Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and Flight to Mars Shares His Five Favorite Songs to Play
Mon, 14 May 2012 12:34:19
Mike McCready continues to rip some of the best riffs and solos in rock music.
Not only do we still hear gems from Ten and Vs. (Bonus Tracks) all over the radio on a regular basis, but songs such as "Fixer" from 2009's Backspacer emanate a similar transcendent power. He's one of those guys that makes magic every time he picks up a guitar. In addition, he and Stone Gossard maintain a righteous chemistry that expands Pearl Jam's sound to divine heights. Their partnership is one of many reasons why Pearl Jam are one of the greatest of all time.
Currently, McCready is paying homage to UFO with Flight to Mars. While maintaining the bombast and brilliance of Michael Schenker's original work, McCready instills a piece of himself into the songs, making for one unforgettable show [Tour Dates]. Proceeds from the jaunt benefit Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's Camp Oasis for kids afflicted with the disease and Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Mike McCready shares his five favorite songs to play.
Check out the list below and catch Flight to Mars on tour.
Pearl Jam – "Alive"
For Pearl Jam, I love playing "Alive". That's a fun one because I get to do a big solo at the end of it.
Pearl Jam – "Black"
Off of Ten, I also really like to play "Black". For me, the solo definitely gives me space. I stay to the one main part, and then I try to expand on that every night we play it. If I'm not thinking about it—I'm just going, my eyes are closed, and I can see the guitar neck in my head—that's when I'm playing it the best. I can't force that to happen though. That just happens sometimes. If I start thinking about it too much, I'm not doing it as well. It's a weird paradox. I have to be spiritually motivated by it somehow [Laughs]. I could be keying off of Eddie's vocals or the drums and bass we're doing. The number one is to forget it and just go.
Pearl Jam – "Off He Goes"
There's so much! I like to play "Off He Goes". It's a cool song. I like the lyrics and the mysterious nature of the song. I get to approach the solo differently every night. I can go more country on it if I want. Or, I can do a wah thing or delay thing. It challenges me to do different things. To make it subtle and meaningful is the challenge for me on that song.
Pearl Jam – "Inside Job"
"Inside Job" is a song that I wrote, and I get to play a big double-neck guitar when I'm doing that. That song has a lot to do with Crohn's Disease and how to deal with it. It doesn't spell that out. However, to me, it feels like how you have to deal with things from the inside and not with the outside perspective sometimes.
The Who – "Baba O'Reilly"
I like "Baba O'Reilly" because the crowd goes so crazy for it. That's a fun one! It's a good representation. It's one of the earliest songs I learned on guitar. My teacher Mike Wilson taught me that keyboard part on guitar when I was a kid. He was a fantastic teacher when I was eleven-years-old.
Have you heard Flight to Mars? What's your favorite Mike McCready song?
For more with Mike McCready click here!
See our most recent interview about Stone Gossard here!