Eddie Vedder interviewed today on The Howard Stern Show.
Eddie Vedder was set to be interviewed by Howard Stern back in March for the first time ever, but the interview had to be pushed back, as it was meant to coincide with Pearl Jam’s Apollo Theater show in New York, postponed due to COVID-19.
During the interview – lasted nearly FOUR hours! – the two talked about their musical tastes (“Love, Reign o’er Me is my favorite The Who’s song” Howard told Eddie), about Into The Wild and songwriting. Stern asked Vedder if he had ever known Scott Weiland (“No, never” Eddie replied), while the Pearl Jam singer talked about the difficulties of living with success (“I wish I would’ve handled a few things differently. I wish I would’ve known back then that it’s going to be ok & enjoy the ride it’s going to be a rollercoaster“).
Eddie then talked about Chris Cornell and the fact that he has not yet processed his death. He also confessed that he has only seen it four or five times over the past decade. Vedder admitted feeling angry that Cornell took his own life. “I loved the guy. I would allow him to make those choices, you know? But I think suicide is a violent act that hurts so many people. That feels unfair. And when you have kids, I think you kind of don’t have that option anymore.” Then he spoke about his brother, Chris, who passed away in 2016, and how much his death made him suffer.
Speaking of his early years in music, Eddie recalled his early days with Pearl Jam (“All I wanted to do was write, put words to music”) and the moments he did stage diving (“We were 24 or 25 yrs old & the music was powerful“). Reflecting on the group’s growth, Eddie said that “The last few years we are getting older & the shows are getting longer” and spoke of Neil Young‘s importance in their growth (“Neil Young took Pearl Jam under his wing right around our second record..he really kind of tapped into the energy of our group”).
When Howard asked if he was the type of artist who dabbled with drugs to get his creative juices flowing, Eddie revealed he’s actually given them up since becoming a dad. “I had my time with that stuff. I still imbibe a cocktail, but I think after having kids I haven’t done any psychedelics since then. I feel like you never know if you’ll need to be called to duty, but as soon as they’re out of the house …,” he added with a laugh.
On hiw own childhood, Vedder revealed: “When my mom told me that this guy wasn’t my father and was somebody else. You know, it was a shock, but I was so grateful in a way. I was like, ‘Oh, fuck. Thank god”.
About Kurt Cobain and Nirvana: “We had a good scene here and it changed a little bit,” Eddie said. “Some of my crowd back in the day, they kind of held our band in great disdain. Some people in the world liked you and some they either resented you or hated your music or whatever. And I agreed with them at all points,” Vedder said with a laugh.
Vedder revealed David Letterman invited Pearl Jam to play on The Late Show after the release of Ten, but the band was still reluctant to go on his show at first, and recently just counted as one of a select few guests at Sean Penn’s Zoom wedding.
Other highlights from the interview (thanks to Variety):
- Before Bradley Cooper took over the role of Jackson Maine in the 2018 remake of A Star Is Born, Sean Penn was attached to star, with Clint Eastwood set to direct. Vedder even had a phone call with Eastwood and sent him some music for potential use in the film. Once Cooper was aboard, he asked Vedder for advice on how to make the on-stage elements of the movie as realistic as possible. “Make sure your guitar covers your balls at all times,” Vedder told him.
- Bruce Springsteen wasn’t shy about correcting Vedder’s vocal phrasing when the pair first performed Darkness on the Edge of Town live together more than a decade ago. And in February 2014, the Boss surprised Vedder backstage moments before the start of a concert in Brisbane, Australia, by inviting him to join the E Street Band on stage. Vedder adopted a perfect Springsteen impression as he recalled him saying, “Hey, Ed! I’ve got an idea! Here’s the deal. All right. First song: AC/DC, Highway to Hell. You take a verse, I take a verse, and then you’re done. You can drink beer, you can do whatever you want. None of this encores. You don’t have to wait around. First song, hit it with me, and you’re good to go!” He added, “The best part of when you get to do that isn’t actually playing it in front of people. The best part is when you’re sitting in the back, either with Pete Townshend, or Bruce, or Neil [Young], right across the small table or sitting on the same couch, playing the song and hearing them sing.”
- Vedder said he will debut “one or two new songs” during a Nov. 18 Amazon-hosted livestream event dubbed Venture Into Cures.
- With just hours to go before the U.S. presidential election, Vedder said that “one positive byproduct” of Donald Trump’s divisive term in office is “that people aren’t able to sit this one out. And people are getting engaged. And hopefully after the election they will continue to be, because there’s just so much work to do and so much to be repaired.”
“We need to come together,” Eddie said, adding, “I think that all Americans really, really want the same thing. To be able to raise kids, to have job, have a family, listen to music, to eat and fuck and all these things that we all have in common. You know, the simple pleasures.”
During the interview, the longest ever given by Vedder, the Pearl Jam singer played some guitar snippets of Warren Zevon‘s Keep Me In Your Heart, Small Town and Sometimes.
Howard Stern is an American radio and television personality. He is best known for his radio show, The Howard Stern Show, which gained popularity when it was nationally syndicated on terrestrial radio from 1986 to 2005. Stern has broadcast on SiriusXM Satellite Radio since 2006.
Howard Stern interview with Eddie Vedder is now available for free on SiriusXM.
Born in Reggio Emilia in 1980. He created pearljamonline.it in 2001 and wrote the first edition of “Pearl Jam Evolution” in 2009 along with his wife Daria. Since 2022, he is behind 2 podcasts: “Pearl Jam dalla A alla Z” and “Fuori Orario Not Another Podcast”. He has collaborated with Barracuda Style, HvsR, Rolling Stone, Rockol and Il Fatto Quotidiano. He continues relentlessly to try to find “beautiful melodies that say terrible things”.
Favorite song: Present Tense
Favorite album: No Code
Favorite bands/artists other than PJ: Tom Waits, Soundgarden, Ramones, Springsteen, IDLES, Fontaines D.C., Mark Lanegan, Cat Power, R.E.M.