The Spin Doctors have the right _ probably more right than any band around _ to kick back and chill.
Their debut album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite has sold more than 2-million copies since its 1991 release. Over the past three years, the band has kept a brutal pace of 300 dates per year, playing almost every venue known to music lovers, and some that aren't. They swing through the USF Sun Dome tonight.
The band still insists on hitting the road, bringing their charged-up, hybrid style to as many people as possible in the most intimate way possible.
"We've been kicking it pretty hard," said guitarist Eric Schenkman. "We think it's a good thing to be out there letting people know what you can do. I take pride in being able to go from place to place, seeing the road go by, going out and interpreting a song a different way each night."
Schenkman is at a loss to explain the group's Cinderella popularity, which goes something like this: Group works its posterior off for a couple of years; then, boosted by college-station airplay and live shows, hits the big time, with help from hit single Little Miss Can't Be Wrong and a double-platinum album.
"I guess it's our time; people have just latched onto us and our particular way of doing things," he said in an earlier interview. "We've worked ourselves up to bigger clubs and bigger clubs on to theaters that were half full to theaters that were packed."
Group members now enjoy not having to go the hard route anymore. They can rest assured they won't be opening for any wet T-shirt contests, like they did in Detroit two years ago during one of their early tours.
The band's creative musical spirit _ as well as its diverse interests _ helps keep the edge off multiple gigs, which can turn into a grind. Drummer Aaron Comess is familiar with improvised music through his jazz training, while bassist Mark White comes from a strong funk influence. Singer Chris Barron is a self-described "rock 'n' roll romantic," while Schenkman gravitates toward R&B and folk.
To whet the appetites of those who haven't caught the group's live shows, there's a new live release, Homebelly Groove, culled from Spin Doctors shows from New York City.
"The way people have been responding, we felt we ought to give them some live stuff to put on their car stereos," Schenkman said in an earlier interview. "Back when we were doing clubs in (New York City), even through we were killing ourselves working, we knew we'd look back on those days as the "good old days.' Now these are the new good old days."
MTV's Alternate Nation Tour: Spin Doctors, Soul Asylum, Screaming Trees
7:30 tonight at USF Sun Dome, $20.