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" There’s a funny story behind the guitar used for that song. When I was 17 or 18, my grandmother passed away, and my parents bought me a Music Man John Petrucci Signature Series guitar with her inheritance. This is when I was going through a phase of being obsessed with Dream Theater and John Petrucci and G3 and Steve Vai and all these virtuoso shredding guitar players. We recorded the album in L.A. and when we were getting ready to leave, my manager rang and asked, “Are you taking that guitar?” I was like, “No, I’m not taking it. We won’t use it.” And he said, “No, you should take it because you never know. It’s the first expensive guitar you’ve ever owned. Take it.” Funnily enough, we ended up using that guitar on quite a lot of the album—and just for one specific sound. It has a really great out-of-phase sound. It’s got these two humbuckers in it, but the out-of-phase position has both coils split, so you get like a single-coil out-of-phase on it. That’s what got used for the main chord part on “Love Me,” for the solo in “Love Me,” and for the rhythm guitar part in “She’s American.” The reason it took us by surprise is that this album has a specific sound that we had in our heads, which is this ’80s active Strat sound—like you hear on a Madonna record. That Music Man had that kind of vibe, but a really well-balanced even sound to it. I would never have picked that guitar up and chosen it to do that, so it was a bit of a stroke of luck that we had it with us. It’s this horrible maroon color and when it came to doing it live, the color was so bad that we ended up getting this white vinyl that we cut out and painstakingly stuck over the entire guitar. We then covered up the hardware with tape and threw a load of multicolored paint over it. Now it’s got this weird Jackson Pollock-esque look to it. "more
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