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© Sayre Berman/Corbis
I’m curious – did Maynard ever tell you specifically what he likes about your playing?
“No. No, it’s more like… ‘This sucks less than other things, even for me to sing on it.’”
What a compliment! “You suck less than other guys.”
“Yeah – ‘You such less than the other guys.’ That’s the general impressive I get. You know, I don’t look for accolades from Maynard. I don’t give them to him, either – in interviews, I mean. I assume he doesn’t read interviews. He’s a friend whom I don’t see a lot; when we work together, I still don’t see him that much. But as things go, I count him as one of my closest friends. That’s how it goes as you get older. I still understand that he is one of the greatest voices and lyricists in rock music. I’m always amazed at how prolific he is. There are some songs on the last Puscifer record that are absolutely incredible.”
The song By And Down on Three Sixty – did that come about any differently from other APC songs?
“In the initial stage, I guess. It came out of a melody idea that grew into a music foundation. Maynard latched onto it, sung to it. I was a little surprised that he picked that one from the batch of songs I gave him. You just never know how that’ll go. He threw down some vocals, and once I heard what he did it inspired me to take the music further. That’s typically the way it works.
“The song was basically hatched by me plunking around on the keyboard with my three-year-old son. He was banging his fist on the keys, and I was going, ‘Hey, how about using a single finger? Play a melody. Like this… ‘ I grabbed my phone and thought, ‘I should record this.’”
Talk to me about playing Red Rocks. Is it as awe-inspiring to be on that stage as it seems?
“Absolutely. At other arenas – like Madison Square Garden, which is awesome to play – once the lights go down, they can feel exactly the same. With Red Rocks, being on that stage is incredible. With our light show, we play more to shadows than we do to light, so the lights come up from the bottom and illuminate the side walls of the place. Pretty amazing. On top of having the adrenaline rush of having 10,000 people to share the experience, you have this unbelievable setting. A really beautiful place.”