Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready looked back at the band’s ore-fame musical influences, citing how punk, rock, and metal formed the group’s distinctive sound.
McCready told Guitar-World, “I had known (guitarist) Stone (Gossard) since, like, the sixth or seventh grade. We went to Judas Priest concerts together. We learned how to headbang at Iron Maiden shows. So, there was a metal thing between us. Whereas (bassist) Jeff (Ament) came from more of a straight-edge, Minor Threat, Ramones, punk rock kind of thing. Stone has a little bit of that, too, but I was more Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest, and Kiss.
I also liked Rolling Stones and that stuff. So, there was a classic rock thing, a metal thing, and a punk thing in those three personalities right there. And that being said, we all had our similar influences. We loved old Alice Cooper. We loved Aerosmith.”
30 years on, Pearl Jam remains one of the most consistent live acts around. Mike McCready explained a while back why he thinks that is: “The sure-fire thing is just a confidence in our band, and I know that we’ve done that before and we’ll do it again, because we are a really good, tight live band. And a lot of that is non-spoken because we’ve played together for so long. It’s an interesting thing. I don’t know if there’s a sure-fire way of doing it, but I think we hit it pretty well most times we do it.”