Mike McCready Shares The Pearl Jam Song Inspired By David Gilmour
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready recently shared his career-defining songs with the band during an interview with Guitar Player. The musician revealed the track for which he used a technique picked up from one of his influencers, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.
Mike McCready founded Pearl Jam in 1990 with his bandmates Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder. The band had eleven studio albums throughout their career, and their most recent album titled ‘Gigaton’ was released in 2020. Their fourth album, ‘No Code,’ was released in 1996 with the contribution of the entire band, and the songs were mainly from their jam sessions.
Although it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, the record couldn’t impress the fans. As a result, the album quickly lost interest following its release. However, the guitarist Mike McCready stated that one of his career-defining songs took place in this album and that he had experimented with writing when he wrote ‘Present Tense’ from ‘No Code.’
McCready wrote ‘Present Tense’ by a riff and then added some lyrics on top of it. He stated that he likes to have dynamics in the songs he wrote, and when they played it live, he felt like it was something they could build upon. The song has a lot of ‘spaces,’ which is a technique inspired by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. In addition to being impacted by the musician, the guitarist stated those spaces allow the solos to ‘breathe.’
Here is what he said about writing the song:
“I wrote this song at a time when I was trying to experiment and do different things. I just came in with that riff and started singing some lyrics, and the guys helped me arrange it. I like to have a lot of dynamics in my songs, and I felt that this was something that we could really build when we played it live. The intro was just Ed and me, and hearing the crowd sing the lyrics back when we do that part live is immensely moving and satisfying.
The song is about keeping things in the present tense, not tripping out about the future too much, or worrying about the past. I love that idea. If I can stay in the present tense, my life is much better. This song is in D tuning, with the G tuned to F#. There’s a lot of space in the song. I think I’m using an MXR Phase 90on the intro, and the track builds from there. Everybody in the band is aware of space and thinking about what not to put in the song. That’s a David Gilmour thing I picked up on. He uses space to let his solos breathe.”
You can listen to the song below.