When Pearl Jam released their most recent album in 2006, they left it self-titled, as if to suggest that they were getting back to their roots. The new album, which comes out on Sunday (September 20) exclusively at Target stores, will carry the title Backspacer. Does that mean the band is on some sort of retreat, looking to erase the past few years?
Actually, as guitarist Mike McCready explained to MTV News, the origin of the title is a lot simpler. “[Eddie Vedder] got the initial idea from these 1930s typewriters that he collects and writes his lyrics on. There’s a key on it that says ‘Backspacer,’ ” he said. “Now it says ‘Backspace,’ I believe. But that’s where he got that.”
That’s not to say that McCready doesn’t take another, deeper meaning away from the record’s title. “I think it’s also about looking over your life, from when you’re a kid all the way up until now. There will be some artwork that will show you what I’m talking about.”
The artwork in question comes courtesy of cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, the man behind acerbic political comic strip “This Modern World.” Pearl Jam even made the art a part of the build-up for the album, sprinkling parts of the record’s cover across various sites on the Internet and leaving fans to find all nine components in a sort of online scavenger hunt. Ultimately, McCready promises the art will inform the songs themselves. “Some young thought processes turn into art forms on the record,” he said.