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Tag: Mike McCready

Pearl Jam rock Van Halen medley at concert in Hartford (video)

by on Oct.27, 2013, under ROCK NEWS, ROCK TOUR DATES, VIDEO

Pearl Jam rock Van Halen medley at concert in Hartford (video)

Pearl Jam rocked a Van Halen medley at their concert from Hartford, Connecticut's XL Center this past Friday (October 25). Back in 2010 show at the same venue Pearl Jam played 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love,' but this time they added 'Eruption' to another performance of 'Ain't Talkin.'

Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder at Friday's concert: "The last time we played here, in 2010, we played a song and we said it was the only time we would ever play this song. And it was the only time we ever played this song. But as soon as we walked into the back room tonight… I was, like, 'This is where we played that song! And, for some reason, I just really need to play that song again!' But before we play that song, he's (points to lead guitarist Mike McCready) going to play this song."

Congratulations to Pearl Jam at their new album 'Lightning Bolt' sold 166,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at the top of the Billboard 200 album charts this week. It's the band's fifth record to go to No. 1 on the charts.

Pearl Jam Lighting Bolt album cover

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Rival Sons News: Pinkpop recap, new album news, Jay Buchanan benefit track for The Compound Studio

by on Jun.08, 2012, under CD/DVD RELEASES, INTERVIEWS, LINKS, ROCK NEWS, ROCK TOUR DATES, VIDEO

Rival Sons News: Pinkpop recap, new album news, Jay Buchanan benefit track for The Compound Studio

Rival Sons continue to do rock proud, as not only does the vibe and power of their music continue to shine through everywhere around the world, so does the absolute quality of the music and musicianship. It's no secret that I am a huge fan of this band, and that I will continue to support and back them until they are a huge headlining act in their homeland of the U.S. and beyond. They create a kinship with their music and I feel it like most of you do or at least will! The band is currently hitting all the major festivals in Europe, already having played Pinkpop, Rock im Park and Rock am Ring in Germany among others. They also just rocks some gigs opening for Guns N' Roses in the Netherlands and Germany, and their eagerly anticipated new album 'Head Down' is due in August.

Rival Sons rock the Download Festival this weekend (June 10) and continue with more European gigs up to July 21st.

'Head Down', the follow-up to the band's 2011 breakthrough album, Pressure & Time, was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Dave Cobb and Grammy-winning engineer Vance Powell. The album is due to be released on Earache Records in late August.

Rival Sons guitarist Scott Holiday comments:

"We have officially completed and turned in our next full length record. We thought we might give ourselves a bit more time to work this time around, as opposed to the 20 days for Pressure & Time... BUT, it was even MORE crazy this time. Everything was finished in about the same amount of time (22 days), but this time we are giving much more music (a much longer record) - nearly twice that of P&T.

"Done in Nashville this time - amazing people, music, music scene, countryside, and some cool record shops. We re-enlisted our long-time producer and friend, Dave Cobb (Jamie Johnson, Secret Sisters, Shooter Jennings, and uh... Rival Sons), and this time we brought in the engineering and mix wizardry of one Mr. Vance Powell (Jack White, Dead Weather, Kings of Leon).

"Songs were once again written and recorded on the spot, allowing the listener to really peer in and catch a snapshot of the moment, and our immediate instincts. Most songs were captured in a few takes, not to mention plenty of first-takers. Pretty off the cuff and unadulterated. We have never had a wish to be predictable or sedentary with our music, and this record explores and supports that ethos pretty well. In other words, this record is not P&T, but delves into a bunch of other musical ideas and sounds. Much more of a 'long-form' record as a whole. Fist-pumpers, ass-shakers, foot-stompers, air guitaring/bassing/drummers, tear-jerkers, heart-string-pullers, and a few straight up freak outs. That's all I'll say for now. Due out late this August."
Here's some video footage shot while taking a break from the studio:


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Here's brief interview from Pinkpop, followed by some kick ass footage of the band at the festival:

