You couldn’t get masters. Maybe I have wav files of all these Head Automatica tunes, but they’re not… I feel like it’s mixed, but they’re like there’s still things that I feel like we’re gonna be changed. Everything was very up in the air when we parted ways. And that was it. […] You could put out a fucking record of MP3s that you had into the world. A lot of people maybe would never know that. Maybe, I guess I could. I don’t think I’m on their radar enough for anybody to be like “Those are those magical songs we thought we could have made 1 billion.” If they thought they were gonna make a billion dollars, they would have begged me to put out with them over a decade ago.
When we were doing Worship And Tribute [the band’s second album, released in 2002], the label was like, “Yo, we need Chris Lord-Alge [engineer who’s worked on records by Prince, My Chemical Romance and Tina Turner] to mix this s***. This is your f****** hit.” We’re like, “All right, crazy guys, we’re cool with Alge mixing it. Whatever you guys want, spend the money.”
We walk in a room and I’m like, “Yo, gotta bring that bass up, man, bring the bass up.” He kind of just moves his hand just to shut me the f*** up. I’m like, “Yo, you gotta bring that bass up because that whole riff is the bass.” He goes, “Listen here, kid, let me guess: you’re the f****** bassist,” and I go, “Actually, d***head, I’m the f****** guitarist.” [Laughs.]
I think it’s probably the cleanest recording we’ve had as far as mental anguish. In the past, you’ve got to deal with people and desires and shit and I’ve said it a million times: It’s always been Justin and myself just spitting out our ideas. On this one, we really tapped into that and didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, we just kind of went in and did it. The music was written and done and we went in and showed Billy, and Billy was just a fucking beast and caught on really quick. He’s a professional. The whole process was really simple; I couldn’t imagine it being more simple than how we did it. We didn’t stay in the studio in Hollywood for three months, we didn’t camp out at the Oakwood apartments, we didn’t spread the recording over two years and lose the fire. It was just us from front to back maintaining the sound. I love it. I would never want to do it any other way again.