New Pearl Jam Might Resemble U2 and Pink Floyd, Says Guitarist Mike McCready

Guitarist discusses the new album and the sound the band is looking for.

Ultimate Guitar

Pearl Jam axeman Mike McCready recently sat down with the Grunge Report to discuss the group's forthcoming record, supposedly set for a late 2013 release. According to the guitarist, things are cooking up good in the studio and the album is already taking up certain shape and form.

"The sessions went really well, they went very quick. We were with Brendan O'Brien, and he was kind of whipping us into shape. We all teamed together to bring in another section of songs, we started this project 2 years ago. We just recently finished another 7 or 8 from that or so, we're listening to them to see which ones are going to end up ultimately on the record," McCready said. "We're close to the end zone right now, football analogy! There might be a few [of my compositions] on there. Not necessarily like 'Inside Job,' but there's one I'm very very proud of."

As far as the current musical direction of the Seattle five-piece goes, the guitarist made some perhaps unexpected comparisons with U2 and rock titans Pink Floyd, adding that there will be a lot of things happening on the record.

"I think the fans will hear what we are and where we are at now, it's going to be to their liking I think, it is to us. We haven't figured it out exactly what everything is that is going to be on this record. Some of the standout tracks on there are pretty amazing. Matt wrote a really cool one that's kind of ethereal meets U2ness, I wrote kind of a punk rock one and a Pink Floyd thing, so there's all these kinds of things going on. Ed has written some beautiful numbers, some kind of garagy type stuff and then also some beautiful lyrical kind of things. We'll put all of those things in the Pearl Jam thing, and hit mix, and mix it up."

McCready also discussed the possibility of recording a live studio album at a certain point, saying the band could take "even more of a left turn" than on "No Code."

The follow-up to 2009's "Backspacer" was recently described as "experimental" and inspired by various music forms from punk to prog rock. Although Incubus guitarist Michael Einziger was said to be working with the band, he later went on to deny any kind of involvement. As far as the individual band members go, McCready is currently also a member of the yet unnamed supergroup with Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees, while the frontman Eddie Vedder recently teamed up with the Queens of the Stone Age during their performance on the Lollapalooza Chile festival.