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Watch some amazing acoustic performance footage from a Pinkpop Festival acoustic session here


The Compound Studio in Signal Hill, CA. is the recording studio with a buddy’s-house vibe and matter-of-factly professional sound. Anthony "Antoine" Arvizu is the studio owner and manager, recording and producing most of the artists that come to the studio for that "Compound Sound." Like so many studios, The Compound Studio has been digging deep into debt for a few years now and they had considered closing the doors for good, then word got around and the idea of creating a compilation record to raise funds and raise awareness came together. Some artists and producers of note who have worked at the studio include: Mavis Staples, Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) Ryan Bingham, Marc Ford (The Black Crowes, Ben Harper, Booker T. Jones), Ikey Owens (Jack White, The Mars Volta, Free Moral Agents), The Cold War Kids and now Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons.

Jay Buchanan contributes a fantastic track, 'Rose In Your Teeth' on 'S.O.S. (Save Our Studio) A Benefit Album' by Compound Records. You can hear the track here and order the 49 track album to help keep the studio alive www.thecompoundstudio.com

Check out The Compound studio on facebook here.

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Pearl Jam News: Mike McCready’s ‘Flight To Mars’ UFO tribute benefit band, movie soundtrack, Eddie Vedder charity track

by on May.14, 2012, under CD/DVD RELEASES, LINKS, ROCK NEWS, ROCK TOUR DATES, VIDEO

Pearl Jam News: Mike McCready’s ‘Flight To Mars’ UFO tribute benefit band, movie soundtrack, Eddie Vedder charity track

Mike McCready's Flight to Mars, his tribute to UFO, is currently on a 7-date 10th Anniversary tour. In Flight to Mars, McCready channels his inner Michael Schenker while imparting his own sense of soul on the underated English group's classic tunes.

Proceeds from the tour benefit Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's Camp Oasis for kids afflicted with the disease and Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness. Both are non-profit organizations which the guitarist has helped support for almost ten years. Flight To Mars plays tonight in Santa Ana, California at The Observatory.

Artist Direct talked to McCready about Flight To Mars, his passion for UFO, and the cause behind the band:
What was the initial impetus behind Flight to Mars?

MM: I was trying to figure out a fun way to raise more money for kids who have Crohn's Disease or Colitis. For me, fun entails getting together and playing with friends of mine in a cover band. That's came to mind. UFO is a band no one had really done which I knew about. Michael Schenker and that band were very important to me growing up as a guitar player. When we were kids, Stone Gossard and I were so into them we used to trade pictures of Michael Schenker [Laughs].

You're using music for a very positive goal. That's one of the best aspects of this.

MM: Right! If we can do something and be proactive and solution-oriented, that's what life is about. Instead of sitting around, you've got to get out there. I have a lot of energy, and I want to devote that to positive efforts. It helps me to come out and talk about Crohn's and Colitis, especially when I meet other people who have it.

When did you first discover UFO?

MM: That's a good question. I don't exactly remember. I had the record in my house in 1979. I don't remember how it got there though [Laughs]. I might've gotten it as a present or from a friend, but I remember having the Strangers in the Night live record after hearing it at a buddy's house. As a young guitar player, they were one of the bands that made me go, "Wow, what's this all about?" They had really great songs. I loved Phil Mogg's voice, and I loved Michael Schenker's guitar playing. I loved how the songs were structured. It was very exciting to hear that. Strangers in the Night is what we mostly cover.

Is it important for you to infuse your style into the covers? These definitely have your flare.

MM: It's mostly because I don't know how to play like Michael Schenker [Laughs]. He's so good it's hard for me to play him note for note. He's the kind of guitar player who can hit every single note. He probably practiced a whole bunch. I'm not a guy who's practiced a whole bunch. I've just played in bands since I was eleven-years-old. That was my upbringing. I practiced a bit but never my scales. My flare, as you say—which I appreciate—is me not knowing how to play as well as Michael Schenker [Laughs].

