Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam

Backspacer (Released 09/18/09)

"As hard as it is actually not, take a good record," says Eddie Vedder laughing. "You need to just a good band and a dictionary - the work after that done practically by itself." Vedder knows what he is talking, finally found in the discography of Pearl Jam already eight fantastic Studio albums, all of which are based on the above-mentioned list of ingredients.

Earlier this year, dealt Pearl Jam intense again after a long time with their debut album Ten of 1991, whose pieces she fOr a new edition of the LP together with Langzeitkollaborateur Brendan O'Brien completely abmischten new, to publish them as a deluxe edition, specifically including all those mementos and visual delights that make hard fans mouths water: even the cover of the original demo cassette was there to see the Vedder his new band members for the establishment of Pearl Jam let come. However, Pearl Jam not just as a nostalgic known, and so they were, while on the one hand went through their back catalog, while simultaneously, Backspacer take, their ninth and probably fokussiertestes and most dynamic Album Ever.

"The starting point was this time songs, unlike studio time that you simply so booked and only then gets going, "says Vedder On the Origin of Backspacer, its 12 songs are concentrated 36 minutes to slim (but damn eventful), with high pressure, so to speak, and almost laser-guided precision. "We were in flow, as the saying goes, and the songs were composed therefore very fast. The album is very strong interlocked, it has clear contours; saying: Nothing sounds it aimlessly or as a jam session, instead it is durchorchestriert taut ".

"Our intuition told us: Let's take a really big record," adds guitarist Stone Gossard added. "And let us therefore omit all that has no place on a really big album nothing."

"It is very tight and precise ", also thinks Mike McCready, "And it has plenty of catchy hooks and moments to forget the beautiful violins and French horns, the use fOr us was completely new territory. I believe that people will be only surprised and absolutely thrilled. "

After everyone had filed fOr on song ideas, the band came in December 2008 at the home of bassist Jeff Ament in Montana together for the first rehearsal session. In no time the new songs took shape, so that the band for two weeks went into the studio in Los Angeles in February. Brendan O'Brien, the first time on Vs.-Album of 1993 Pearl Jam worked and since then, among other things Bruce Springsteen, AC / DC and Mastodon was behind the controls, was after ten year break again one of the party - he had recently yield (1998) produced - and so the next chapter of a creative partnership that means a lot to the band started.

"Good for us, there is simply no better producer," says Gossard, "Finally running with us a very special thing off; somehow everything is so unfinished, yes, imperfect with us - it is a Clash of personalities. Brendan can not beat it, to link our imperfections, that is, what is not running as smoothly what makes us human, with its professional approach. "

"When we composed the songs, he was like a real band member involved," adds drummer Matt Cameron added. "He even strapped on the guitar and made her hands dirty. Brendan was there the whole time, the middle of everything and just as we fully focused on the music. There are types that can with the very latest digital technologies deal - which does not mean that Brendan can not - but he just knows how to work with tape, how you manage to make it sound a Mellotron or Clavinet really good; it's just from the old analog school as we way also. He knows how you have analog bands like us to tackle. "

"And besides that, he knows how must absorb a rock band live," says Jeff Ament continue. "Because we work: All FüNF in one room, and the songs are recorded directly to tape. There are only a few bands that make their albums still is. "

Backspacer is the result of a particularly creative period of the band, which can already be seen in full-throttle rock numbers like "The Fixer" and "Johnny Guitar", but also to more contemplative and quieter moments such as "Just Breathe" or "The end", the overwhelming last song of the LP. By his own testimony, the band found everywhere and so reported at any day- and nighttime Inspiration Vedder for example, that he skipped the opening song "See My Friends" wrote "in a little room", "in the sleeping under and over my people and I therefore did not want to make as much noise. I had this little drum machine and an electric guitar, which was inserted in a tiny effect device of the correct size of an iPhone, and somehow I managed it, to produce this really loud garage rock sound à la The Kinks. "With the full band recorded, the song is loud Jeff Ament "The first real 'Grunge' number of us" while Stone Grossard the opinion is that it was, this is a musical tribute to old friends, the damned of the garage rock namely: Mudhoney.

"Speed ​​Of Sound", one of the mid-tempo songs on the album was, however, written and recorded only at the last minute: Vedder came up with the idea to the studio when the band and O'Brien already there were, for 14 days the finished songs in the Southern Tracks Studios in Atlanta mixdown. He had written him while he with Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones Jamaica was working ... and the sessions again until deep into the night lasted, "I wanted to do something that is somewhere between Tom Waits and Keith Richards, a song about those types who sits as the last still at the bar when all others are gone; a rather sad piece so. Then I came back to Atlanta and made the song single-handedly done, but Brendan immediately had all something to import - and so we built more and more tracks around it. At first it was only an acoustic guitar and a guy who sings as if he were incredibly bad mood, and suddenly it was this huge sound landscape that addition rather sounds confident. "

While Vedder it burned, the lessons he too from his work on the soundtrack Into The Wild had learned to Backspacer to transfer, it was an intriguing conversation about the human psyche with actress Catherin Keener, one of the leading ladies of the film, which in him the idea for the text of "Unthought Known" aroused. "Since I fOr the Into The Wild-Soundtrack have long been sitting alone in the studio, I could not wait to finally play with the group, "he says. "And I do not mean any group, but these four guys. So try a solo project and to have had all the strings in his hands, enough only times - I must not do it again as soon. Because this experience what we do as a band, made incredibly exciting for me again, and I work in the constellation to which we have developed, really enjoyed this time very much. "

