Lightning Bolt, Pearl Jam's tenth studio album is set to release on October 15th. To celebrate the occasion, the band teamed up with director Danny Clinch to release a short 9-minute documentary on the making of the album, complete with surf metaphors, car-stereo jams, and insightful celebrity interviewers.
Director Judd Apatow, actor/musician Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia fame), surfer Mark Richards and former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason each had the opportunity to ask the band questions regarding the creation of the album. Gleason's question gets straight to the point: "It's been five years since Backspacer, that's the longest stretch between records... What the fuck?"
When Carrie Brownstein, with much less snark, asks guitarist Mike McCready about the loudness of the record, he responds, almost triumphantly, "I'm ringing right now!"
Brownstein falls silent momentarily in response and finally mutters "Ow."
The ear-ringing loudness is readily apparent in many of the song previews, which play in the background of several scenes. "Mind Your Manners" is an intense hard rock song that speaks loudly and more intensely than the softer "Sirens" which follows not long after. Within the previews though it is clear that Lightning Bolt will likely be as diverse a Pearl Jam record as ever, spanning from soft heartfelt ballads to shouting hard rock statements.
Interspersed throughout the video are short animations, militaristic scenes of barbed wire, soldiers, and titular lightning bolts. These line up with frontman Eddie Vedder's explanation for the record: "Its just, if you're paying attention to what's going on in the planet, I feel like I can find something to be angry about pretty quick."
Even twenty-two years from their debut, the members of Pearl Jam still talk, sing, and play with their grunge sensibilities. Aside from the intensity and anger, we see them happy with their work and excited to share it.
The video ends with a particularly campy moment of Vedder and director Danny Clinch sitting in an old Lincoln, presumably after listening to the record on the stereo. Vedder reflects, "Well we made it through another one... Can't wait to see whats next."
The album then restarts, and even though both of them briefly worry about disturbing the neighbors, they surrender to the music, turn up the volume, and sit back to enjoy another listen.