to frequently asked questions about the band itself (last update 2022-10-04)
1. Who’s in the band?
Chris Barron (vocals)
Aaron Comess (drums)
Eric Schenkman (guitar, vocals)
As of March 2022, the official Spin Doctors website lists Aaron, Chris and Eric as the current official band members. Jack Daley is playing the bass and appears in band promo pictures. Jack started subbing for original bass player Mark White in 2021. Check our news story for details on the current situation.
Eric left the band in the fall of 1994, returning at the reunion on September 7, 2001. Anthony Krizan replaced Eric through 1996, at which point he left and was replaced by Eran Tabib. During the “Eran” years Ivan Neville was also in the band as keyboardist and backing vocalist. In 1999, Mark White left the band, too, and was replaced by Carl Carter for a few gigs in 1999. However, Eran, Carl and Ivan left after the band kind of fizzled out in 1999. Since the reunion and until summer of 2021, the band has been the “original” four (Chris, Aaron, Eric, and Mark).
2. What instruments do they each play?
Chris Barron – lead vocals (for a while he played rhythm guitar on some songs during the “Anthony era,” and harmonica on one song. He also plays the acoustic guitar on 2005s “Can’t Kick The Habit”, the first single release after the reunion).
Aaron Comess – drums, sometimes backing vocals, bass
Eric Schenkman – guitar, backing vocals, some lead vocals, keyboards on the studio releases
Mark White – bass (Mark uses Ibanez 4-string basses)
Anthony Krizan – guitar, backing vocals from fall of 1994 through 1996
Eran Tabib – guitar from 1997 through 1999.
Ivan Neville – clavinet, piano, organ, backing vocals, some lead vocals from 1997 through 1999.
Carl Carter – bass in 1999.
Jack Daley – bass since 2021, touring member.
3. So who are these band members really?
Chris Barron: Born in Australia in or around 1968 as Chris Gross, he moved to The States when he was nine, and changed his name to Chris Barron many years later. His father was in the Navy so he had to move all around the country, but he finally settled in Princeton, NJ as a teen. In Princeton High School (PHS) he sang in the glee-club with Brendan Hill and John Popper (currently of Blues Traveler). Chris wrote songs with classmate Ben Lewis (e.g., Pandora’s Box, Mary Jane), and formed bands with him, and all members of current Blues Traveler, including the first incarnation of the current Blues Traveler. Chris was eventually kicked out of that band for (in his own words) “being a pain in the ass.” In an interview conducted by Cree McCree, with John Popper and Trey Anastasio (who both also grew up around Princeton), they were asked about “the Princeton connection.” Chris said that Princeton was a big influence because “it was the wall we were all banging our heads against,” meaning that there was nothing to do there, so they made things happen by forming bands to make music at parties and around town. When Chris graduated he went to college for a year to study poetry. He lived with members of Blues Traveler who were enrolled at the New School jazz program, where they met Eric and Aaron. Before the Spin Doctors Chris had several musical ventures (see How did the band come together?) and today he does several acoustic solo shows around NYC, and has started a bit of an acting career.
Aaron Comess: He grew up in Dallas (Deep Ellum), Texas, and was born about 1968. He got really into the rich (not monetarily) Deep Ellum jazz scene, as did John Busch and other future members of The New Bohemians. Aaron, John Busch and company studied in a Deep Elum jazz school together for some time, and then Aaron went to the New School Jazz Program where he met up with Chris and Aaron. While Aaron was in New York, he joined in several bands, one of which was kind of a fusion band called Spade, where the bass player was Mark White.
Mark White: A native of Queens, NY, born around 1961, he was in several bands, including a fusion band Spade with Aaron, and took several odd jobs before joining the Spin Doctors. He’s a big Prince fan and generally likes vocally oriented music.
