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Pearl Jam Taking It Easy in the Studio

Los Angeles – Pearl Jam has begun work on its eighth studio album in its Seattle homebase.

“We’re recording but not really putting any pressure for something to actually come out of it,” frontman Eddie Vedder told former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones on his Friday radio show, Jonesy’s Jukebox, which emanates from Los Angeles radio station KDLD-FM (Indie 103.1).

Asked if he still enjoys the recording process after 15 years of making music with Pearl Jam, Vedder answered, “Depends (on) what day it is or how much sleep you’ve had. We’ve been getting together as a whole group, all five (members), for five days a week. Actually, seven days – that was one of the problems. I think we’re going to slow it down a little bit and we’ll get something down in February.”

Vedder acknowledged it had taken some time for band members to get back in the swing of things after several months apart from one another. “You get together as a band and you want to push yourselves harder or get some place you’ve never been before, and there’s work to get there,” he said. “The length of time you all have to be communicating; when you’re not working, you don’t have to communicate at all, and you get spoiled and quiet.”

“Even close-knit bands like Fugazi, (which seems) like a four-headed monster, are (made up of) four completely different individuals,” Vedder continued. “They seem like a gang, but it’s a gang made up of individuals. It’s not as easy as you would think.”

The as-yet-untitled album will be the follow-up to 2002’s “Riot Act,” and will also be Pearl Jam’s first since leaving longtime label Epic last year. The band’s official Web site previously confirmed the set would be released “on the BMG label,” which is now allied with Epic’s Sony parent, but did not reveal specifics of the new arrangement.

Band members have also been at work on other endeavors. Guitarist Stone Gossard is making a new album with his Brad side project, while drummer Matt Cameron

has completed the first new album since 1993 with the band Hater, which features his ex-Soundgarden colleague Ben Shepherd on bass and guitarist John McBain, his longtime collaborator in Wellwater Conspiracy.

Bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Mike McCready can be heard as part of an as-yet-unnamed project with King’s X leader Doug Pinnick, but no release date has been announced for the completed album, tentatively titled “Montana.”

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