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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk FH's Avatar
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    10.22.09 @ 11:47 AM
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    More than a decade after the height of the Seattle rock explosion, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains are long gone and Mudhoney have become a cult band. Pearl Jam are the last man standing.

    And despite their best efforts to maintain a low profile, their Riot Act debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling more than 165,000 copies. No one could be more surprised than guitarist Mike McCready.

    "I'm amazed that people are even still wanting to listen to us," he said. "With all the other music out there and the shifting times, I'm surprised that people still consider us relevant. I'll hear us on classic rock radio stations and I'll go, 'Oh, my God, we're getting old!' I'm just grateful to still be around."

    McCready credits Pearl Jam's longevity to their chemistry and work ethic. And taking breaks from the band hasn't hurt any either.

    "We tend to stay out of each other's lives as much as possible when we're not working," McCready said. "We see our different friends and just get away from each other so when we get back together everything is fresh. When we all met in the studio this time it felt like coming home."

    Riot Act is more of a foot-to-the-floor rock record than 2000's Binaural. "Save You," "Ghost," "Get Right" and "Green Disease" are loose and stormy, expressing the band's interest in up-tempo garage rock, and slower tracks like "Love Boat Captain" and the single "I Am Mine" are scruffy and galvanic. Drummer Matt Cameron, who assisted with songwriting, provides technical heft, keeping the beats tight when his bandmates start to sprawl, and producer Adam Kasper encouraged Pearl Jam to keep their arrangements sparse and rocking.

    Although none of the songs on Riot Act directly addresses the events of September 11, McCready said the tension and tone of the album was colored by the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

    "The events that have happened since then were weighing heavily on our minds or had changed us emotionally and psychically," he admitted. "So there are some darker themes on this record and that's probably indicative of where some of those harder songs came from also."

    Almost half the cuts on Riot Act are augmented with keyboards by frontman Eddie Vedder's friend Kenneth "Boom" Gaspar, who provides an additional dimension.

    "When there's keyboards you have to kind of play less on guitar," McCready said. "But having more keyboards was something I always wanted since [having producer] Brendan O'Brien play on 'Betterman.' It was a conscious effort to bring another sound into the equation."

    McCready said that, for him, "I Am Mine" is most indicative of Pearl Jam's current frame of mind. It may be a somewhat melancholy bar room song, but it glimmers with hope and optimism.

    "It was more about the positive theme that in between life and death I have my mind, and that's the only thing I can control. Everything else is pretty much out of control, but that's all right. I can live. I think the song has a very positive feeling to it. The way the song's written and the way Eddie sings it, it feels like we're back and we're still relevant."

    The second single from Riot Act will likely be "Save You," written mostly by McCready. Built around a high-octane rhythm, the song starts out in overdrive and doesn't relent.

    "It just came from a guitar riff that I had," McCready said. "When we got together to work on the record, I brought in two ideas. One idea I worked really hard on and I thought it was really cool. I showed it to [guitarist] Stone [Gossard], and he goes, 'Um, you got anything else.' And so I went, 'OK, sh--. And I played him the 'Save You' riff, and he seemed excited about that."

    Pearl Jam will play charity benefits at the Key Arena in Seattle on December 8 and 9, then the group will head to Australia and Japan before touring the U.S. next spring. The band is negotiating to bring Audioslave and Sleater-Kinney on tour, but nothing's been confirmed yet, McCready said.

  2. #2
    Top Of The World
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    If I were Pearl Jam, I would be a little nervous having Audioslave as openers. They could definitely hold their own on tour with Audioslave, but have you ever seen/heard Rage Against The Machine live?

    They were CRUSHINGLY powerful.
    Fast Eddie

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk FH's Avatar
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    One thing maybe to look forward to would be Chris Cornell getting onstage with Pearl Jam for a short "Temple of the Dog" set.

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure that PJ could hold their ground against Audioslave. The Temple Of The Dog thing would be cool and I've been waiting for it to happen since Cameron joined the band. Audioslave is playing Letterman tonight so we'll see how powerful they are "Live" (if you call such a thing Live).
    "Right Now.....Mike is thinking about a solo project."<br /><br />"Victory has a thousand fathers. Defeat is an orphan."

  5. #5
    Top Of The World
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    Man it would be great to hear Hunger Strike live...
    Pick up the fucking phone Eddie and call someone!!

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk FH's Avatar
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  7. #7
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    That was quite a controvercial article when it first came out. I think the truth about Mr. Vedder is somewhat less harsh then the article put across but there is some truther in there.
    "Right Now.....Mike is thinking about a solo project."<br /><br />"Victory has a thousand fathers. Defeat is an orphan."

  8. #8
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    They lost alot of the old fire they had after "Vitalogy" but I'm hearing ALOT of it in the new album "Riot Act".
    Fast Eddie

  9. #9
    The Dude Dan Halen's Avatar
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    Damn, that would be so awesome if they toured together. It wouldn't matter to me who opens because seeing both would be amazing. I'm impressed with each band's new album.
    "It's so damn hot... milk was a bad choice." --Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

 

 

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