Rob Thomas is the guest on this Sunday’s episode of AXS TV Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar, the series where the famed rocker and former Van Halen frontman interviews other stars. Rob chats with Sammy about his career, personal life, the story behind “Smooth” and the other singer he’s often mistaken for.
Rob tells Sammy that he wasn’t supposed to sing on “Smooth,” his Grammy-winning mega hit with Carlos Santana.
“I thought it was gonna be my first gig where I didn’t sing,” he explains. “I wanted to write for some other people, and this guy…who lived a block away from me was working on a track, and I just came and wrote the lyric and the melody.”
The track was “Smooth” — and then Rob was unexpectedly tapped to sing it, too.
“My voice was on the demo that kept getting passed around…[and] they kept trying to figure out who was gonna sing it,” he recalls. “And one day, Carlos was just like, ‘Well, does this guy sing?’ and they were like, ‘Yeah, he’s in a band.’ And Carlos is like, ‘Well…let’s just have him do it!'”
And while “Smooth” is just one of many hits Rob’s had, he tells Sammy he’s happy he isn’t “crazy” famous.
“I feel like I have a good level of fame…like, if you know who I am, I’m famous to YOU,” Rob says. “I can’t imagine, like, a Justin Bieber world where you can’t go out of your house.”
And it’s hard to have a big ego when he’s often mistaken for another artist.
Rob laughs, “I’ll literally have people come up and be like, ‘Oh my God I’m such a fan.’ I’m like, ‘Thank you’ and they’re like, ‘I love the Goo Goo Dolls!'”