Eric Schenkman: Birth name Eric Lyons, born and raised in Toronto around 1964, Canada. He got to know several Toronto musicians including Frankie LaRocka (drummer for Bryan Adams), who would later produce many SD albums. He went to the New School Jazz Program where he met Chris through John Popper. Since leaving the Spin Doctors for “creative and personal differences,” he worked for about a year with a band called Eric’s Kitchen, where he performed many Spin Doctors standards and some new material. In 1995 he formed the Chrysallids, with whom he recorded an album.
Anthony Krizan: From North Plainsfield, New Jersey, he likes soul and rock. He wrote songs for several bands, including one with a member of the Rolling Stones. Before working with Spin Doctors (and a little while during the time he was with the band, and most likely since then), he was in a band with Jimi Hendrix Experience bass player Noel Redding. He as also been spotted as the guitar player on a Christian rock album.
Ivan Neville: Ivan is the son of Aaron Neville of the famous Neville brother. Ivan has his own well-developed solo career playing bluesy, soul music. He has several albums out, and he probably will be continuing in his solo career despite his work with the Spin Doctors. He came along with the Spin Doctors for their summer 1996 tour and became a member of the band in 1997.
Eran Tabib: Born in Tel-Aviv, Israel in about 1972, he came to New York City in 1993 after serving in the Israeli army. He has appeared on several albums, including one by jazz great Avishai Cohen.
Carl Carter: Carl is a bass player who played with folks such as Maxwell or Dizzy Gillespie. He replaced Mark for a few months – from April 1999 until early July 1999, to be exactly.
Jack Daley is a high profile musician having played and produced with superstars such as Lenny Kravitz, James Brown, Joss Stone or Iggy Pop. He has previously recorded and toured with members of Spin Doctors for side projects, especially with Aaron.
4. How did the band come together? The band history
While at the New School Jazz Program Chris Barron and Eric Schenkman formed a band with John Popper, Brendan Hill and possibly others called Trucking Company. Originally Chris was not in the band. After Trucking Company started up Popper re-started an old high-school band, Blues Traveler. Blues Traveler all lived together and needed a fifth roommate, so they called on friend and former band-mate Chris Barron, who had been living in his hometown of Princeton. To help pay the rent, Chris unknowingly paved a way for a place for his future band to play by opening up for Blues Traveler at the Nightingale Bar (the bar where Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors, as well as God Street Wine and Joan Osborne would get their starts).
Soon, Popper found it difficult to maintain two bands and thought about the possible dilemma of a night when both bands would have gigs on the same night (they were both getting to be well-received bands). John couldn’t sing for both bands at the same time! He put his allegiance behind Blues Traveler, though. So again he turned to Chris and asked him to join Trucking Company as lead vocalist for when Popper wasn’t there and backing vocalist when he was there. In the very first rehearsal Chris and Eric got into a huge argument and the band almost broke up right then. But they worked out their differences (for at least seven years) and Chris eventually became the lead vocalist as Popper joined Blues Traveler full time. Drummer Brendan Hill also joined Blues Traveler full time so they replaced him with Aaron Comess, whom they knew because he was also at the New School Jazz Program. The band went through a series of bass players, starting with Trucking Company’s original bass player and settling on someone named Ross for a few months. By then the band had become something new. They got their first gig at a party at a Columbia frat house called Delta Phi, where the band would do several shows throughout the next year or two. Eric came up with a name for this new band: Spin Doctors. Spin Doctors would do shows in the New York college circuit for the next several months. In the spring of 1989 Ross left the band and a 26 year old self-taught bassist from Queens, NY, Mark White, joined. Mark had been in several bands before Spin Doctors, most recently Spade with Aaron.
With Mark in the band the Spin Doctors’ sound finally took shape, stemming from the diverse musical tastes of the band members. Just a sampling: Mark is a big Prince fan, Aaron listens to John Coltrane, Eric is an Al Green fan, and Chris likes The Who. Eric once commented in an interview, “The four of us have always made a really unique type of fusion of our musical tastes. They are all rather different but it still clicked somehow and that is the reason why the band now sounds the way it does. We had several bassists before Mark, but after three days of playing together we were together on stage. That’s really when we noticed that this was working out. It doesn’t matter if the musicians are good or bad–you just come into a room sometimes and after playing a few notes with the others, you can tell that it’s gonna work.”
