According to Mike McCready, Pearl Jam‘s next album is “just about finished,” but the guitarist has also shared that he’s been working on a project that’ll honor who he thinks was one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time.
McCready discussed the nearly-completed follow-up to Pearl Jam’s 2020 album Gigaton with Guitar World, and teased that the Andrew Watt-produced album has a certain energy comparable to their first three albums (Ten, Vs., Vitalogy) because of how much Watt pushed them in the studio. The guitarist also added that drummer Matt Cameron‘s playing on the new album is more reminiscent of his work with Soundgarden than anything he’s done with Pearl Jam.
And speaking of Soundgarden, McCready named the late Chris Cornell as one of the greatest singers and songwriters ever.
In the early ’90s, Cornell invited McCready to participate in a tribute project dedicated to Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood, who died in 1990. The project became known as Temple of the Dog, and they released a sole album in 1991. Temple of the Dog went on a brief tour in 2016 to honor the 25th anniversary of the record, and then Cornell died the following year.
“I look at [Cornell] as one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time, aside from being a friend,” McCready praised. “I love Chris and I’m working on a little project about the Seattle scene and a musical kind of rock opera thing. It’s just from my experience in the Seattle music scene, and he’s part of it…. I’m just in the middle of it. I’m working on a script and I’ve got about 18 songs that I’m working on, and I’m singing on it. It’s been a long journey.”
One of the songs that’ll be featured in the rock opera is an acoustic track called “Crying Moon,” which McCready wrote a tribute to Cornell and debuted live in early August.
“This is a song I wrote as a goodbye to my friend Chris Cornell. ‘Crying Moon’ is part of my process in dealing with his death. Chris opened up my world to new heights when he let me play on Temple of the Dog. When he agreed to sing on Mad Season as part of the Sonic Evolution show with the Seattle Symphony, I literally jumped for joy!” McCready wrote as the caption for the video of his performance.
“The Temple of the Dog reunion at that show inspired us to tour, which was amazing. Playing ‘War Pigs’ live with Chris was a dream. I love and miss him.”
See his post below.
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