"Just Breathe" originated from an idea that Vedder on the Into The Wild-Soundtrack has used: There is a simple riff Eddie, around which the band, and O'Brien have gradually built to a large package. "The piece builds perfectly Into The Wild "says Matt Cameron. "A tightly orchestrated, massive arrangement that still sounds Manageable and familiar, it is not the listener so overwhelmed. Brendan has since been working with strings and sounds with French horns and various other elements, but so that it does not overcharge but also acts to so much more. "

This balance between orchestral lushness landscaped and conscious lightness is Ever a feature of the quieter songs Backspacer. On "Just Breathe" plays Jeff Ament a bass track in the style of Carol Kaye and underlines the slight Beach Boys aftertaste, which is reflected in the moving harmonies of the piece. Vocally runs Vedder at its best: soulful and honest, and with massive emphasis. "I was sitting in a small room, all the windows were open gaping wide, and I had a tape recorder in front of me, than anything happening in me any feeling came suddenly high," he recalls, when asked about the origin of the song , "I wanted to write anything complex. Instead, I felt just about this capture a feeling. The song is about how to elapse the happiest moments of our lives and we noticed them anything because everything always goes so fast. It is about the desire that everything stops just once, that one can not even speak: Let's just time to breathe ... "

By his own testimony will Vedder The ideas for his lyrics All over. The text of the rock "Johnny Guitar" based for example on a story that Eddie occurred in the toilet of the band's headquarters in Seattle. "In the toilet the wood paneling is completely plastered next to the urinals with the cover artwork of old albums," reports Vedder grinning. "Approximately at eye level depends the image of a guy named Johnny Guitar Watson. Visitors should probably settle somewhere between Barry White and Buddy Guy, and he had always so slippery plate cover, to which women are not necessarily scantily clad, but let's say, they look pretty interesting from ... I imagined then a guy before who attracted to the girl on the cover feels and wonders why they probably fooling around with Johnny Guitar, where he still obviously has ten girls on every finger. Why would anyone feel like it to be one of Johnny Guitars lover, one of hundreds, if you fOr me be the only one could? "

That the songs on Backspacer usually are short and sweet, does not mean that Mike McCready less hard work has made between the frets of his guitar. Although you will find on the album might not epic characters look like on the legendary first single from Pearl Jam - "Alive" - But the game of Mike is still so stunning and unique as ever. His skill he presents as "Supersonic", that of Gossard written piece, which he describes as "a little Ramones-heavy, a little Led Zeppelin, paired with a Black Sabbath riff in the middle part" and, moreover, clearly proud is played on the backward parts of the song. On "Amongst The Waves" eventually could even live out his old penchant for blues again the guitarist; Here he plays a lick reminiscent of Mick Taylor and fits perfectly with the relaxed sound of the piece.

"Mike McCready is a guy who throws his head back and the music just flow through his body fits. this is pure magic, "says Eddie About him. "I personally find it really interesting to see how he is holding back this time and things plays that are absolutely focused and melodic."

For McCready is "Amongst The Waves" the core of the LP, because the text a feeling of rebirth and renewed transported, which also reflects the lively atmosphere of the whole album. "It reminds me of the song from standing on a paddleboard," he smiles, "or to the surf, so to actually be in the waves, and there where you can see dolphins, a wave brought and is again thrown off the board. On the power of the sea. Every time I so catch a wave, I feel like a new person. After about an hour to get out of the water and the rest of the day feels completely different. "

This feeling of freedom on the Backspacer resonates, also reflects the situation resists, in which the band is, after the their contract with Epic Records after the release rearviewmirror-Compilation (2004) has finished. In the five years that have passed since then - the album Pearl Jam (2006) the appear in the meantime on J Records -, the music industry has known very much changed, and so have Pearl Jam fOr a pleasant open way to decide what the marketing and sales of her new album relates: Universal Takes over the "physical" release in Europe, while they want to pursue a variety of new ways for the digital distribution of their LP.

"After all the hard work, after all the fighting and trouble we had with Sony, we said that we have this free space simply deserve," says Jeff Ament. "We have done enough and earned the right to publish our music today as we want it. In addition, it is now easier and faster to bring his songs to the man, and it feels good to go with the times and to use all the new technologies. Nevertheless, we are the album of course also publish on vinyl, eventually prefer dinosaurs as we the good old vinyl record, but we can indeed at the same time make available digitally, for the computer or the mobile phone. It's an exciting time in which we live. I have a feeling that the old model in which FüNF huge record companies have the final say, is over; and we are glad to witness it all. "

Also it can not wait for the band to finally present the new songs on stage: "As we have worked out the order of the songs for the album," sets Vedder on, "I was thinking secretly all the time to set-selection. So things like: Is this a song that you play on tour rather three times a month or three times a week "?

"When we returned 'Supersonic' shots, "adds McCready added, "I kept thinking: This is so great fun to play this song - people will freak out when they hear him in concert ..."

What time after the release of Backspacer concerns have Pearl Jam already a handful of other new songs up his sleeve and can not wait to file it in the studio. However, says Vedder concluded: "If you have an album in the box, feels the first at such a short grace period in which you have to you do not worry about the future. Who can say where we will end with this album? "

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