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stefan lessard

Bassist Stefan Lessard is the youngest member of Dave Matthews Band, by a good seven years. He was only 16 when Dave, Leroi, and Carter approached him to leave school and join the band. Some times the underage would make for some weird situations. "Yeah, there were a couple of times I was rushed out the back door `cause some cops in front were asking for IDs," Lessard remembers. "And since I wasn't legally allowed to be drinking, I was usually elected to drive the van. But (age) was nothing too major, and never a big issue as far as the music was concerned."

As most of the other members of the DMB, he was born into a musical family. Born in Anaheim, CA, both of his parents were musicians, which led to the family's move to Charlottesville, where the young Lessard took up violin and piano before moving on to guitar. He started playing bass during his early teenage years, after developing a taste for reggae and then, through his high school music teacher, jazz. "It made sense for me to start playing jazz," says Lessard, who quickly switched from electric to upright bass. "It was a good way to practice scales and then play along with the music. I kinda faked it for awhile." Nobody knew, however, as Lessard started popping up, jamming in local clubs and coffeehouses.

Matthews heard him playing in a gig one night, and asked him to join the band and quit school. Lessard accepted. He then had to switch back to electric bass. His parents were iffy at first, but as soon as they heard the band they knew it would work out. Stefan eventually got his education and started at Virginia Commonwealth University. In fact, Lessard - who recently moved back to Charlottesville from Woodstock with his wife and their young son, Diego is continuing his education via music classes on the internet and plans to return to a formal classroom situation, someday.