Steve: We put some power chords in and it worked as a nice bridge to lead into the middle section. We weren’t really influenced by The Who. We just thought it worked in the song.
JOHN: Next up is Photograph. Was this written as a single?
Steve: We didn’t go out to write any single material. It just became obvious from the way it was forming in the studio that this song would be a single. We used Les Pauls on this track too. The intro is all harmony chords. It’s done with two guitars. On the last part of those chords there is a good example of what I mean. I play the 7th fret notes of A, D and F#. Phil plays an A, E and the A octave. You’ve got to put those two chords together if you want it to work. You can’t get it exactly on one guitar.
JOHN: Keyboards sound important to this song as well.
Phil: On the bridge section there is a mix of keyboards and guitars. The way I got that effect is that instead of hitting full chords, I hit the notes of the chords individually. Each note had its own track and I faded them in.
Steve: If I’m playing a C chord, I’ll play the C note on the top E string on the 8th fret. The next track would be the G of that chord. On the third track I’d record an E note. When you fade them in together it sounds a lot like keyboards. There are a few keyboards in this song, but a lot more guitars.
Phil: My solo on this one came from working with our producer Mutt Lange. Before this, everytime I took a solo I ripped one off right away. Now I see that you’ve got to treat it like a vocal melody. On this one I thought about the melody instead of just vibing it out. The guitar solo is important but if it’s got nothing to do with the rest of the song it’s wasted.
JOHN: Stagefright opens complete with phony clapping.
Phil: That was done because the song is about being on stage. It works well on record to help create a certain atmosphere.
JOHN: It’s a rough and ready song with a lot of rhythmic tension. The solo also builds to an exciting peak.
Phil: This solo was the first thing I did when I came into the studio. I went down, listened to the song a few times and layed it down.
JOHN: So this was recorded before you were an actual band member?
Steve: When Pete was no longer in the band we asked Phil if he wanted to come down and do a few solos with us. This was the first one we recorded. After we heard him play on this one we said “Phil, you’re in.”
JOHN: Too Late For Love has a synth opening to it.
Steve: Not really, there are only a few synthesizer effects on the opening. The intro was done on a Telecaster and a Strat. Then it moves into the A section where we play Les Pauls.
JOHN: Die Hard The Hunter does a pretty good job of simulating the sounds of war.
Steve: The war simulation was done on synthesizers. I used acoustic guitars and 12-string electrics for the background.
Phil: It took quite a while to do the vocals on this one. It’s sort of an epic.
Steve: This is also a song where we decided to use the synthesiser for more than just sound effects.
JOHN: Foolin’ is one of my favourites.
Steve: I feature the acoustic guitar on this one. I use an Ovation Balladeer. I think the build up works nicely with the synthesizers.
JOHN: Do I detect a slight Zep influence?
Steve: Vaguely yes. It’s a definite contrast to the rest of the album. It was a bit of breathing space.
Phil: My guitar solo was a contrast to the rest of the song. I go mad at the beginning. All of my solos are double tracked on this album. I played them all twice with the exact same phrasing.
JOHN: Did you change guitars or sound and then blend them?
Phil: I used my Ibanez Destroyer on every solo except for Rock Till You Drop, where I used a Les Paul. On that solo there is some stereo panning as well.
JOHN: Were there any songs that were either hard or easy to record?
Phil: When you work with Mutt Lange he makes you play differently. At the time we thought it was a bit difficult. In hindsight we can appreciate what he made us do and we’re glad that we went through it.
JOHN: What did he do?
Phil: He made the guitars so tight. When Steve and I double track or play something together, he makes it sound like one guitar. One a lot of albums you can hear one guy starting early. On Pyromania we did a lot of work to get it down perfectly.
Steve: While recording we also did more than just one song at a time. We did one song one day and went on to a fresh song so we didn’t get stale. If you stay on one song the whole day you lose something and the result is that the song loses something. So we played a song and then left it alone for close to a week. Then we could look at it again clearly and with a fresh approach.
JOHN: That brings us to High ‘n’ Dry. The opener, Let It Go, is a simple let’s rock type song.
Steve: It’s a little more straight forward that anything we did on Pyromania. But it’s got some subtle thing happening in it to make more of the song. On the A section of the first go around is one open note. Then the section is played staccato. Then the next time there is another rhythmic variation. But it’s always the same note. So we play it with a slightly different feel each time around to keep it from getting boring. This song has become a standard for us live.
JOHN: The segues between songs on this album are very short.
Phil: Live we do Let It Go right into Hit ‘n’ Run just like on the record. They work well straight away in both cases. On the record it doesn’t give you much time to breathe. It’s like a slap in the face.
JOHN: The title track sounds like a Saturday night party song.
Steve: It’s just a riff that we came up with in rehearsal. The songs seemed to take shape from that. It’s a classic sort of rock song form.
JOHN: Again I detect a Stones feel.
Steve: Yeah, we sort of played this sparse riff over a heavy drum beat without any bass guitar. Pete did the solo on this one.
JOHN: Bringin’ On The Heartbreak is a special number for the band.
Steve: It’s always been a special song for us. We haven’t done too many songs in this way. It’s sort of a rock ballad. The actual guitar sounds we got through playing two guitars slightly out of tune with each other. It gave the sound of a spacey chorus-like effect.
JOHN: Then Switch 625 slides right in there. Why did you choose an instrumental?
Steve: I had this basic intro riff and a chord section. I thought it would be good if we tried to put all these different melodies over the top of each other. It’s an idea that we later explored on Pyromania. At the end of the song there are three different sections coming together. It’s difficult to do because it sounds very cluttered if you don’t do it right. But because the idea worked here we decided to do it on Pyromania.
JOHN: There are no solos on this one.
Steve: It was really part of Heartbreak because we didn’t know how to finish that song. We decided to go right into Switch. I did a solo on Heartbreak but in the instrumental with all these guitar things going on, it seemed pointless to do another solo.
JOHN: You Got Me Runnin’ has a good vocal melody on the chorus.
Steve: It’s more of a pop song. We just decided we wanted a bit of fun. I did the staccato 8th section with a Police sort of feel over the heavy riff at the beginning.
Phil: Like Steve said, this one breaks up the album Otherwise you’d get a record that sounds all the same. We don’t do this one live.
JOHN: Lady Strange has an interesting middle section that is pretty different when it goes into the solo.
Steve: That song had the same chord riff all the way through. We thought we needed something to break it so it wouldn’t be monotonous. The part you mentioned split it up nicely. Otherwise the song would have been a drag.