Chris Pitman: Medicine Man was evoked by a monstrous guitar riff by Kelly Wheeler. It conjured images of the Spanish Moors in battle in the early centuries, to me anyways, and thus I thought it was important to have a battle cry. While I was working out the vocals and lyrics it seemed to focus on a single, older man, filled with wisdom. In the bridge section, there is an instrumental breakdown. It was there that a drumming tom-tom roll was placed, that sounded like an ancient Indian ritual evocation. We then added Indian shakers for effect, and then the chilling battle cry. And there is the inspiration for Medicine Man.
Kelly Wheeler: I came up w/ the Medicine Man riff back in the day when I was playing w/ Danny (Carey of Tool). I love eastern harmonies and this line was always one of my favorites. I started to flesh it out when I added the rest of the guitar arrangements and the driving drums on the song demo I recorded. During production, Chris put together the killer descending Queen-like chorus arrangement from layers of my guitars, which really tied it all together. Chris just slammed it with the vocals and lyrics for Medicine Man! He really brought out the exotic feeling I had in mind for the song with his images of a Native American spiritual leader. The finishing touches like the tribal drums, using the ancient word, Heyah (which translates as "God," or "The Great Spirit"), and his excellent mixing job, make the song the centerpiece of the album.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album - right here!