That first song he sent to Sony was not 'Vindicated' since Carrabba hadn't written it yet.
Carrabba: The coolest thing was, because Lia was so friendly and kind to me, she invited me to see the movie before it was out, actually before it was finished. I'd be watching the film and I'd see finished graphics that looked totally real and then pencil animation. It was just really kind of weird. I was at Sony Pictures on the lot, just me and Lia watching it. I was really moved by the movie. There were some parallels between what [Tobey Maguire's] character -- not Spider-Man, but Peter Parker -- was going through. Growing pains, maybe unrequited/half-requited love, self doubt -- it just resonated with who I was as a person then and maybe am now. So I left and I was psyched I was going to have a song on a soundtrack for a movie that was a big deal, because who the hell were we in the first place, you know? I got to see a movie that was a big deal [for me] as a total comic book nerd growing up.
I went about my merry way and went on a world tour. Whirlwind. We had this day planned [in Hawaii]. We were waking up early, we were all going surfing. I opened the curtains. It was glorious. People were already out in the water. I was fired up. I had some coffee. My morning routine is coffee, just play guitar for a minute -- I just have to -- and then I'll get to the fun. Sometimes the guitar can be the fun, but in this case it was the surfing. We don't get to surf much on the road, so we were psyched. But I picked up the guitar and I just wrote "Vindicated." I never got to the beach.
I didn't get to surf on that trip, but it was well worth it. It kind of just, like, spilled out. It wasn't like I wrote the thing with Spider-Man in mind. The song is about me and my life experience. When I finished the song, I realized that the spark of inspiration, some if it, might have come from having seen a story I related to so recently. So when I called Lia, I said, "Lia, look, I've got this other song." You don't want to pull the brakes on anybody. I'm just some kid. This is a big machine. I just said, "Look, I get it, neither of these songs are going to be the single, I get it if you don't want to change it, but I just kind of feel a relationship between this song and that movie. Is there any chance we could switch it out?" She said, "Man, it's really late." I was like, "OK." She was like, "I'll tell you what, could you cut a demo and send it to me?"
We soundchecked and I had the front of house guy, who has produced some stuff for me, he tracked the song. I sent it to her and I got a frantic call from her: "I've played this for [producer Avi] Arad and I've played this for [producer] Amy [Pascal] and this is the single." I was like, "What do you mean this is the single?" She's like, "OK, let me walk you through this, dummy. We're going to take your song out, we'll put this song in, it's going to be in the movie and it will be the single for the movie on the radio." She had to tell me, like, three times. I just couldn't conceive this. And so she said, "Here's the thing. You've got to get in the studio, like, tomorrow." So we did. We flew from Hawaii to LA and we went into the studio with Don Gilmore, who is one of my favorite producers and who I trust implicitly to get this right all the way through. He did an amazing job without question, although there's something I'm really proud of in that demo that when we got to the finished project, the only thing that changed was one chord, one time.
The subtext was get in there, get it done, and don't fuck this up. We turned it in and shortly thereafter we're filming a video in Brooklyn in a warehouse where they made it look like Doc Ock's lair in the film. Without a doubt, that set had to cost twice as much as my house or anybody's house. It was insane.