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© Gene Ambo/Retna Ltd./Corbis
“Sam gave me a 15-second recording of him playing three chords and being angry – he was in an intense mood when he did it. There wasn’t a lot to go on, a song written around A, G and E, but there was something about his attitude that was very unique. Basically, I wrote the song around that.
“The track was so much fun to record as a trio, with me, Mike and Chad. We had a blast. When I went to lay down overdubs, however, it was hard to tell where the key signature was in the verses. It was very strange. I had a hard time finding my footing. I was like, ‘I’m not into this.’
“The next day, Mike Fraser must have been reading my mind, that it was bugging me, because he suggested we try again. We ended up replacing the live guitar all the way through. Then I did overdubs, and everything just clicked – it sounded fantastic.
“I thought to myself, Wow! Sam has pushed my guitar into a more in-your-face, don’t-be-afraid-to-rock-out area. As much as I wanted Sam to change things as a singer – to be lower register and tell more stories – he wanted me to let go as a guitarist. I really did that on Lighten Up.”