Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder Debates Merits of ‘High Fructose’ Pop Music
In the early parts of Pearl Jam's career, it appeared there was still a place for rock to coexist in the pop music universe, but in recent years the divide between pop and rock has grown greater. Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder tells Rolling Stone he's not exactly the biggest fan of today's pop music and what it provides the listener.
"These pop songs almost feel like tabloid journalism," said Vedder, cutting right to the point. "It's crap that people seem to like and I don't know if it has meaning. I don't know if one of the pops songs of the summer has any fiber in it. People are consuming it, and is it healthy? I don't know."
Vedder admits he may be missing the point, adding, "Maybe it's some kind of way of taking themselves away from their problems. Maybe there's some healthy property of some restorative property that I'm not receiving. It seems like it has a really high fructose content."
Though it seems as though there are fewer opportunities in the pop world for rockers, the frontman doesn't think it's a completely lost cause. He explains, "Bono talked a lot about, you know, 'We can't let rock and roll become a niche.' I thought, 'Well, that's kind of crazy. I have more faith in it than that.' But I can definitely see his point. When there's a pop song that seems a little bit better than the others, it's usually one that has some real guitar, real drums in it. I still feel like the best stuff has natural elements."
And speaking of "natural elements," there's plenty of them in Pearl Jam's upcoming disc, 'Lightning Bolt,' due Oct. 15. The album has already generated the up-tempo aggressive rocker 'Mind Your Manners' and the band could actually find themselves making some inroads in the pop world with their power ballad, 'Sirens.' The disc is currently available for pre-order at iTunes and via the band's website.