How Eddie Vedder Became Pearl Jam’s Frontman, Guitarist Stone Gossard Explains

In his recent interview with Let There Be Talk, Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard recalled the times when they have been searching for the lead vocalist of their newly formed band and revealed the story of Eddie Vedder’s being the frontman of Pearl Jam.

As you might know, Pearl Jam guitarist Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament had formed another band called Mother Love Bone together before Pearl Jam. However, the band couldn’t continue to play and record together after the band’s lead vocalist Andrew Wood died because of a heroin overdose. The remaining members of Mother Love Bone even thought about quitting music.

Ament and Gossard reunited when Gossard met with Mike McCready who would later become the lead guitarist of Pearl Jam. The trio started to work on their projects but they needed a lead vocalist so they asked former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons to record a demo. Instead, Jack Irons gave the demo to his friend Eddie Vedder who was the frontman of Bad Radio. Vedder recorded ‘Alive’ ‘Once,’ and ‘Footsteps’ and sent the demo to them.

During his recent interview, Stone Gossard remembered the times when he listened to Vedder’s demo and he stated that they were so impressed by his vocal talents that they invited Eddie Vedder to the audition. He became the band’s frontman in a short time thanks to Jack Irons’ counting on his singing and songwriting skills and Vedder’s impressive and unique voice. 

Gossard said in the interview that:

“We only got freaking four or five tapes. They were all bedroom tapes and none of them were compelling. So we didn’t wait around.

That’s the thing, that’s the thing I think about a lot – if you’re putting bands together or you’re trying to do something with other people, you can spend so much time looking for the right perfect people.

But usually, those people are one connection away. If you’re waiting around for something too long, you’re not doing it right. That’s been the lesson in my life in terms of just the people that are around right now.

There’s someone right now that you know or knows somebody that you can jump off a cliff with. And I remember we heard Eddie’s voice – a completely different register than normal. And he obviously could sing.

Jack Irons just said, ‘He’s a great guy – he’s a good guy. He loves sports, and he’s into songwriting, and he’s motivated.’ That’s all it took. We were jumping off cliffs right and left at that point.

If you’re lucky enough, you’ve been in a band and it got signed, that stuff can happen, so then you just think, ‘Ok, well, maybe stuff can happen again.'”

You can watch the interview below.