We’re Jammin’: Mike McCready on Composing Music for Northwest Passage

Thursday’s episode of Fringe was very musical, but not in the “Brown Betty” sense of the word. It featured composition that really breathed life into the narrative and the man helping Chris Tilton and his team? Mike McCready of Pearl Jam.

McCready talks to Entertainment Weekly about how this collaboration came about and his experience working on the Fringe. After the jump is where it’s at.

Entertainment Weekly: Dude, the episode was really good last night.
Mike McCready: I just watched it this morning, cause we were playing last night. They used some of my cues, and I was excited about that. I was kind of just grateful to get my name on it. I’m getting way obsessed with that show. I’ve gotta find the Watcher in every episode now.

Fringe really hits that same sweet spot.
It does, with some humor and otherworldy-ness. And some Twin Peaks-ness, especially in that last episode. But I’m still trying to catch up on the first season right now.

Now I know you weren’t secretly holding out for an episode that had to do with the Pacific Northwest, but that was a nice coincidence.
Yeah, it was a good coincidence. How that happened was, we had tried to option the song “Just Breathe” to them. I think they were asking for that, and it didn’t work in the episode, so we contacted them and said, Well, maybe I can do some music for it. So it kind of snowballed from there. So I started talking to Chris Tilton, who’s the guy who writes the music, and throwing ideas back and forth. And I think they just wanted a northwest guy to do it, because they were shooting it in the northwest.

And you know what those trees sound like.
I do. I know them well. They’re in my bones. All the darkness and weirdness. It’s all in me. [laughs]

So they used some of your cues — which part are you most proud of?
The part where you can most hear my guitar is towards the end, where [guest star] Martha Plimpton is talking to Peter [Joshua Jackson] about how he’s gonna find what he’s looking for someday. She’s found her place, and he’s gonna find his place someday. So there’s a little guitar thing I wrote for that, and [Tilton] put some keyboards over that. I liked that a lot.

My role was smaller than someone who wrote all the music for it, but I think I was none the less integral in there. I mean, it was fun. Chris sent me his cues, and I just kind of rearranged them into guitar ideas.

You can find the entire article here.


  1. pugui says

    I really loved his contribution to the soundtrack. It really makes this episode stand apart. Plus I’m a huge Pearl Jam fan, so it was a very pleasant surprise. I hope he writes some more stuff for the show in the future. Maybe he can provide the music for all Peter-centric episodes!

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