When Eddie Vedder Denied That Pearl Jam’s Suicide-Related Song

Throughout music history, many artists have dealt with some pretty sensitive topics in their songs, especially in their songs’ lyrics. Some songs were sometimes even banned, or the artists were forced to release alternative versions. The most controversial songs often included drug references, political comments, and sexually explicit content.

The entire music industry is filled with numerous examples, but especially rock music has always stood out with its rebellious attitude. Breaking rules and pushing boundaries have been among the core elements of rock culture. One of the pioneers of grunge, Pearl Jam, also has a controversial song named ‘Rearviewmirror,‘ which received some criticisms related to its content.

Pearl Jam Released ‘Rearviewmirror’ in 1993

The song ‘Rearviewmirror’ was featured in Pearl Jam’s second studio album called ‘Vs.’ released in 1993. It is the eighth track of the album and was primarily written by Eddie Vedder. It was also one of the first songs featuring Vedder on guitar. Later on, the track was also featured in the band’s two-disc compilation album named ‘Rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991–2003)’ released in 2004.

The song’s lyrics are mainly about a person who is leaving another in his rearview mirror. It is thought that Eddie Vedder referred to his broken relationship with his stepfather, whom he hated. The song was highly praised for its intense emotional content and powerful lyrics when it was first released. However, the track also received some negative comments due to its latent references.

How Did Eddie Vedder React To The Negative Comments?

After the release of ‘Rearviewmirror,’ some listeners argued that the song contained some suicide-related lyrics and might be exploring the concept of suicide. They thought so probably because the song has kind of a dark atmosphere, although it sets an upbeat mood. However, the band’s vocalist Eddie Vedder denied the accusations.

In 1994, Vedder joined an interview with Vanessa Warwick of MTV Europe. The interview was just after a concert in Boston, and it was also two days after Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Pearl Jam had just released their second album, and Eddie Vedder was asked about the suicide-related comments on ‘Rearviewmirror.’

Eddie Vedder said he read these comments, but the song has nothing to do with suicide. On the contrary, Vedder explained that the track is all about survival. There is someone who tries to run away from a bad situation. Vedder revealed that they have no intention of giving up; they instead choose to survive by escaping the problem and relying on themselves.

Here are Eddie Vedder’s words on the song:

‘It’s not about suicide. No, I read about that once someone said that. No, that’s a survival song, that’s someone escaping a bad situation, ‘Saw things so much clearer once you rearview mirror.’ They’re getting away, they’re surviving. They didn’t give in and they’re not going to do away with themselves.”

You can watch the full interview below and also listen to the song.