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The change begins. DeLonge and Barker strike out with a new band, discovering effects pedals, heavy riffs and... red paint.
Was this a watershed album for you?
“I was getting kind of bummed out in the studio [with Blink]... It’s probably my fault because I never said, but I just wanted to get in there and try things out, but you feel like you can’t because the band is paying for studio time.
"It’s almost like you have a canvas and all of these paints but somebody says, ‘No, don’t touch those now, we’ve just got to get the blue on the canvas,’ And you say, ‘But there’s red!’ ‘No, get the blue done, maybe they’ll be time for red later.’ And with Box Car I just wanted to do that.”
That must’ve been a liberating experience...
“I went into Box Car Racer thinking I could do whatever I wanted and I was going to do a completely different thing using delay pedals, giant heavy guitar riffs, loops. That changed me dramatically.”
Do you remember the first of those heavier riffs that you came up with?
“All Systems Go. It was a big heavy riff, it sounds like [influential NY melodic hardcore band] Quicksand, it has huge guitars and was the first time I’d written a really heavy riff. That was so good for me.”