Pearl Jam, more interesting facts about Dark Matter

After our first article reporting interesting facts about the songs of Dark Matter, here’s a second one based on recent interviews by the band with online magazines, podcasts and YouTube channels.

Photo: Mike Dziama via Concertpants
  • The songs on Dark Matter are credited to all Pearl Jam members (something that has not happened since Vs.) and to Andrew Watt, the record’s producer. The only exception is Something Special, credited to Josh Klinghoffer too,
  • Stone Gossard revealed that U2 and (mostly) the Cure have influenced some of the songs on Dark Matter (such as Won’t Tell). Despite this, the guitarist said he’s not interested in performing with Pearl Jam at the Sphere in Las Vegas (as U2 themselves have done recently),
  • According to Stone, working with Andrew Watt has given Pearl Jam a lot of energy. He said that if it were up to him, he would record a new Pearl Jam album with Watt soon, possibly recording it in three days,
  • The chorus of Running features vocals by Vedder, Ament, Watt and also Mark ‘Smitty’ Smith, Pearl Jam’s current manager,
  • The opening of React, Respond is a tribute (maybe unconscious, maybe not) to Attitude by Misfits,
  • Andrew Watt’s goal for Dark Matter was to create a sound that captured the energy of Pearl Jam’s live concerts,
  • Eddie wrote the lyrics for this record in the same spaces where Bob Dylan wrote some of his songs in the 1970s.
  • The idea of bringing Dark Matter to the movies didn’t come from Vedder and it was initially supposed to be a limited theatrical release
  • In this interview, Jeff Ament named eleven bassists who inspired him in writing the songs of Dark Matter, from Chuck Dukowski of Black Flag to Jah Wobble of PIL,
  • Eddie Vedder said there are several songs in Dark Matter that are quite personal. The one he feels most connected to is obviously Something Special, which he wrote for his two daughters, Olivia and Harper. “You see them growing up, going off to college or high school, and you can only hope that you’ve done a good job so that you know they’re going to do well in the world,” Eddie said.
  • Wreckage is not about Donald Trump, it is rather a song about a “difficult relationship.”
  • On the black vinyl of Dark Matter there are three engravings: “Thank U Rick 4 Shangri-La,” “Thank you Stevie for Running Late,” and “RIP Robbie.” The first one is a thank you note to Rick Rubin for “lending” them his studio (Shangri-La), the second one is a reference to the song Waiting For Stevie (and to Stevie Wonder himself), while the third one is a tribute to Robbie Robertson of The Band, who passed away on August 9, 2023. Interestingly, many interviews with The Band members for their last concert (known as The Last Waltz) were filmed by Martin Scorsese in 1978 at the same venue purchased years later by Rick Rubin and renamed Shangri-La.
  • Dark Matter is dedicated to PO. It looks like a nod to the mysterious object (PO = Presence Object) featured on the cover of Presence, Led Zeppelin’s fifth studio album, whose real meaning is still being questioned to this day.
Foto: S.A. Miller via Concertpants