"I'm working on a little project about the Seattle scene": Pearl Jam's Mike McCready is writing a rock opera about the triumphs and tragedies of grunge

Seattle rockers, including Mike McCready and Chris Cornell
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, Heart's Nancy and Ann Wilson, and Alice In Chains' Jerry Cantrell onstage at the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images)

Last month, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready unexpectedly shared a live performance of an acoustic track titled Crying Moon that he says he wrote as a tribute to his late friend, and former Temple Of The Dog bandmate, Chris Cornell

Introducing the song, McCready references the fact that a number of his friends in the Seattle music scene passed away, and says that death in the city's artistic community became "a horrible cliché".

Alongside the clip, McCready posted: "This is a song I wrote as a goodbye to my friend Chris Cornell. Crying Moon is part of my process in dealing with his death. Chris opened up my world to new heights when he let me play on Temple Of The Dog. When he agreed to sing on Mad Season as part of the Sonic Evolution show with the Seattle Symphony, I literally jumped for joy! The Temple Of The Dog reunion at that show inspired us to tour, which was amazing. Playing War Pigs live with Chris was a dream. I love and miss him."

Now, in a new interview with Guitar World, McCready has revealed that Crying Moon will feature in a 'rock opera' that he's writing about the Seattle scene, which will make reference to the passing of Soundgarden's frontman.

"I look at him as one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time, aside from being a friend," McCready says of Cornell in the interview. "I love Chris and I'm working on a little project about the Seattle scene and a musical kind of rock opera thing. He's part of it."

McCready says that Crying Moon will appear in his rock opera, which he currently envisages as "a record and maybe some sort of stage/play thing."

"I'm just in the middle of it," he says. “I’m working on a script and I've got about 18 songs that I'm working on, and I'm singing on it. It's been a long journey."

The guitarist also reveals that Pearl Jam have almost completed their next studio album, which they've been recording with rock's hottest producer of the moment, Andrew Watt (The Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne)

"It’s just about finished," McCready tells Guitar World of the follow-up to 2020's Gigaton. “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."

Guitar World’s full Mike McCready interview will be published in the coming weeks.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.