There's a blues element to your renditions of the UFO songs.

MM: That's how I play. The feel aspect of it is important to me. Michael Schenker had a feel aspect, but he was a German guitar player and he came from a different thought process—which is probably more of a classical background. Within that, he had a certain feeling. I can feel it when he's playing. I didn't come from that background though. I came from metal and blues and a mixture of those two things.
Read the rest of the interview with more on McCready talking about Micheal Schenker and the next Pearl Jam album: www.artistdirect.com

Flight To Mars tour dates:
May 14 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
May 15 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
May 16 - Las Vegas, NV - Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip
May 17 - West Hollywood, CA - The Troubadour
May 20 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
May 22 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
May 23 - Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market


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McCready wrote the music for a new Matthew Lillard-directed movie called 'Fat Kid Rules the World.' You may remeber Lillard from his acting work in films like ‘Scream,’ ‘She’s All That,’ ‘Scooby Doo,’ and more recently the Oscar-nominated movie ‘The Descendants.’ This is his directorial debut and he told Spinner.com that it was a major coup to land Mike McCready for his musical contributions. “It’s one of the few times in my entire life where the agent has made a direct impact on my life,” says Lillard of the contact who put him in touch with the Pearl Jam guitarist. “She said, ‘Do you need music for your movie? What about Mike McCready from Pearl Jam?’ and I was like, ‘That would be heaven on earth.’”

Lillard added that his agent made the phone call and much to his surprise he was dining with and pitching his film to McCready four days later. “It was one of the best collaborative relationships I’ve ever had,” said Lillard. McCready earned a 2004 Golden Globe Award nomination for ‘Man of the Hour,’ for Pearl Jam's contribution to the film ‘Big Fish.’ McCready also served as one of the musicians helping score last year’s comedy, ‘Horrible Bosses.’ He’s also worked as a guest composer for episodes of the TV series’ 'Hawaii Five-0' and 'Fringe.'

‘Fat Kid Rules the World’ deals with an overweight and depressed teen whose life is saved when a former classmate and a local guitar legend convince him to form a band. The film has been making the festival circuit rounds and won the South By Southwest Audience Award for Narrative Feature Spotlight back in March. The movie closed the TIFF Nextwave Festival this past Sunday (May 13)  and Lillard is currently seeking distribution opportunities.

Eddie Vedder is giving us a taste of the single he created for model Christy Turlington Burns’ compilation album, 'Every Mother Counts Vol. 2.' The album is the second installment of Burns’ charity album series and features the Pearl Jam frontman’s new track, “Skipping.”


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"Eddie was amazing to accept this project while in the midst of so much," Burns tells Rolling Stone. "I spoke to him and exchanged several emails about his contribution. 'Skipping' is such a sweet song and I just love that his daughter Olivia has a little cameo at the start. He once wrote me saying that his girls would be proud one day that their dad contributed to such a meaningful project."

The album also includes previously unreleased tracks by Beck, Coldplay, Bono and The Edge, Alanis Morissette, and Dave Matthews Band, plus more.Every Mother Counts Vol. 2 is available now at participating Starbucks through May 29.

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The return of Mad Season?

by on May.14, 2012, under CD/DVD RELEASES, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

The return of Mad Season?

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready recently told a Kentucky radio station that Mad Season, the supergroup that featured him, late Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley, bassist John Baker Saunders and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin, could be making a semi-return later this year. McCready said that he plans to reissue the group's only album, 'Above' (originally released in 1995), as well as a live record. He also mentioned that there is unreleased material in the vault that he would like to complete and release.

McCready told WFPK, "We were trying to do another record, but it just didn't work, Layne went off and did Alice In Chains and then he died. So, what happened was, I had to change the band name to Disinformation. From the Disinformation sessions there are probably twelve songs, and out of that, probably eight that are pretty great. They need to be edited, but they're all music, so we're trying to find singers that are up to the caliber of Layne to do justice to it."

McCready also added that he hopes to have the singers in place soon and get the material into the hands of fans before the end of the year.

