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Mike McCready Teases 'Heavier Than You'd Expect' New Pearl Jam Album

6 January 2024 | 12:04 pm | Mary Varvaris

"There’s the melody and energy of the first couple of records..."

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam (Credit: Danny Clinch)

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While Pearl Jam haven’t officially announced the release of the follow-up to 2020’s Gigaton, guitarist Mike McCready has hinted at it being nearly done. He’s also teased new music that’s “heavier than you’d expect” – count us in.

In a new interview with Classic Rock Magazine, the lead guitarist detailed his hopes that the new album would come out in 2024 and revealed that the band worked with producer Andrew Watt, who’s known for working with pop and rock legends, including Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, and more.

“I’m hoping it’s gonna come out [in 2024],” McCready said. “We worked with Andrew Watt, who’s a younger pop producer-type guy, but he’s really a rock guy at heart — I think we’re his favourite band. When we were in the studio with him this past year, he really kicked our asses, got us focused and playing, song after song.”

He continued, “It’s a lot heavier than you’d expect. There’s the melody and energy of the first couple of records. Andrew pushed us to play as hard and melodic and thoughtful as we’ve done in a long time. I feel like Matt Cameron’s drumming has elements of what he did in Soundgarden.”

Later in the interview, McCready said listeners can expect “a lot more lead guitar from me”, saying he “went crazy” with the kind of guitar-playing on the Temple Of The Dog track Reach Down. He explained, “I got to do it again. Usually, the first or second takes are best. After that, I start thinking about it, and it doesn’t have the feel. But Andrew caught the lightning in a bottle, as they say.”

Last month, Pearl Jam started teasing what might be their first Australian tour in ten years.

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Posting a snippet of themselves performing Do The Evolution at their 1998 show at Melbourne Park, they wrote in the telling caption, “Are you koala-fied for our ticket presales? Not a current member? Hop to it, mate! 🐨🦘🇦🇺 #TenDaysOfPJ”.

Pearl Jam’s twelfth album and an Australian tour in 2024? Sign us up.