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© Robb D. Cohen./Retna Ltd./Corbis
“Mutt had brought the song in as an acoustic thing. His voice is a little Don Henley-ish. He’s a great singer, and you hear him on Shania Twain records, Bryan Adams records – he does all the high stuff. Most of the backing vocals on Love Bites are Mutt.
“We demoed it – me, Steve and Mutt, initially – and then it made the rounds with everyone in the band. Like on Animal, I played through the Gallien-Krueger, and Steve went through a Rockman. I reinforced loads of stuff with my Strat through a Rockman. Those two demo guitars again wound up on the album.
“It’s really funny, because the initial sound was so shitty – it was like, ‘Oh, it’s fine for now’ – but the intention, especially when you play something for the first time, that’s what makes it. If you play something even two or three times, you start to lose it. So with Animal and Love Bites, we captured the real essence pretty fast.
“It’s an emotional song. I use my mom as a yardstick, and I remember the first time she heard it, she burst into years. Joe did a killer job on the vocals. It’s probably one of his best performances.”