5. Why did Eric leave the band back in 1994?
The story, from Mark White’s point of view, is as follows: right after the band signed its record contract in 1990, Eric changed. He started to have this vision of the sound the band should have that no-one else agreed with, except his guitar guru. Around 1993, Eric brought this guy, his guru, on tour with the band. No one could stand him and because of his and Eric’s view on sound, they couldn’t keep a sound guy; they kept getting new ones and firing them. As a result they sounded horrible at big venues and they knew it. Finally Mark confronted Eric’s guru and said he’d beat him up unless he stopped bothering him (which Mark assures us was an empty threat) and that day the guy packed his bags and went home, not out of fear, but knowing that he was unwanted. But the rift grew too big, and in Mark’s words, “We just couldn’t stand being around him,” and so Eric left, according to the band of his own accord, according to Eric because they forced him out. This is one side of the story, and I’m sure the truth lies somewhere outside of anyone’s story.
6. How did the band find Anthony?
Anthony and his band (with Noel Redding) were opening up for Wasabi, (a Spin Doctors side project) and Aaron had talked to him. When Eric left, the band held try-outs for three guitarists they had hand picked: Anthony, the guitarist for the New Bohemians and someone named something Skolnick*. Anthony got into the tryouts because Aaron called him up when they started looking, and Anthony popped in Pocket Full of Kryptonite and learned “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” and “What Time Is It?” over the phone. Aaron liked the way it sounded so they flew him in to jam with the band. Mark had just been married so they jammed without a bass player, but after he made the first cut they all flew out to California so they could practice with Mark. Well, they liked the way it sounded so they chose Anthony.
* 2008 Update, submitted by SD Archive-reader Stuart Carlton: “Question 5 on this page mentions the people who auditioned to replace Eric. The third person was Alex
Skolnick of Testament. It would have been interesting.”
7. And why did Anthony leave in 1996?
No one ever said why. What was said is that it was a friendly break-up, and at the time Anthony volunteered to do any gigs for which they didn’t have a guitar player.
8. How did the band find Eran?
There were open try-outs. The band heard demo tapes of each guitar player and then chose a few to jam with to see who they liked. The band agreed on Eran.
9. Why did Mark leave?
(answer submitted by David Landsberger)
The Spin Doctors were not very active in the late Eran years. So Aaron and Chris decided to fool around in Aaron’s home studio. Out of that project came a recording where Aaron played not only the drums, but also the bass lines and I think much of the other instrumentation. I’d have to check the liner notes of Here Comes The Bride to remember exactly what Aaron played and what he didn’t. As this album was basically a Chris and Aaron project, there was some debate as to under what name to release it. Originally the album was going to be released under the band name “Jason’s Wedding” in reference to their road manager, Jason Richardson. But for some reason (marketing or deal with their new record contract) they decided to release the album as a Spin Doctors album. Mark was very upset as to not even being a part of the album for his own band and upset about how Chris and Aaron had taken over control of the band, he left. I don’t think he saw much future in the band anyway at that point.
Here’s what Mark wrote about the 1999 split-up:
“I left the band because I was tired of not gigging, I was tired of the double standard that Aaron and Chris used to run the band and also because I hate that stupid CD, which Aaron seem to get away with writing all the music himself and even playing bass, guitar and keyboards, when you know we have a great guitar player and keyboard player. The bottom line is this: it was Aaron and Chris that really destroyed this band and I could not stand by and be a part of it anymore. It was all about getting some stupid record deal and never about the music and the band. If you want, I’ll tell you exactly why I left that joke of a band and you can post it because I think everyone who is a true fan should know that it was Aaron and Chris and only those two who f@#$%* up this band, they are the ones that kept us from playing in the city for two years, that just by it’s self is a f$%*@*# shame.
