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“I’m working on a little project about the Seattle scene”: Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready is writing a rock opera about the triumphs and tragedies of grunge

A new Pearl Jam album AND a grunge rock opera? Stop it Mike McCready, that’s just showing off



Last month, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready unexpectedly shared a live performance of an acoustic track titled Crying Moon that he says he wrote as a tribute to his late friend, and former Temple Of The Dog bandmate, Chris Cornell

Introducing the song, McCready references the fact that a number of his friends in the Seattle music scene passed away, and says that death in the city’s artistic community became “a horrible cliché”.

Alongside the clip, McCready posted: “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! 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.”

Now, in a new interview with Guitar World, McCready has revealed that Crying Moon will feature in a ‘rock opera’ that he’s writing about the Seattle scene, which will make reference to the passing of Soundgarden‘s frontman.

“I look at him as one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time, aside from being a friend,” McCready says of Cornell in the interview. “I love Chris and I’m working on a little project about the Seattle scene and a musical kind of rock opera thing. He’s part of it.”

McCready says that Crying Moon will appear in his rock opera, which he currently envisages as “a record and maybe some sort of stage/play thing.”

“I’m just in the middle of it,” he says. “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.”

The guitarist also reveals that Pearl Jam have almost completed their next studio album, which they’ve been recording with rock’s hottest producer of the moment, Andrew Watt (The Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne)

“It’s just about finished,” McCready tells Guitar World of the follow-up to 2020’s Gigaton. “I think there’s a few tweaks here and there that have to happen, and we’re probably not going to have anything out this year. But Andrew Watt brought an energy and a youthfulness and a great ear to us that I think we needed.

“He kind of kicked us in our asses a little bit. Like, ‘Okay, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go go go!’ He’s the most hyper guy I’ve ever met besides myself. But he’s a giant fan of our band, and he’s a really smoking guitar player in his own right.”

Guitar World’s full Mike McCready interview will be published in the coming weeks.