63 comments sorted by best / new / date

    >grunge >Pink Floyd PEARL JAM, WTF are you doing with my imagination?!
    "The Seattle four-piece" Jeff Ament Stone Gossard Mike McCready Eddie Vedder Matt Cameron Good math there, UG..... (facepalm)
    It might sound like U2 and Pink Floyd. It might not. Sounds good on paper (or the interwebs), but i'll believe it when I hear it. hope it's as much of an eargasm as they're trying to make it out to be.
    Genuinely cannot wait for this. McCready and Gossard really are underrated guitarists too if you ask me
    Pink Floyd: Hell yeah. U2: HELL NO.
    Depends, if it's the U2 sound of Pop, Zooropa, and All that you can't leave behind, then no. However, if it's the sound of War, The unforgettable fire, or The Joshua tree, then I'm all ears!
    Nero Galon
    Should be awesome. Love Pearl Jam's sound as it is, Pink Floyd... Well, no comment. U2, have made some great music over the years and I really like their definitive sound. High expectations
    did you just imply U2 was better than Pink Floyd?
    Nero Galon
    No I said no comment to Pink Floyd because we all know how amazing they are XD
    And does Pink Floyd need any comments? It's classic without any doubts. I can say there cannot be any! And both U2 and Pearl Jam need to be commented.
    Vicryl 2.0
    everyone wrote something except for Stone Gossard. majority of the songs i like from Pearl Jam were made by Gossard.
    They never disappoint
    Oh yes, they do. Don't get me wrong, "Ten" is one of my favourite album ever, second and third records are great too, but they didn't make great record since 1994. After "Vitalogy" they made only good, nice albums, that's all. So, I'm not excited to hear their new record.
    I thought their self-titled was really good, but with Pearl Jam (at least for me) it's not a matter of how the albums sound, it how it sounds live. Songs I didn't have much love for became favorites after hearing them live. I.E.: Given to Fly; Hail, Hail; Do the Evolution; I Am Mine
    Definitely agree. I saw them 3 years ago, and gig was fantastic. But it doesn't mean that I don't have right.
    Oh no, I'm not saying you're wrong. Trust me, first listen to Yield and I was kinda bummed. But they thankfully make up for it with their live performance, in the quality of their playing, the length they play, and the amount of special guests. I live out in NY, so I see them at MSG. I'm not sure if it's the same everywhere, but every time I see them it's been double encores, around 3 hours, and at least 1 special guest.
    "Oh no, I'm not saying you're wrong. " I know. I think that when you were just listening amazing songs (on the concert) like "Even Flow", "Alive" or "Why Go" (actually all songs from "Ten") your attitude to rest of the songs is different. You feel great atmosphere and don't call attention how good compositions are - you're just having great time, because even if their songs are not so great when you're listening to them at home, they're great at concert. Energy. Rock n roll. "I live out in NY, so I see them at MSG." Lucky you. Greetings form Poland.
    Definitely agree. Pearl Jam and U2 suffer from the same problem: They both have singers whose voices are a shadow of thier former glory.
    I really like that PJ don't just repeat themselves on every album and aren't afraid to experiment with their sound, while still managing to sound like PJ. I don't think they'll ever disappoint me
    I'm good on the thought of grungy Pink Floyd, but when I think U2 I just think guitar parts that have way too much delay and a pair of sunglasses with a huge ego.
    Hopefully Mike McCready doesn't hide behind the delay pedal like U2's, The Edge. Other than that, I look forward to hearing this stuff.
    if by hide you mean *use creatively, i'm all for shredding and pentatonic blues playing as much as the next guy but Edge is one of the most unique players around.
    Pearl Jam is up there in the list of "great bands with bad singers". Could never stand Eddie Vedder but his band is effing great!
    Thrice Capades
    Seriously? I don't like the band but Vedder is a damn good singer. He might be unorthodox, but he's stellar.
    I am here to welcome you to the my friends called "dislikes". Your comment will be enjoying their company soon enough.
    Vedder seems to have a 'love it or hate it' voice. Tom petty, Neil Young, the singer from Rush, Bono are some other examples. IMO his voice was awesome in the Ten era but has lost a lot of its power over the years.
    if you hate Neil Young & Tom Petty you hate life, Bono and Geddy I could understand personally I love all four
    How could you deny Eddie's passion though? and the answer is NO YOU CANT. Watch a Live video and tell me he ain't got soul
    For me, he's a "Meh" singer. He's not bad but not great either. He hits the notes.
    'Might resemble U2 and Pink Floyd'...might love half (PJ resembling PF) of it and accept the other half (PJ resembling U2)...but I just bought Sabbath tickets for Birmingham so I'd be happy if PJ resembled Poison at the moment
    Still waiting for the Alice in Chains,Pearl jam,Soundgarden tour..... one day
    Hating U2 has just become what's cool to do now I guess. They're a damn good band. If they're not to your liking that's one thing; I'm not crazy about a lot of Pink Floyd but I still recognize their talent and influence. Hell, they were one of the Edge's influences and you can here it on Pink Floyd songs like "Run Like Hell". Hating the Edge for using delay and then praising David Gilmour, who also uses plenty of pedals, is hypocritical and makes you look like you're hating a band solely because it's become cool to hate them. In other words, like you have no clue what you're talking about.
    I hope it's not similar to the new B.R.M.C album... all I could hear on that was U2, had to turn the thing off. why would any band want to sound like or compare themselves to U2?? it's beyond me. Please PJ, more Pink Floyd vibe and less U2... and that goes out to every other band thinking of channeling pieces of shit.
    I'd rather they sound like pearl jam instead of saying something like this. If they mean they're adding epic textures and sound then in interested, otherwise I don't like these sorts of comments about albums
    The only thing that makes me slightly nervous is...well, are we gonna hear like a mix of stuff from "Ten", PF, & U2? Or is this gonna be "PJ does a mix of PF & U2"? 'Cause the former would be awesome; the latter would disappoint me...
    i just hope it doesnt mean a whole proggy sound. but i doubt PJ would whack some 80s sounding pads on things, its not them at all
    Um...I'm not sure you get prog, if you think it's just about "whacking some 80s sounding pads on things" (whatever the hell that means)...
    gossard isn't writing apparently so it might not have a big Ten-esque sound