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Nice Talking To Aaron (Part 1/4)

It's 5pm over here in Leipzig, Germany. Chris, the Spin Doctors' PR and press guy, told me to call Aaron at 11am New York time. So here we go... I am dialing a US mobile phone number, looking forward to a great interview. The phone is ringing...
This is Aaron Comess, hello!

Hi, this is Daniel from Leipzig, Germany...
Hey Daniel, how are you doing buddy?

Fine, thanks - how are you?
Yeah, everything's great...

I hope someone told you that I want to do an interview with you right now...
Sure, I heard about it, I was expecting your call...

Oh...
...and I am ready for you my friend...

Great! Where are you right now?
I am at my home in New York City, just got up a couple of hours ago, getting ready to leave in about an hour going to - ahm... where are we going? - to Massachussetts, I think...

Ah yeah, you're playing there tomorrow...
Right...

Okay, ready to start with the interview?
Sure!

Okay, so let's talk about the new album "Nice Talking To Me" at first. It's the first album by the original Spin Doctors since 1994's "Turn It Upside Down". How does it feel to be back with an album including brand new material after all those years?
Feels really great - I think we all have a stronger appreciation for the band itself and for each other as musicians. I mean, we started out as a little bar band in New York City and our initial goals were't really much more than to write really good songs, play around New York City and pay a rent. One thing went to another and before we knew it we were making our first album "Pocket Full Of Kryptonite" and touring the country and two or three years down the line we were selling tons of records...
To be back ten years later with all the same guys, having another chance to make music together, is something that we all really enjoy and we had a really good time making the record.

How was the recording and songwriting process?
We took our time getting the material together. We didn't wanna feel like "Oh, we have to go to the studio tomorrow and do something..." We wanted to take an approach kind of like a new band. When you start a band, you have years to play gigs and write material over the time, you get around to making your first record - there's a lot of material to choose from and it's always easier to figure out what songs work best together and what the strongest material is. We took that approach in this new record. It's been more than three years now since the band got back together and over time, we were just beginning in doing writing sessions and recording sessions and getting it together. About a year ago we finally thought we were at the point where we had plenty of really good material to choose from and to get into the studio and do this. So we called up Matt Wallace to produce it who was a lot of help in helping us to check that material. We did a lot of pre-production and there were about two weeks of just rehearsing, just working on the songs and really getting into the arrangements, melodies and all the grooves and making sure that all the songs that we picked we thought we could make them as good as possible.

Sounds like a lot of work...
Yeah, but then we were ready and we got into the studio - this was just a great time to record it. I am really really happy with the record, it's a really great representation of the original Spin Doctors now. I hope that anybody who loved our music in the past is going to enjoy the record and at the same time, here is something new. You know, some growth and some new things that weren't around ten years ago.

From your point of view, which are the outstanding tracks of the album?
I tell you the truth, I really like every song. I go back and forth on songs but yeah, I like them all. I think that "Can't Kick The Habit" stands out as a track for me. It's something a little different than what we've done before and I love that it's a really beautiful song and then at the end, it has that really cool jam with a great guitar solo. I think that's a great moment of this record, a centerpoint. Yeah, it's the center of the record.
I also think "Nice Talking To Me", the title track, is great. It's a really classic Spin Doctors song - great rock groove, it's funky, with a killer guitar riff, great vocal hooks... I love that a lot! And there's "I'd Like To Love You But I Think You Might Be Crazy" - classic Spin Doctors where all four of us really shine and get to do our thing and stretch out, with a great lyric and melody from Chris!
You know, I could go on and on... There's really not one song on this album that I don't like, which is rare...

Why?
Because usually when you're doing a record there's always a little something that the one guy doesn't like or this guy doesn't like it and you wish it could have turned out this way and so on... This is really the first record since "Pocketful Of Kryptonite" where I thought that way, where I feel that every single song really holds up. To listen to it from beginning to end it just feels great.
Honestly, I can say that all four members of the band feel the same way - and that's a really hard thing to achieve when you have a band. To make a record where everybody in the band likes everything about it AND it's a good record. Part of the challenge to play in a group is to compromise, there are differences in opinions and different tastes. Sometimes, you have to be willing to put something aside for somebody else, but at the same time, you don't want to sacrifice the quality of the music. That's always the biggest challenge in being a member of a band, and I feel that we really conquered that this time and made a record that not only is really strong but that we all like as well.

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