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Nice Talking To Aaron (Part 2/4)

What I really like about the new material is that it sounds really fresh but every now and then, it refers to older stuff you've done before. I mean, "Nice Talking To Me", the title track, is based on song with the same title that you performed back in 1994 already...
Nice Talking To Me? Yeah, actually you're right... It's an old riff that we worked out years ago. But it went through much of different changes. I think, at first, it was actually called "Nice Talking To Me". Then, when we were in the studio with Jim Dickenson for "Turn It Upside Down", we were working on it again and we had different lyrics, and it was called something else... We always thought that it was a great riff but not a great song and never were able to finish it off so it just kind of fell away, you know...

Yeah, I remember only one live bootleg with the old "Nice Talking To Me" on it. You were playing as "Modigliani Inc" at "The Cooler" in NYC...
Oh? We did it at the "Cooler", really?

Yeah, probably it debuted there... After the first verse, Eric broke some strings, but you continued playing and Eric was back in the middle of what was the second verse in that old version. As far as I know, that was the only time you played this song live in front of an audience before bringing it back during the 2004 tour...
Actually, Mark dug it out. We've been going through a bunch of old tapes and Mark found an old bootleg of some gig way back and he played it for us. We were all like: Man!!! We all remembered that this is such a great guitar riff and we started working on it again a couple of years ago. You've probably heard some of the different versions from the bootlegs from the last couple of years...

...sure...
...we started playing it again. In one of the writing sessions here at my studio in New York, we brought it back out and started working on it again. We were like "It's a great riff, but it needs a better chorus..." So we wrote a new chorus to it and made a new arrangement and we played it live again. When we brought it to Matt Wallace out in LA when we were doing pre-production, he loved it.
He thought it was an incredible song. But he agreed - we had the makings of a really classic great song but it was still not quite there, it didn't have a strong enough chorus. So we worked really hard again and after a lot of labouring we finally came up with a great chorus to the song. We took the old chorus and turned it into the bridge and - here we are!
It's really a cool evolution: to see a song go back from ten year ago going through so many changes and finally... Hey, I mean, it's the title track of the new album now! It's one of the best songs on the record. This is cool - sometimes, something has happened and within a minute, you've got a great song and other times, it takes a little longer! (laughs) In this case, it was just one of those things where it took years to get it together - but hey, it's there now!

When I heard the song last year on some of the bootlegs, I really liked it. But when I heard the final version when you played it during the European tour earlier this year, I was absolutely blown away. This song keeps getting better and better...
Thank you!

Another interesting song: "Sugar". This one includes a small riff from one of Eric's solo albums... How come?
Really? Honestly, I don't even know about that... I know that "Sugar" was an older song as well from around the time when we were making "Here Comes The Bride". There was a song that me and Chris had and we never did anything with it. There was just this funky groove and those lyrics that he used, but we never did anything with it. Once the band got back together, we kept saying to each other: "We should really bring that in!" We should really just use those lyrics and come up with a whole new funky riff with the band and add a classic Spin Doctors vibe to it..
Actually, at the same period when we were working on "Nice Talking To Me" at my house, we brought in "Sugar". Basically, it was just like: Let's just jam around on a funky groove... Chris started singing the lyrics...
We wanted to make it like some of our old songs: "What Time Is It?" is a good example of a song that came from just jamming around on a riff and finding something. We wanted to make "Sugar" a similar thing - just jam out, just listen to the lyrics and the melody and make it happen. So yeah, maybe Eric was grabbing a riff that he had in his pocket from something else... (laughs)

Don't get me wrong - I really like the fact that you're using this old part... It's in the middle of sugar, kind of bridge. (Daniel starts singing:) Naa-naa-nananana-na-na-na-na-nanananahhhh...
(Aaron laughs) Aah, alright.. That part!! Okay, I see! That's funny because Eric has been jamming on that since the band got back together. Every now and then, we were jamming on that riff during soundcheck. (laughs again) I didn't even know that he used this before!

Great, so you learned something today! (laughs, too)
"Sugar" is another good example: we took a long way from what we ended up with in my studio. When we went out to California to work with Matt and actually recorded it, we did a lot of changes, too. Same thing: we worked on the chorus a lot. We were really trying to make it a stronger chorus... Now, I really love "Sugar". "Sugar" is definitely one of my favorite songs ever. It's really got a classic Spin Doctors funk feel but we wanted to turn it into an epic funk song with a huge chorus and a huge groove. I think everybody in the band is really psyched about this one.

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