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By Martin Popoff
We've always heard about the battles over Rick's vocals being too high. Were there musical differences as well? "Well, it depends," notes Steve. "I wrote all his melody lines and usually wrote all his lyrics, so there wasn't really any differences. About the only difference was that I kind of like... we recorded on ProTools, and any time he did some kind of high scream that sounded like a little girl shrieking at a ghost, I didn't put that in the final mix."
Sounds like a bit of a mutual parting, no? "Yeah, let's see. Well, he always quits about three times in the course of recording. He only quit once this time. And he usually comes back five to ten minutes later after quitting. But I said 'You know, after this record is done, there's going to be some people who are staying and some people who are going to be going.' And he listened to that and he had some problems with some of the choices for the notes, the vocal lines that were used in the final mix. And I told him, 'You know dude, you really should quit. You're not going to be happy in the band.' And then he called the next day and said that he quit, which was good, because otherwise he would have had to be fired. It's tough, because there are certain elements of his personality that I really like, where I feel kinship with him. But at the same time there are things that just drove me nuts. The main thing was that I felt a lack of trust on his part. The fucking dude thinks he hears alien voices and stuff like that, so he sees a conspiracy everywhere. He thinks that the reason we're not making so much money is that he's getting ripped off. When that came out, that's when I lost a lot of feelings for him, to think that I had something to do with why we're not a household name and why he's broke all the time, because I've got his money."
And what happened with Jim?
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