ideas, and we'd all work through building these songs all together," he continues. "Everybody's just really excited about it. That's why I say it sounds very much like DMB. It couldn't be more purely DMB than what it is."

But the album, DMB's first since 2005's chart-topping "Stand Up," is a long way from done. The group, along with guitarist Tim Reynolds and producer Rob Cavallo, got together early in the year in Charlottesville, Va., to start working on ideas, then in March continued in Seattle to be closer to Matthews' home.

Tinsley says the songs have been composed and are now waiting for Matthews to write lyrics, with a plan to return to the studio after the group comes off the road in early September.

Tinsley says the music "sounds very much like DMB, but like songs you've never heard before." He says the "vibe, the whole mood of the songs" reminds him of album such as "Under the Table and Dreaming," "Crash" and "Before These Crowded Streets" but "coming from an entirely different direction" and benefiting from having Reynolds' guitar back in the mix for the first time since "...Crowded Streets."

"Tim just sort of expands upon things," Tinsley explains. "He's such an amazing musician. [He] adds this quality to the music that opens it up."

The new songs are still in such an unfinished form, however, that Tinsley isn't sure if any of them will be debuted during DMB's extensive summer tour, which begins May 30 in Burgettstown, Pa., and runs through Sept. 10 at New York's Madison Square Garden.

"It might be a situation where we might take a couple of those in rehearsals and in sound checks and sort of work out arrangements to play this summer," he says. "We haven't really discussed that too much. That's the sort of thing that really comes spontaneously when we get together."