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© Henry Ruggeri/Corbis
“When I write I’ll try to figure out how to capture it. Sometimes it’ll be my phone or a recording device, I’ll transfer it to somewhere until I can sit back and listen to it again.
"Part of the first process is locating everything. I’ll be laying in bed and call my voicemail and I’ll go, ‘na na na, na na na, na na’, with my hand over the phone so I don’t wake my wife up. Several times she’d wake up and say, ‘Who are you calling?!’ So locating the riffs is first and then playing them and translating them to guitar. Then it’s piecing it together, it’s pretty fun.
"Lyrics are usually the last thing that gets done. I’m a stickler for lyrics. I don’t want to sound arrogant but guitar is fun for me so it comes natural. The lyric part is where I challenge myself because there’s a lot of people that respect how I write.
"The uber challenge is where you have a word that doesn’t fit and you need to make it mean the same thing, sound the same way but have one less syllable in it. I love word puzzles. It’s sad that you see people with text speak, people are forgetting how to write and are giving up on books. It has been a learning process for me. In high school I got an F in English, as much as I like reading and I am a New York Times best-selling author [laughs].”