I quit because it was driving me crazy being around those suck up kiss a@* panty p*#$ p@#$ys while they went out of their way to get a stupid record deal. I will always be p@$*ed off at those two losers for f@*#ing up one of the best things to come along in a long time.”
10. So, what’s the deal with “Here Comes The Bride”?
This is what the record company DAS/Universal says about the album:
” Here Comes The Bride, the SPIN DOCTORS’ album on the new DAS/Universal label is the first music from this classic rock band in over three years. The wait was worthwhile.
Here Comes The Bride throws unexpected rhythmic and sonic curves into the DOCTORS’ signature rock style. Their musical palette draws from jazz, funk, pop, rap and Latin grooves, sometimes mixed within one cut. Moving on from their earlier albums – the Grammy-nominated multi-platinum POCKET FULL OF KRYPTONITE, its platinum follow-up TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN, and the 1996 successor YOU’VE GOT TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING – with drummer Aaron Comess’ Manhattan home studio at their disposal, Aaron and lead singer Chris Barron began a two-year musical odyssey that resulted in the recreation of the SPIN DOCTORS in the SPIN DOCTORS’ own image.
Says Chris, “I’d go over to Aaron’s house and he’d have been up all night recording these crazy, beautiful tracks that he was just composing off the top of his head. I’d sit there and come up with lyrics and a melody. We didn’t talk about it much. I’d just write about personal stuff and current events. After a month or two we listened back and realized that the music was moving in a cohesive direction. It felt like a movie that has one scene that’s sexy, one that’s stark and violent and another that’s soft and sentimental, but in the end it’s one film.” Comess adds, “This music just poured out of us. We had no record company genius looking over our shoulder. We were free to try any crazy thing we wanted and we did.”
Here Comes The Bride brings keyboardist Ivan Neville into the SPIN DOCTORS’ fold and also introduces guitarist Eran Tabib. Heir to a Southern musical dynasty, Ivan – who has played with such legends as Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Robbie Robertson, Boz Skaggs, The Meters, The Neville Brothers, and Rufus – is somewhat of a legend himself. “We asked him if he wanted to play with us and he did,” recounts Aaron. In Ivan’s words: “These guys play their asses off. They’re into all different kinds of stuff which is a gas to play. Yo! I’m a SPIN DOCTOR.”
Eran also brings his musical perspective to the mix. “He’s exciting to play with because he plays every lick like his life depended on it,” states Chris. Eran says, “I immediately felt like I could do whatever I wanted. I played, they smiled, I was in.” In addition to producing, Eran has played with Angie Stone, D’angelo and Barrio Boyz among others.
Chris, Aaron, Ivan, and Eran are a formidable ensemble. With the music of Here Comes The Bride, the SPIN DOCTORS achieve the universality that brings the world home to those who already live in it, like somebody helping you find the key to your own house…”
11. Why did Spin Doctors “stop” in 1999?
(answer submitted by David Landsberger)
After the release of the Here Comes the Bride, the Spin Doctors went on tour in support of their new album. They played a few gigs (I think) with the line-up of Carl Carter on Bass, Eran Tabib on Guitar, Aaron Commes on Drums, and Ivan Neville on Keyboards. However, before beginning the main leg of the tour, Chris Barron paralyzed his vocal chords and was unable to say a word. Understanding the importance of the new album that they were promoting, they kept the tour dates. However, because Chris couldn’t sing, he just got on stage and danced while Ivan Neville took over the duty of singing. The set closer for the tour was always Two Princes, during which Chris immitated Bob Dylan by holding up a large notebook with one or two words from the song on each page and flipping them along with the tune. The tour was not successful. In addition to the band basically being a cover band with Aaron on drums, the were mostly playing festivals with the likes of 98 degrees and other girl/boy bands. The label did nothing to support the release without a lead singer. And nobdoy knew if Chris would ever be able to speak or sing again.
