The single is all California though.

It wasn’t lost on me that it’s a California song, that’s the whole joke of the thing. It’s like the anti-California California song. And I’m not talking about bashing on the place. Everybody’s got the California radio song. There’s quite a bit of sarcastic humor in that and its intended, it’s totally intended. But if you read the lyrics, it’s quite a bit darker than it actually sounds. It’s me saying some pretty hard stuff and saying it in a kind of beautiful way, and I think Alice has always done that.

I think ‘Acid Bubble’ was probably the song that struck me the most. Where did that come from, particularly that break in the bridge?

That song was actually probably the last thing that we came up with and it was in the middle of one of the breaks that we did. We broke for Halloween for people to go home and be with their kids and all that, and we broke for Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s. We worked all in-between those. I think on one of those breaks, that one came out of the blue. My guitar tech at the time, Tim Dawson, who is just a really good friend of mine and helped me demo pretty much everything for four months between November ’07 and March ’08. I actually had an idea for one thing, he came over, and we kind of put that down and it just didn’t really go anywhere. And I just started goofing off, which I do quite often, and I stumbled onto something completely different and I wrote that song as I sat there.

All those musical bits I came up with in a half an hour and we just kind of sketched them together and said, ‘Wow man, that’s fucking cool as shit.’ Lyrically, it took me a while to get it together. I wrote the first verse and the chorus and all that pretty much immediately, that first night. For some reason, I was dragging my feet on trying to come up with a second verse and that came later. I did a demo of that and sent it out to everybody and everybody really reacted to that. This is after we pretty much had everything already laid out as far as what we were going to record and then we were gonna pick from that what became the record. So that was way late in the writing process and it was just one of those lucky little nuggets that kind of falls out of the sky and you grab. Everybody reacted to it so we recorded it and that’s what you got. (laughs) It took me another month or two to come up with that second verse and finally I did that. Nick [Raskulinecz, producer] was all up my ass because he was really into the tune and so he was just like, ‘Dude, write a fucking verse!’ and I was just, ‘Well, fuck man. It’s gotta be right. The rest of it is so good I can’t have that be fucking lame, I can’t just phone in that second verse. It’s gonna come when it comes.’ And it ended up coming really late. But it’s one of my favorite songs on the record, and it’s really unique.

I was talking to [James] Hetfield recently, he and Lars [Ulrich]. We gave them advance copies because they interviewed us, they actually were kind enough to do a little radio thing that’s supposed to drop on the release of the record, and we did an hour or hour and a half interview with those guys and that was the one song he was like, ‘Thank you dude. (laughs) Thank you for that fucking song man.’ I’m like, ‘Right on man.’ If fucking Hetfield says it’s okay, I’m fucking happy.

The first record you bought was an Elton John record.

(laughs) It is. And I’m looking at it right now. I got my mini kind of trophy case where I’ve got my Pittsburgh Steelers helmet signed by the Steel Curtain. And it’s sitting right above that. Elton John’s Greatest Hits. I actually didn’t buy it, my dad gave it to me.

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