Mike Speaks Again – The End

by Kathy Davis on July 21, 2009

Mikey just keeps ‘em coming!  Here’s another phone interview, this time with longtime Pearl Jam friendly station KNDD, 107.7 The End in Seattle.  There are five interview segments; here’s our recap broken into the same segments for easy reference. We’re learning a lot these past couple of days, eh kids?

About “Backspacer”: What makes Backspacer exciting to Mike is working with “Brendan O’Brien again…he brought out a lot of energy from us, by making us go outside our comfort zone” and urged us to “specifically work on songs quickly, efficiently” to “capture the energy as quick as possible…(he) pushed us to make this really cool record.”   “The Fixer” is a good  “example of some of the faster stuff on the record,” then there is some slower stuff with horns, violins, things that “we probably never would have done in the past, but Brendan had a vision to make that happen”.

Life without a record label:  “Jeff Ament had this band called Deranged Diction back in 19…I think it was ’81/’82″ and “started a fanzine in Montana by himself and would send out tapes of his band”, that’s always kind of been in his brain in his mindset  (and) in Ed’s to always kind of do it ourself…My band Shadow put shows on around Seattle” and made the posters, flyers….we “had to do it back then in the day that’s always been ingrained in our philosophy and we kind of have control issues too, and we want to make the best possible product…music, T-Shirts” and things like that “that people will enjoy.”

How will the record be released? Well “Kelly Curtis our manager has been…looking… we’re open to new ideas, new partnerships (and) we’re at a place in our career where we can pursue those, and people are interested to do business with us…we wanted to put the record out ourselves, also at Target” and at “independent records stores”, and there’s an ”international deal with Universal” for other countries since “we need some help with that.”

Why is the record out on a Sunday?  “That’s just a confusing question I wish I knew… I thought it was coming out on a Tuesday…maybe because we’re releasing it ourselves, that’s part of it, I think we’re playing a show in Seattle that day, so that could be in conjunction with it.”  (Note: REALLY Mike? Is there something else you’re supposed to be telling us?? September 20th is a Sunday. I thought maybe it was because Target sale papers hit on Sunday morning and it’s a pretty busy shopping day there and people could just throw the CD in the cart with the paper towels and toothpaste…)

Why is it still exciting to hear PJ songs on the radio?  “It’s always exciting..if people gravitate toward it they want to hear it, the radio is playing it..we’re all excited…it’s good to still be around, know what I mean?”

We do indeed know what you mean, Mike!

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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