DURING a recent 36-hour whirlwind visit to Hong Kong, Spin Doctors, the definitive US East Coast rock band, took the time to record a segment for MTV and check out the territory.
Less than three years after its first public performance at a Columbia University fraternity party, its distinctive brand of bluesy-rock has garnered a fanatical East Coast following.
Guitarist Eric Schenkman deemed the band as representative of New York City, just as Nirvana is for Seattle, Smashing Pumpkins for Chicago and Lemonheads for Boston.
Some music critics have labelled them a post-grunge band, but Schenkman disagrees.
''Grunge is Seattle's stuff. But we are from the east, far from Seattle, so basically they can't say we are a grunge band,'' Schenkman said.
Sometimes, people compare them with so-called grunge bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band is unconcerned because ''everybody needs to compare themselves to something''.
Schenkman, Aaron Comess, the drummer and percussionist, and lead vocalist Christopher Barron began jamming together as students at New York's New School for Social Research. Bassist Mark White joined them later.
''When I first heard of Spin Doctors, I thought there were 20 guys in the band,'' White said with a grin.
Asked about the origin of the band's name, Schenkman explained: ''It was a popular term in the US at the time we put the band together. It didn't mean anything.
''It hadn't yet been associated with rock n' roll music. But it had so many connotations, we thought we'd use it.'' Spin Doctors has already got the new material for its next album, which will be out in spring.
''We've got a couple songs about butts, your ma ma's. We've got songs about your house, about bags for the dirt, it's true, don't laugh,'' said the bassist.
After the brief stopover in Hong Kong, Spin Doctors went on to Europe and South America.