Mad Season officially dissolved in 1999 after the death of bassist John Baker Saunders. Staley died three years later in 2002. Mad Season's sole album, "Above", went gold (500,000 in sales) and produced two Top 20 modern rock singles, 'River Of Deceit' and 'I Don't Know Anything.' The album cover featured an illustration by Staley based on a photograph of him and his girlfriend Demri Parrott.


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Marking and remembering the death of the great Layne Staley of Alice In Chains (video)

by on Apr.05, 2012, under INTERVIEWS, ROCK B-DAYS/TODAY IN ROCK, ROCK NEWS, TV ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Marking and remembering the death of the great Layne Staley of Alice In Chains (video)

Layne Staley was born in Kirkland, Washington on August 22nd, 1967. He actually began by playing drums at the age of 12, but soon aspired to be a singer. Staley was reportedly in several glam bands before 1986 when he formed 'Alice N' Chainz'. While 'Alice N' Chainz' was playing speed metal in the Seattle Area, Staley met guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The two became room mates and eventually Staley would join Jerry Cantrell's band 'Diamond Lie', which later changed it's name to 'Alice in Chains'. Although today marks the death of Layne Staley, his body wasn't found until April 20th. Here's the official MTV release on his death from 2002.

The King County Medical Examiner positively identified Staley's body on Saturday (April 20), following an autopsy. Exact time and cause of death are pending, as laboratory results could take several weeks, a spokesperson said. Staley was 34.


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Police responded to a call to check on Staley's well-being that was placed by a family member who claimed to have not spoken to Staley for two weeks. They arrived at Staley's address with the family member in Seattle's University District at 5:41 p.m. PT on Friday, according to the police report. Upon discovering his body on the couch surrounded by intravenous drug paraphernalia, according to the Associated Press, officers called investigators from the medical examiner's office, who arrived on the scene at approximately 7:30-8:00 p.m., a spokesperson said. Authorities said he'd been dead for several days, so the body wasn't immediately identifiable as that of Staley, whose longtime battle with drug dependency was a central component of his band's music — a dark and bombastic sound that continues to influence artists some 15 years after the group first formed.

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With Staley as their scowling, tortured frontman, Alice in Chains claimed a spot as the darkest and hardest band of the early '90s grunge movement, bringing a healthy dose of metal to the new movement. Born in Kirkland, Washington, in 1967, Staley formed Alice in Chains while still a high school student in the mid-'80s. The singer soon formed a friendship with guitarist Jerry Cantrell, who joined the band in 1987 and provided the other half of the group's creative core. Drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr (replaced in 1992 by Mike Inez) soon followed, and the band landed a deal with Columbia Records in 1989.

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The band's 1990 debut, Facelift, found a home at both college rock and classic rock radio outlets, chiefly on the strength of the single "Man in the Box." The album soon went gold, and the band followed it with an appearance on the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe's Seattle love letter, "Singles." With anticipation high, the band delivered Dirt in 1992, pushing AIC to triple platinum status with caustic tracks such as "Angry Chair," "Rooster" and "Them Bones." A prime spot on Lollapalooza soon followed, but the trek would be the band's last major tour and Alice in Chains would be hard pressed to maintain their momentum.

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Alice in Chains released the EP Jar of Flies in 1994 and a self-titled album in 1995, but they did not tour to support either offering. During this relatively quiet time, Staley provided vocals for the 1995 debut album from Mad Season, which also featured Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and the Screaming Trees' Barrett Martin. While rumors swirled about Staley's declining health and drug dependency, the group surfaced in 1996 to perform on MTV's "Unplugged" series. Save for a series of compilations cobbled together by Columbia, it would be the last music Alice in Chains would release.

Layne's former fiancée, Demri Lara Parrott died on October 29th, 1996 from bacterial endocarditis, allegedly as a result of drug use.

"I know I'm near death, I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way." - Layne Staley 2002

We miss you Layne

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