12. Tell me more about Chris’ paralyzed vocal chords
Here’s what the Rolling Stone magazine wrote about it in August, 1999:
According to RollingStone (8.18.99)
“The voice of the Spin Doctors is without his voice. Chris Barron, lead singer of the New York-based neo-hippie pop troupe, has been diagnosed with a rare vocal cord paralysis that leaves him unable to speak above a whisper. According to Spin Doctors drummer Aaron Comess, Barron’s affliction began during a string of shows in late May. “Chris woke up on a Monday morning and had no voice,” he said. Three months later, despite seeing various medical specialists, Barron’s condition has not improved. “Nobody can really say for sure if and when he’s gonna get his voice back or, if he gets it back, if it’s gonna sound the same,” Comess said. “It’s a pretty bad situation.”
And here’s the official DAS/Universal press release:
“NEW YORK, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ —
Universal Records today confirmed that The Spin Doctors’ lead singer Chris Barron has been diagnosed with a rare paralysis of his vocal chords. Barron continues to meet with medical specialists, who express concern over the gravity of the situation. Doctors have indicated that he may never regain the full use of his voice. Presently, he cannot speak above a whisper, and as such, all promotional activities for the band have been put on hold.
Recently, The Spin Doctors released their first studio album in over three years, “Here Comes The Bride,” on the new DAS/Universal label.
Universal Records offers its sincerest support and encouragement to Chris during this most difficult time. Universal joins with Chris’ bandmates, their families, and of course, their many fans from around the world, in wishing Chris a healthy and speedy recovery.”
13. How and why did the Original Spin Doctors reunite in 2001?
(answer submitted by David Landsberger and Daniel Heinze)
With time (and probably age) the tensions between the band members was reduced. Previously (in 1998), there was a gig by the High Plains Drifters at Wetlands which was fronted by John Popper and featured Eric Schenkman on Guitar. Chris just happened to be at the gig. During the show, Popper called Chris to the stage as a surprise for everyone, (including Chris) and had him sing a song with him. This was the first time since 1994 that Eric Shenkman and Chris Barron shared the same stage. Everyone in the room (including the members of the band) knew this was a big deal. They proceded to play a sloppy (but so beautiful in its significance and obvious unrehersed spontaniety) version of “Hard To Exist” which was co-written by John Popper (Blues Traveler) and Spin Doctors and at one point was a song performed by both bands.
After the High Plains Drifters gig, a major barrier had been broken. Chris and Eric could be on the stage together again. Apparently, they had even (casually) discussed playing a reunion show, but nothing serious was ever done about that. That is, until the Aaron received a call from the booking manager of the Wetlands. The Wetlands was about to close its doors forever as it had lost its lease as the building was to be redeveloped into luxury apartments. Aaron was asked if he’d get the band together for a one-off reunion gig for the last week of the Wetlands as part of the farewell Wetlands series. The band thought that there could be no better way to have a reunion gig than to say goodbye to the venue where it all happened for them, so they agreed.
Despite having only one (short) rehersal before the gig, the band got hit the stage at Wetlands on September 7th, 2001 and played about as well as they ever had. The chemistry was magical (perhaps we should say the vibe was lime green.) On stage and off, old friends greeted each other. The band was so happy with the night that they decided to play a few more gigs. And then they played a few more gigs: – Chris Barron called it the “Below The Radar” tour which took place in spring 2002. And eventually the reunion simply became the band again…
14. Tell me more about the reunion
Well… let’s listen to Chris…
“Chris Barron on bringing the band back together
By Devdoot Majumdar
It’s kind of hard to picture that guy on MTV who preached the famous “just go ahead now” telling his daughter to go watch “Blues Clues” because Daddy’s on the phone. But then again, that was ten years ago, and this is the Chris Barron of today. The lead singer of the Spin Doctors took a few minutes to sit down and talk to The Tech from his home in New York.
The Tech: Spin Doctors pretty much ceased to exist a few years back when you were unable to sing because of a paralyzed vocal chord. How was the rehabilitation?
Chris Barron: Well I did acupunture, acupressure, chinese herbs, steroids — you know traditional Western medicine, psychotherapy, anything you can probably name. I have no idea what worked. Basically, I had a fifty-fifty chance of making it back.
