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© Fadeichev Sergei/ITAR-TASS Photo/Corbis
“There were a couple of songs that were written in the kitchen. I was having some work done downstairs, and it was loud and annoying, so I sat at the kitchen table with my guitar and played around with some things. I came up with an interesting bit, and then once everybody had left, I went downstairs and checked it out. I thought, ‘Wow, can you really write a verse where it’s all chords?’
“I made the verse very stabbing rhythmically, and I think that allowed the chorus to have a bigger release. Ever since high school, I’ve had love-hate relationship with the rules of counterpoint. When you follow the rules, you get a great, beautiful, fabulous result, but you’re kind of stuck there. When you try to push things a little bit, you get a more modern result.
“A lot of the songs that I brought in had keyboards; it was just the way that I worked. I was very concerned about intonation and timing, so I thought, ‘I’m not going to start with some weird, out-of-tune guitar part and force everybody to be in tune with it.’ I wanted to begin with things that I knew would be in tune, and as I added stuff, I could see how far I could stretch intonation.
“Mike Keneally came up with really beautiful organ stuff and a gorgeous, drifting pad thing. I had on my demo these single-coil guitar chords along with a Genesis-like keyboard part that does these stabs – everything was pretty worked out. When Mike came into it, he decided to do clavinet, which we thought was pretty interesting. Vinnie’s playing was very light and dry, which we also thought was cool.
“In the end, all of this turned out to work because it allowed the solo section to completely blow up. I used the JS2400, and I went right up to the last fret. Also, I’m using the Big Bad Wah. The solo is a real release. It’s got angst and energy, and when it’s over it completely dissolves.”