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“There wasn’t a lot of pressure in the studio. The only real pressure was getting everybody in the room and getting the car started. Once you do that, you can pretty much put it in ‘drive’ and it goes. This was a creaky car at first.
“I wasn’t the first producer to take a crack at getting them going – four other guys were in there before me. I think it just became a matter of ‘We can’t bullshit Jack. There’s no way he’s going to fall for it.’ I know Brendan O’Brien was like, ‘These guys are impossible.’ I can understand that, but to me, it’s a little bump in the road.
“As soon as we got past all the minor crap that was in the way, it started to get fun. We established a flow, got early morning starts – once you get into it, it takes off. We had meetings in my office, we listened to little gems of songs – it was just like the old days. And the important thing was to take a song and get it recorded right away, with everybody on the floor all at once.
“The idea of the record was to show the history of the band, every aspect, which is why it’s such a big album. To do that, you need people writing in different groups and material coming from all directions; you need Diane Warren. I did a lot of writing too, and I always have. To me, that’s just part of making a record.”