---Continuation of interview

Will you be able to see your wife while you're on the road?

I'll fly back and spend a night here and there --because I want to watch her tummy as much as possible. I'd like to actually be with her when her belly button turns inside out.

When you finally got married last year after being together for nine years, did that feel like a major life change, and would we see that reflected in any of the new lyrics?

I definitely think ''Space Between'' is about that, although it's about a lot of things. Certainly the concluding line in that song is about my wife and me [''The space between/ What's wrong and right/ Is where you'll find me hiding, waiting for you/ The space between/ Your heart and mine'']. We'd talked about getting married for a while. For years I couldn't imagine not being her partner, to use a modern, somewhat boring term for it. I couldn't imagine having bad knees and struggling to keep myself together without her. [The wedding] itself was very matter of fact. It was romantic for us, but we decided that this was a good day to get married and surprise a few people that happened to be staying at my mom's house in town. ''You know what we're doing this evening? We're getting married!'' We got to a point where we wanted to announce to the world, or at least to our little world, our intentions to each other. And then boom, baby! We were talking about [having a baby], but a little further down, so we were both surprised. And then just a couple of reckless nights, and everything was as it should have been, as evolution had planned it.

''Everyday'' picks up some of the same themes but in a lighter way. It would have been great if you could have released both albums simultaneously, the way Springsteen did that one time.

Oh, I would have loved to do that. But then there would have been armies opposed [on the business side], I'm sure.

How do you feel about ''Everyday'' with a little distance on it now?

I think it's some of the best music I've ever written in my life, and really challenging musically. It's an album of pop tunes, but it was fun to put them in that format -- the ''verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus out.'' I don't know if I'll ever do that again exactly the same way or not, but it was a great adventure to see how it happens. It always eluded me in the past.

What did producer Glen Ballard bring that you were missing?

I'd been really starting to take things seriously, thinking, ''Oh, God, how much do I suck?'' Not even ''Do I suck?'' but ''How much do I suck?'' I was feeling I was letting down the band, letting down everybody. And then I walked into his house, and he's like, ''So what?'' That attitude, like, ''Let's work. Forget all the crap.'' Boy oh boy, was I stifled there for a while, and the playful and determined way he creates was a great inspiration to me. Suddenly someone came in and said, ''Use a red pen!'' [In mock amazement] Oh, wow!

Did you and Ballard talk much about the fact that ''Everyday'' would be a risk in terms of messing with the formula, and possible adverse fan reaction to that?

We didn't really talk about it that much. But he did say he wanted to be precise. He didn't want any fat. He would also use ''phat'' as a description of how it sounded, but I think they were two different ''fats.'' I thought about the fan reaction myself, and I knew there were probably gonna be people who would go ''Oh, no...'' But who said, ''This is the only way we do things; this is how we do it because it's our religion or our philosophy''? It was never that way before. We were ALWAYS trying to make different albums. And this one's just another different album.

Some fans have embraced it, while others actually seem angry about the record.

Yeah, some people are REALLY mad. And then some people have embraced the unreleased album. There are people who feel some sort of ownership, or spend a lot of time thinking about defining what we are. But people need to lighten up a little bit. ''They've sold themselves to the devil!'' I don't think it's THAT severe.