Pearl Jam Discuss Arduous “Even Flow” Session And Almost Shelving “Better Man” On Howard Stern


Pearl Jam Discuss Arduous “Even Flow” Session And Almost Shelving “Better Man” On Howard Stern


Last week, Pearl Jam released their 12th album Dark Matter. To promote it, the rock veterans went on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, which aired on Monday, and discussed the lore behind some of their hits.

About “Even Flow,” the second single from their 1991 debut Ten, Pearl Jam explained why it took 100 takes to get the song right in the studio. “I’ll take the blame for this one,” Stone Gossard, who composed the song, said. “I think the main problem is that I wrote a song that the two parts kind of want to run at different tempos, so the chorus is one tempo, and the verse is another.”

“It was overthinking,” Eddie Vedder added. “You’re working on something that you’re in love with and then you think, ‘Well, it’s not quite there yet,’ and then you look back on it and go, ‘Any one of those first five takes would have been fine.’”

Meanwhile, then-drummer Dave Krusen’s girlfriend was in labor while they were recording, yet the band urged him to keep going. “We’re giving birth now to our first record,” Vedder joked. He also confessed that, as a newbie to recording, he may have went a little too hard on his vocals. “I was just giving it everything I had every take,” he said. “No one told me, ‘You know, you can hold back a little bit … you’ll end up singing this again.’”

“We’ve learned our lesson,” Gossard said. “I don’t think we’ve played anything more than three takes on the new record — you get older and wiser.”

Stern also brought up a rumor that Vedder hadn’t wanted to release “Better Man,” from the 1994 album Vitalogy, after the producer said it was going to be a hit. Vedder explained:

At that point, we’d taken ourselves out of working with MTV — bless them — but we had taken away our bright light a little bit by staying off that. We were trying to control our situation to one we felt was sustainable. Our concern was music. Our concern was what’s the third or fourth or fifth record going to sound like. Or the twelfth record going to sound like. I think we were protecting even more than ourselves; we were trying to protect the music and our band. So, steering away from that stuff and trying to manicure this level of — I guess you’d call it fame. That was the one thing we were conscious of when we were working.

Also during the interview Vedder discussed performing with the Rolling Stones and writing “Waiting For Stevie” about Stevie Wonder, Mike McCready talked about being influenced by Eddie Van Halen, and Matt Cameron explained why he got a cease-and-desist letter from KISS when he was 14.

Watch clips of all that below.

Pearl Jam performed too, giving “Scared Of Fear and “Running” their live debuts before doing the classics “Daughter” and “Yellow Ledbetter.”

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