Mike McCready says new Pearl Jam album will be “a lot heavier than you’d expect”

Mike McCready says new Pearl Jam album will be “a lot heavier than you’d expect”

Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist, Mike McCready, has shared that their next record is set to be “a lot heavier than you’d expect.”
The album is currently in the works, and the musician is hopeful that it will land next year. The record will be the first studio release since 2020’s Gigaton.

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Speaking to Classic Rock magazine in its new print issue, McCready shares how progress on the forthcoming LP is coming along: “I’m hoping it’s gonna come out next year. We have a bunch of songs tracked. We worked with Andrew Watt, who’s a younger pop producer-type guy, but he’s really a rock guy at heart – I think we’re his favourite band,” he says.
“When we were in the studio with him this past year, he really kicked our asses, got us focused and playing, song after song. It took a long time to make Gigaton, but this new one didn’t take long. Andrew was like: ‘You guys take forever to make records. Let’s do this, right now.”
When asked what the new material sounds like, McCready responds: “It’s a lot heavier than you’d expect. There’s the melody and energy of the first couple of records. Andrew pushed us to play as hard and melodic and thoughtful as we’ve done in a long time. I feel like Matt Cameron’s drumming has elements of what he did in Soundgarden.
“For better or worse, you’re gonna hear a lot more lead guitar from me, stuff I haven’t done in a long time. I went crazy, like with Chris Cornell and Temple Of The Dog on Reach Down [1991], all those years ago. I got to do it again. Usually the first or second takes are best. After that I start thinking about it and it doesn’t have the feel. But Andrew caught the lightning in a bottle, as they say.”

Back in October, McCready spoke to Guitar.com about his signature affordable Stratocaster from Fender. “We’ve spent a lot of time going back and forth with Fender to go, ‘This thing has to be perfect – the neck’s gotta feel this way, the treble pickup has to be not too high-end-y, it has to sound as close to the 1960 as it can,’” he said.
“I feel like Fender has done that. On the last tour over in Europe, we had three different models of it. I would move between them and go, ‘I like aspects of this one, but I don’t on this one, the pickups are good on this one, not on this one.’ We put all those together into one Frankenstein guitar.”
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