“I look at him as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, aside from being a friend”: Mike McCready is working on a rock opera to honour Chris Cornell

It comes as the guitarist discusses a new Pearl Jam album, too.

Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready says he’s working on a rock opera about his experiences in the Seattle grunge scene.

The project is inspired by late Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell, who McCready worked with as part of the supergroup Temple of the Dog.

“I look at him as one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time, aside from being a friend,” McCready says about his late friend in a Guitar World interview. “I love Chris and I’m working on a little project about the Seattle scene and a musical kind of rock opera thing. It’s just from my experience in the Seattle music scene, and he’s part of it.”

McCready shared a glimpse of the project last month when he posted a performance of his Cornell tribute Crying Moon to Instagram. And in the interview, he says he’s imagining it to be both a record and “some sort of stage/play thing”, and that he’s working on around 18 songs.

However, the rock opera isn’t the only thing McCready is working on. Indeed, there’s a new Pearl Jam album on the horizon, the follow-up to 2020’s Gigaton.

The band have worked with Andrew Watt for the upcoming record – the highly-rated producer has worked with Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder on his solo material, as well as everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Iggy Pop to Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa.

“It’s just about finished,” says McCready about the new album. “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.”

Elsewhere, Fender have just unveiled a new version of McCready’s 1960 Stratocaster. It’s a little cheaper this time, however, setting you back $1,899 if you feel like you’ve got space for a new axe.


The destination for all things guitar.

© 2023 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.