Seattle rock is known for its volume as much as anything else, so it’s ironic that the scene’s supergroups lean toward a dark and often restrained sound.
First there was Temple of the Dog, a 1992 Pearl Jam-Soundgarden conglomeration that united to pay tribute to the late musician Andy Wood.
Now there’s Mad Season, which is made up of Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees and a bassist named Baker Saunders, who McCready met in rehab.
That band’s not really a tribute to anything in particular, except maybe survival.
The record company said none of the principals are giving interviews, but there are always exceptions to prove the rule.
April’s Guitar World has a chat with McCready, courtesy of Seattle metal scenester Jeff Gilbert. And the April issue of local music publication Pandemonium has some powerful words from Staley, courtesy of a friend of a friend of a friend.
In the interview, Staley says Alice in Chains hasn’t broken up. It’s just taking “a break from the strict, stressful, busy routine. We’re going to relax a little more. We’ve renegotiated our record contract to take the pressure off having to deliver so many finished albums. We’re giving them one new album and then we’ll see what happens.”
Staley is also working on a solo record that may be out at the end of the summer.
Both McCready and Staley address drug use. But McCready is a bit more clear about his problems with drugs and alcohol and how much he worried his Pearl Jam bandmates.
Staley said Mad Season will do a couple of shows in Los Angeles and New York, and maybe a late-night TV appearance but won’t really tour. Alice in Chains may tour later.