Pearl Jam Member Reveals Why There Was ‘Shift In Power’ In Band

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Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready discussed the ‘shift in power’ in the band on Art Zone with Nancy Guppy. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

“My role in this band initially was I’m the lead guitar player, and I was happy with that role for many years. As our band kind of evolved and went through different stages, there was a shift in power. It was kind of Stone [Gossard]’s thing at first, then it became [Eddie Vedder]’s kind of vision, but our all collective vision. We all create music, we all write music, and I got more comfortable after doing the Mad Season record, that gave me more confidence in terms of my songwriting.

Prior to that I was very kind of intimidated to write songs because Jeff [Ament], Stone, and Ed were really good at it. But as I got more confident, Ed was like, ‘Hey, that’s a good song.’

That was always a thing with our band, is we’re very encouraging of each other. We fight and all these kind of things, but at the end of the day it’s more like, this is what the common cause and the good is, so let’s do music the best we can.”

He also discussed his energetic live playing with Pearl Jam.

“It is truly joy to me, it is something that is unlike any other aspect of my life, in terms of playing and getting a spiritual thing out of it, or emotional thing that is higher and more poignant than any other experience that I can have. It happens with these guys, and it happens with our crowd. I’m so into it, that’s why I jump.

I turn into this different thing, I don’t know what it is. When I’m talking to you right now, I’m not going to do the splits in the air, and roll around on the ground. But you never know, it could happen, I’ve got to be spiritually motivated. No, but not to be facetious, it’s just something I channel into what we’re doing, and I channel it into the crowd, and I’m part of it.”