TT: Did you just wake up one morning with a better voice?
CB: It was a gradual process. I lost my voice about this time of year in ’99 and it started coming back around October, and over the course of the next three or four months. At first, I started sounding like the Godfather. And it just got better and better — I recovered slowly. It’s not a chronic condition. A paralyzed vocal chord has a one in eight million chance of happening, so it was rare.
TT: And the band? Is Spin Doctors back together for good or is this a temporary reunion?
CB: Well, we’re just doing these eight shows to see what comes of it.
TT: How have things been going since your concert last year at Wetlands?
CB: Well you know we did the show at Wetlands, and everyone had a ball. And we’re really looking forward to doing more shows.
TT: Are you guys doing any new songwriting?
CB: No … yeah, yeah we’re sort of talking about writing and goofing around with that, but there’re no formal plans for making a record at this moment, but some of us are sort of goofing around with writing.
TT: What can audiences expect to hear from Spin Doctors?
CB: We are going to focus on the material from our live record, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, and Turn It Upside Down, our second record. And basically we’re going to be getting around to how we used to play.
TT: How do you feel the band has developed over the last 10 years?
CB: At this point in time, it’s more of a matter of getting back into where we came from rather than developing. We started out as this bar band — this nightclub kind of band with this meteoric rise. I think right now we’re sort of getting back to rocking audiences as hard as possible.
TT: Do still enjoy singing “Two Princes?”
CB: I love singing it. Oh I love it. I really enjoy singing it. I really like the melody of it. It’s a fun song, it’s a little bit challenging.
Chris Barron’s Daughter: Who are you talking to?
CB: I’m talking to a guy named Dev. He lives In Boston. He’s interviewing me for a newspaper.
CB: Um, I don’t know, I guess they must be interested in what I have to say in Boston. Anyhow, Dev, you were saying?
TT: “Two Princes” …
CB: Oh man, I never get tired of singing that tune. I know it probably sounds really corny. It’d probably be more cool to be really jaded and say I wish I never had written that song and I’m so bored of singing it. I’ve sung it a thousand million times. But you know I really love that tune. I like the melody, it’s got a real upbeat tune.
TT: If you had to do anything over, what would you do differently?
CB: When we started making our second record, we did a session in Memphis with a producer named Jim Dickinson. We basically made our second record and Epic kind of held it back. We were totally burned out from the road and we were in this really heavily burned out, dark headpace. And so Epic heard that record and they were like “whoa.” They saw this really dark side of the band that they were really unprepared to hear. If I could change anything, I’d probably have put that version of the second record out. It was dark, and dirty and nasty and … harsh. It was this side of the band that’s very real.
I think people kind of think of us as the “Two Princes,” “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” kind of band, but I think that our fans that followed the band a little more closely that really got into our show know that we also have this dark side. I think if we put that record out second, we might have shown people what Spin Doctors is really about.
Devdoot Majumdar ’03 is a co-chair of the Spring Weekend concert committee.This story was published on Tuesday, April 9, 2002″ Copyright to this article
…And here’s what the New World Disorder Tour site wrote about the guys back in 1992…
” On September 7th, 2001, the original members of the Spin Doctors: Chris Barron (lead singer), Aaron Comess (drummer), Eric Schenkman (guitar), and Mark White (bass guitar) took the stage at the Wetlands Preserve in NYC.
It was a special occasion for two reasons. After many years of providing some of the best music in the city, the Wetlands was closing down because it had lost its lease. Secondly, the original members had not played together in over seven years. Each member had been contacted by the club and agreed to perform one of its last shows because the band had such a long history with the venue. The Spin Doctors had played there many times over the years & in fact, even recorded a live album at the club, entitled UP FOR GRABS, on Epic Records, in 1990.
The show quickly sold out & the band treated its hometown crowd to a three-hour monster set. The band had such a great time playing together, combined with the favorable crowd reaction, that they decided it might be fun & worth while to do some more gigs.
