Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready Talks Prince, North Carolina Boycott
What is this tour exactly? A few months ago I remember hearing it might be a 25th-anniversary tour, but it hasn’t been billed like that.
I would say it’s an extension of the Lightning Bolt record that we put out three years ago now. We’re still on that tour. We have the same staging and we’re doing those songs and even though they’ve been around for a while, they still feel new to me in the set.
We’re all aware of the 25 years, and we’re happy about it. The person that cares about that stuff the most is probably me. Jeff and Stone, maybe not as much. They’re kind of always thinking forward. Ed also cares about the legacy and all that. But I feel like we might have covered it in the 20th with the PJ20 shows we did.
But we’re happy to be around for 25 years. It’s kind of an anomaly. Sometimes I just pinch myself and go, “Oh, my gosh, we’re still playing together and we’re still telling the same silly jokes on the road. But we’re all 50-plus and we have these new generations of fans that are coming to see us.” That’s a gift. We’re very aware of it.
Many bands that have been around as you guys are always sniping at each other and they go through all sorts of drama. You guys have had a pretty smooth run for a really long time now.
I would say that. I mean, I’ve known Stone since we were in sixth grade. Jeff and Stone have known each other forever. We’ve gotten into our squabbles and fights over the years, but the thing is, we just don’t do it in the press. You kind of just talk to each other. We’re always working on our communication, which is something that’s important. Instead of going through managers to discuss things, we will sit down and have meetings about things. That’s a process. And you have to be able to be honest with each other as much as you can. Sometimes that hurts. Sometimes that sucks. And a lot of the time it’s amazing.
We don’t hang out a ton off the road. We go out on tour and when we go home we have our own lives. Stone and I do see each other, though. But I think that it helps. It feels fresh when we get back together again.
Are you purposely hitting smaller markets on this tour? I saw you guys in a 9,000-seat arena in Hampton. You could be playing a place twice as big.
That’s an interesting thought. Going to Florida last time, I don’t think we could have played larger places. I’m not sure how big we were down there eight years ago. We are doing Wrigley [Field] and that sold out. That’s an indicator that we can do very well. It just depends. We’ll go to South America and play to 60,000. It’s insane. Then we’ll be here and play to 9,000. We’re lucky. We can go to Australia and play to 30-to-40,000. We can do that in certain places in the States, but not everywhere. It’s just where the offers are coming in. We hadn’t been to the South for a while, so that’s why we decided to come down here.