Mike McCready Moves The Mountain

by Kathy Davis on July 21, 2009

Thank goodness Pearl Jam has a spokesman in Mike McCready!  He phoned into Seattle’s 103.7 FM “The Mountain” and did a nice, informative five minute interview. The link to listen is here, and here is our recap of the finer talking points:

The DJ asked Mike if he was “the only one who does this extra credit work”, referring to Mike’s consistent talking to the press over the years. Mike joked that “yes I am the only one…the bastards”.  The interviewer wondered if there was a sense that if Eddie were to “do this that he would rip someone’s head off?”  (Wow, what a distorted reputation!)  Mike said he “didn’t think he would” that Ed likes/ “is good at doing press…the printed kind, I think he’s into that more.”

Origins of “Backspacer” album title:  “If you look on the old typewriter…that everybody used to use”, the backspacer button on there that’s where it comes from….Ed writes a lot of lyrics on old typewriters “and has done (the band kind of) ”look at the record as going back through out lives a little bit, hence the title.”

About “The Fixer”:  Mike said his take on it is that it refers to when the band give Ed songs he “whips them together in his cauldron of ideas (and) he fixes them and that is kind of what that’s all about.” About the song’s concise length, Mike said that as they are writing and playing they edit and say, ‘we need to cut some fat here’ and they didn’t want to take too much time to get to the chorus.  He mentioned that if you listen to The Ramones, they are a “great example of that”, with some songs clocking in at 1:28. “You want them to sound short and you want to hear them again.” “since the beginning of our band”

Mike’s favorite “Backspacer tracks:  “I like ‘Amongst The Waves’ ” it’s “exciting…bluesy, Stone wrote” that one.  “Just Breathe” is quieter, “might be my fave of Ed’s…”, contains “orchestrations we’ve never done…violins, finger picking, French Horns.  The DJ asked if 1993 Pearl Jam would have attempted a track with French Horn, and Mike replied, “we would have made fun of it in 1993″, and agreed with the DJ about how the Rolling Stones incorporated  the instrument and made it work and further mentioned that the horn is used “within the tapestry of the song, not forward in the mix.”



Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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