Pearl Jam has "no set date" for returning to the studio to follow-up last year's self-titled album, but the group couldn't pass up a series of "pretty cool offers" on the live front this summer, guitarist Mike McCready tells Billboard.com.
Pearl Jam will hit the road in Europe for three weeks beginning June 8 in Lisbon, and will also headline the final day of Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 5.
"People still want to see us and we're having fun doing it," McCready says. "The last year-and-a-half run was a long one for us. We're all getting a little bit older and having families. But these seemed like good opportunities, so we're going to take them."
With a laugh he adds, "That being said, we're probably not going to go out for another year-and-a-half tour for the rest of our lives."
Since wrapping that extensive outing in December, band members have been demoing material on their own while staying in occasional contact via email. McCready says he has tested out some ideas with guitarist Stone Gossard and drummer Matt Cameron in separate sessions as well.
"When we get it all together, we'll decide to do a record," McCready says. "That may be a year from now or half-a-year from now."
Pearl Jam did hit the studio at the tail end of 2006 to record a cover of the Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" for the new Adam Sandler film "Reign Over Me." Sandler approached Vedder to cover the tune at a Los Angeles show last year, but the frontman, an admitted Who fanatic, was a bit nervous about going through with it.
"Eddie asked Stone and I what the guitar players thought, and I told him, 'I know you can nail this,'" McCready says. "I've heard him messing around in the studio, singing Who songs by himself in the vocal room in-between takes, and he's nailing it there. I knew he'd put everything into it, because he'd know Pete Townshend might someday listen to it."
On the Brendan O'Brien-produced final version, which was released as the A-side of the band's annual holiday single for its fan club, Vedder unleashes blood-curdling screams the likes of which have rarely been heard from him on record. "It's funny -- Stone says he has this natural fuzz box on his voice and he's definitely using it here," McCready says.
McCready and his U.F.O. tribute band Flight To Mars will anchor the fifth CCFA benefit on Saturday in Seattle. Vedder and Pearl Jam keyboardist Boom Gaspar will also be on stage April 21-22 in Honolulu for Jack Johnson's Kokua benefit, and Vedder has also signed on for an acoustic set at the Hullabaloo benefit for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music on May 5 at Los Angeles' Henry Fonda Theatre.