Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder Explains Hands-Off Approach With Young Bands
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
March 27, 2020
Vedder has admitted in the past that he was completely unprepared for Pearl Jam's early success, and many of his more outrageous moments in the decade are evidence of that.
When asked during a recent conversation on the Bill Simmons Podcast, if there was any advice he would offer his younger self if he could go back, Vedder replied that he believes everyone's journey is their own business.
"First of all, me in 1994 would not have listened to me [now]. I wouldn't listen to anybody," he laughed. "Which is also why if I'm around a younger group or whatever, I make sure not to — if I have even a constructive criticism, I just won't say it because they're not going to listen. And they shouldn't. They're going to do their own thing and figure it out on their own. Then we'll have a laugh about it later."
Beyond being known as an absolute madman onstage with a predilection for leaping from great heights, Vedder was also the face of Pearl Jam as the band rebelled against the established music industry, including its famous feud with Ticketmaster.
At times, Vedder felt like he was constantly under attacked, with his image and his band at constant risk of being co-opted by outside forces. He finally got over his bitterness by realizing most of those annoyances were just that; they didn't really matter.
"I would have said to [younger me], like, 'Hey, if your friggin' picture is on the side of a bus, just don't get that mad about it.' Like, don't take it personally," he explained. "If you're on a billboard and they didn't pay you for it, but it's somehow doing something and they're using your lyric, and it's all to promote a radio station, don't get pissed off about it. It's a radio station. It'll go away; there will be someone else up there next week. I just kind of took [that stuff] personally and felt like I wasn't built to handle it."
Listen to the full conversation with Vedder, Simmons and Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament in the player above or via iHeartRadio.
Photo: Getty Images