With the attitude “no record deal, no pressure…” the band went out & did a short eight city tour this past spring playing clubs in Chicago, Ann Arbor, Albany, Boston, NYC & Philly.
This summer, the Spin Doctors are about to embark on the NEW WORLD DISORDER TOUR with the Gin Blossoms, Seven Mary Three & Sponge. It will consist of about 25 shows throughout the US this July & August. Later in the fall, the band plans to begin writing together & hopes to release a new album sometime next year.
The Spin Doctors’ story starts in 1987, with a band called the Trucking Company that included John Popper and guitarist Eric Schenkman. When Popper bowed out (to devote full-time to Blues Traveler), he recommended a high school friend from Princeton, New Jersey as his replacement, Chris Barron.
The Spin Doctors were born when Barron and Schenkman recruited jazz drummer Aaron Comess (from the Jazz department at the Mannes School of Music at New York’s New School for Social Research), who in turn brought along his friend Mark White on bass, from the band Spade. Their first gigs were on fraternity row at Columbia University in 1988-89
In 1991, their debut album, POCKET FULL OF KRYPTONITE, brought a string of back-to-back hit singles: “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” (#17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 for four weeks on the Album Rock chart, 1992), “Two Princes” (#7 on Billboard Hot 100; #2 for seven weeks on the Album Rock chart, 1993 and was THE NUMBER ONE most-played song on American radio for the entire year), punctuated by “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” (top 10 on the Album Rock chart) and “What Time Is It?” To date POCKET FULL OF KRYPTONITE has gone on to sell eight million records worldwide.
TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN, the Spin Doctors’ 1994 follow-up to KRYPTONITE, was
considered a commercial disappointment although it sold over two million
records around the world. The final weeks of a 1994 world tour found the Spin Doctors at the end of five solid years of touring & releasing three albums without a real break. After much soul-searching & inner band tensions, founding guitarist Eric Schenkman decided to leave the band.
For the next few years the band continued touring and recording. The Spin
Doctors released YOU.VE GOT TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING on Epic records in 1996 and HERE COMES THE BRIDE on Universal Records in 1999. Towards the end of the session for HERE COMES THE BRIDE, bassist Mark White, unhappy with the musical direction of the band decided to leave. Then just days prior to the release date, lead singer Chris Barron completely lost his voice due to vocal chord paralysis. He was unable to speak for over six months. All promotion & touring set up to promote the record had to be canceled. HERE COMES THE BRIDE never saw the light of day.
Fortunately, through much rehabilitation, Chris eventually made a full and complete recovery. In 2000, the remaining members, Chris Barron & Aaron Comess decided to call it quits until last September when the Wetlands Preserve came calling…
According to Barron, “We’re glad that the original members of the Spin Doctors have the chance to make music together again. The four of us have a sound that speaks for itself. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of and we’re looking forward to these shows this summer.”
15. What kind of guitars, effects & amps does Eric use?
(answers submitted by Spin Doctors Forum members)
A lot of people ask about Eric’s guitar equipment. There was a very interesting discussion about that on the Spin Doctors forum. This is a documentation of the replies to this topic. To read the complete original discussion, click here.
Cosmicharley: “He used to play a hotredded up Strat in the old days, I remember it having a lot of pickups, all set to bleed. […] He was playing a Gibson SG in Europe , but the latest pics have him on a flying V, possibly the most rockandroll guitar ever invented.”
MattB: “If you google Eric Schenkman, you will come up with a place called Time Electronics in NJ. Check their website out. I spoke with Rich, the owner, a few years ago and they built some of the guitars Eric used in the early 90s. These are basically strat bodies with 3 humbuckers instead of single coil pick ups. Rich also modded a number of Marshalls that Eric used at Woodstock 94 and around that era. I believe they were Marshall Super Leads but I’m not sure.
