Pearl Jam has started recording its ninth studio album with producer Brendan O'Brien, guitarist Mike McCready told Seattle radio station KISW yesterday (May 1). Though only "four or five" songs are being worked on so far, McCready said the band is hoping to release the record in 2008.
The new effort, a follow-up to its self-titled 2006 album, finds Pearl Jam reteaming with longtime producer Brendan O'Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against the Machine) for the first time since 1998's "Yield." O'Brien has also produced Pearl Jam's "Vs." (1993), "Vitalogy" (1994) and "No Code."
The two parties first reunited last year to record a cover of the Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" for the soundtrack to the Adam Sandler film "Reign Over Me."
"Brendan works really fast," Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament told Billboard.com in March. "He's a super pro. I've always felt, working with him, that he understood me as a bass player and that's not always easy. A lot of producers are there to please the singer. But I've always had a great rapport with him. I can tell him I want something to sound like the O'Jays or Led Zeppelin or PJ Harvey and he gets it."
"We've always been friends," O'Brien told Billboard.com last fall. "They were great to me when we were making records together [before], and we still remained very good friends ... I still think they're a great band. Eddie [Vedder] has one of the best, if not the best, voices out there. When he sings, people believe them."
As previously reported, Pearl Jam is about to embark on a 13-date East Coast tour that runs from June 11-30.
In an effort to support Portland, Ore., U.S. Senate candidate Steve Novick, the band has set aside special tickets to its sold-out shows in New York, Camden, N.J., and Washington, D.C., that include donations to Novick's campaign. Novick donation tickets to the Washington, D.C., show include access to a meet-and-greet with guitarist Stone Gossard.
Last month, Gossard was among a group of musicians that also included R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, the Decemberists' Colin Meloy, Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker and Spoon's Britt Daniel who released a letter of support for the candidate.
Pearl Jam's eponymous 2006 album peaked at No 2 on The Billboard 200 and lead single "World Wide Suicide" reached No. 1 on the Modern Rock chart.