You and Ann seem to have close connections to artists who came out of Seattle after Heart did, especially to the bands of the grunge era. Was there something about those bands that resonated with you in particular?
Oh God yeah. First of all, we grew up in Seattle; we’re Seattle kids and hometown heroes or whatever.
But it was interesting through the ‘80s, because we spent so much time in L.A. making all those videos and that kind of stuff. When we came home at the end of the ‘80s to Seattle, and all those guys from Seattle, we thought, ‘Oh, no, they’re just gonna think we’re that terrible hair band — what’s wrong with rock!’ You know we did the big hair and we did the spandex and we did the videos. It was all really irreverent by the end of the ‘80s.
We thought ‘Oh, they’re gonna call us dinosaurs, they’re going to hate us.’ But then we went back there. My best friend is Kelly Curtis, the former manager of [Mother Love Bone and] Pearl Jam. He used to work for Heart when he was a kid, basically, as a gopher and he rose through the ranks.
When Andy Wood died, who used to sing for Mother Love Bone, we all gathered together. The whole community came together for a memorial at his house. We brought our dogs.
Anyway, we all gathered and mourned for Andy. Later we met Eddie Vedder because he was going to be the new singer.
[Mother Love Bone] lost their whole record deal because Andy died, so [Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard] came to us in New York and said, ‘Can we please borrow some money to live on until [we get back on our feet]…’ And we said, ‘Yes, we’ll write you an IOU.’
We lent them some cash to live and make their record. And then they became, you know, Pearl Jam. It worked out and they paid us back. It was kind of the communal spirit of Seattle.
After being in L.A. so much, where it’s so much more competitive, it feels like an industry place. Seattle is not that way at all, and it’s still not that way. Whenever we can get on a stage with any of those guys, we just try to help each other out.
I ask you about it because the relationships between all your bands seem really positive, like that wouldn’t happen anywhere else.
It’s good people trying to do good with each other and for each other. More places are like that than not. If you go travel around, people are pretty good when you consider.
We’ve always done meet-and-greets before the show. You see a lot of people. They’re very appreciative that you would stop and take a minute and take a picture with them or anything.
You hear these stories, ‘I was going through this terrible loss in my life and your songs got me through it.’
People appreciate music and they take it to heart, [laughs] no pun intended. And they take it as powerful healing stuff for their lives. And I feel it, too, about music.
We all have those go-to songs that we love. They help us through stuff. It’s bigger than we are.
Angus Young said recently that in the last days of his brother Malcolm’s life, who was dying of dementia, Angus would go and play guitar for him and that would make Malcolm smile.
There’s an interesting fact about music. It’s a cellular memory; it’s not just in your brain, it’s in your skin. It imprints into your body. So when your body starts to go and your brain starts to go, the last thing left is the music.
So when will this album arrive?
There’s another single that’s gonna come out called “I’ll Find You” in early-January. Probably early in March the rest of it will all come out.
It takes longer than before [due to the pandemic], but it’s turning out well and I’m happy with it. Whether it gets any good interest or not, I’m just happy to do it because I’m doing it for all the right reasons and for my sanity.
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