Since the reunion, I have noticed that Eric plays either a Gibson SG or Flying V most recently. He clearly has an affinity for humbuckers on his guitars. As far as amps, he seems to use some sort of old Marshall half-stack, however, if you watched the performance of “Little Miss…” on VH1’s “Hanging with the Spin Doctors”, he was using a Fender Twin Reverb (I believe a ’65 reissue).
As far as effects, I’m not sure. I know the last time I saw the Spins in August, he was using a wah (not sure which brand) but I didn’t notice anything else. A total guess is that he uses an Ibanez Tube Screamer (or a clone). […]”
Mikebike: “guitar wise he has mostly been playing the Gibson SG Classic and the Flying V, though I think at the Prague show he was playing a Les Paul. there is also the souped up Time Electronics 3 humbucker strat, and he has definitely used fender strats in the recording studio ( someone here said he mostly used a strat on the PFOK record?) he is pictured with a sunburst strat on the NTTM CD sleeve.
sonically that’s pretty much everything covered… so were do you start if you can only afford one guitar…
I own a Les Paul and a Gibson SG Classic, I don’t think the Les Paul is great for spins stuff, the SG classic is IMHO a great all rounder. and sits well between the humbucker sound and the single coil strat sound (remember the SG classic model has p90 pick ups not humbuckers!… and is now discontinued – read the reviews on Harmony central) the SG is now my main guitar and I would thoroughly recommend it.
I cant comment on the flying V’s/Stats
For amps he uses Marshall amps, I think time electronics modified some superleads (check their website out, they have made some Marshall monsters), he also uses a JCM900?, there is also the previously mentioned twin (I heard that this has also been modified, possibly to add midrange/tighten bass/reduce noise…any thoughts?)
You will not be able to recreate his type of sound with these amps at bedroom levels, you have to turn it up! I have a re-tubed DSL50 head and Home Brewed 2 x 6l6 amp and I can nail spins sounds happily on both with the SG.
There’s a tube screamer, a Dunlop Wah and a Boss TU2 tuner currently in his mix
If you can’t afford the tube screamer re-issue’s try the Digitech bad monkey, it’s decent sounding without the midrange honk and 1/3rd the price. Not quite the same though and highly subjective to your ears. When I have seen Eric play the SG he uses the neck pick up allot. […]”
Idoaudio (Timmy): ” I may have a little insight for you on Eric’s set-up. SinceI have advanced his shows, and in effect, his guitar rig, I can tell you what it usually is. I copied this DIRECTLY from the bands technical rider:
GUITAR: (2) Marshall JMP or JCM800 100-Watt Amps, (2) Marshall 4×12 Cabinets, (1) Vox AC30 or (1) Silver Faced Fender Twin. ABSOLUTELY NO 2000’s or 900’s
When they travel with their own gear (not on fly dates) He uses an amp, build in a box….. I asked Matt (backline tech) what it was and he said it’s a Fender Showman. Sounded right to me.
The pedals are a wah (as stated earlier) and an Tube Screamer. And yes, there is a Tuner in line, but mainly as a mute for changes as well.
He does play various guitars. For the shows I have been with them, he used the SG as the main guitar. A few months ago he got an epiphone V from Gibson. Best sounding guitar I have ever heard. Have to say, as good as any guitar sounds, most of it has to be the player. Eric is by far the smoothest guitartist I have worked with. He knows the sounds he likes and can get every drop out of the set-up. Funny thing. Once on a fly date, we got a Marshal JCM900- that he would rather not use. Somebody once told Eric and Matt about a mod you can do – at a show- to get the 900 to sound better, so they ripped open an amp and did it right there. I’ll be damned- but the amp sounded 300% better.
Last insight on the guitar rig is the mic on the rig… there is none. If you see a mic in front of his cabinet it is there as a back-up. He uses a Palmer PDI-09 speaker lever direct box. I have used many of these type box’s (like red box and such) and this thing is the best ever. Soooo smooth and clean. The band actually has a few of them, as back up, and we use them EVERYWHERE.
Hope that helps. Now the funnier question would be what amp does M.W. use. In his rack, he has one of everything I think. […]”