Pearl Jam Guitarist Claims Mötley Crüe Was A Punk Rock Band Like Sex Pistols


Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard shared the details about the early years of Pearl Jam which was surrounded by the effect of Mötley Crüe and Quiet Riot. In addition, he claimed that the first records of Mötley Crüe sounded like the punk rock style of Sex Pistols in his appearance on Dean Delray’s ‘Let There Be Talk.’

As you may already know, punk rock, which emerged during the ’70s from garage rock, can be defined as a rebellion against mainstream rock. The pioneers of punk rock such as Television, Ramones, The Clash, and Sex Pistols started the new wave of rock music with their fast-paced songs and original songwriting. They also embraced the idea of self-producing their works.

During his interview, Stone Gossard highlighted that the time Mötley Crüe gained international fame and commercial success coincides with the golden era of the Sex Pistols. Thus, he stated that the band has probably had a great influence on both rock and metal bands of that time. He considered the early works of Mötley Crüe such as ‘Too Fast for Love’ and ‘Shout at the Devil’ as another version of punk rock. 

Therefore, according to Pearl Jam guitarist, Mötley Crüe’s early works reflected many characteristics of punk rock with their gender-bending style which was very different from the metal bands of that time. Gossard also expressed his admiration for their androgynous personas even though Pearl Jam chose to pursue a career that was closer to mainstream rock. He admitted that Pearl Jam was affected by different sub-genres of rock and metal when the scene was dominated by Mötley Crüe and Quiet Riot.

In Gossard’s words, he said:

“I mean, the first Motley Crue record was punk-rock to me. It was in that Motorhead, Sex Pistols area. It is heavy, and at the time, the hair and the makeup – it was a little bit more gender-bending, it felt a little bit exciting in this kind of the Bowie sort of way.

That was just like, ‘Wow, you can be a freak.’ Yeah, we were absorbing that, and bands like The Cult who made that record with Rick Rubin, which was just like a romantic goth band from the ’80s. Then they did this kind of shift and it felt great. It’s like, ‘I want to shift, I want to try, I want to mix stuff together.’ That was the exciting thing about the ’80s – all bets were off, it’s going to be dance or it could be glam, or it could be funk, or it could be heavy metal…

And we were absorbing that but it’s Andy Wood as an artist that gave that band that spirit. I’m still in awe of the gravity of his persona – we’re still unpacking our relationship with Andy and his impact in terms of his artistry, just his joy, and his love of all different kinds of music.

Freddie Mercury, Prince, all these way-out, flamboyant stars, but also punk-rock. And it was just such an eye-opening thing for me to experience – people that loved all kinds of music, and I’ve never recovered. I’m still in that feeling of like, ‘How do you just listen to stuff and then just sort of anything goes?’ What’s a bridge that sounds like it’s from another era or something that just happens that you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s different. Why is it different? What’s good about it?'”

You can watch the interview below.