Rocket Queen, blogger Hannah Levin over at the Seattle Weekly had a brief chat with Mike regarding the Ten Re-Issue:
Another Seattle music icon is enjoying its own phoenix-like status this week: On Tuesday, March 24, Pearl Jam unveiled a deluxe reissue of their landmark debut, Ten. The reissue is offered in four different incarnations, all of which include both a digitally remastered version of the original track listing and a new rawer, sparser remix by the band’s long-time producer, Brendan O’Brien, that includes six bonus tracks.
“It came out great,” says guitarist Mike McCready of the remix when I reach him via cell in Huntington Beach, Calif., where the band is working on their next studio album (slated for a fall release). “It kind of reminds me of how we were live back then. It’s a lot starker, faster, and heavier.” This reissue is part of a two-year catalogue re-release campaign leading up to the band’s 20th anniversary in 2011, when they also hope to release a Cameron Crowe-helmed cinematic chronicle of their career. “We are just in the very early stages of that…starting to go through all the footage we have, and Cameron’s writing the treatment,” McCready explains.
Looking back on all that history and the astonishing success of Ten, McCready sees it primarily as the gateway that allowed Pearl Jam to enjoy the creative autonomy they maintain to this day. “The record was a monumental time in my life. I was working [as a prep cook] at Julia’s and Piecora’s Pizzeria, then the record came out and it was life-changing. It got bigger than anything I could have ever expected. And along with that came the criticism and too much partying, so it’s a mixed bag. But the great thing is, it allowed us to have control over our music from there on out.”