ad info

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Get a free e-mail account

 message boards

CNN Websites
 En Español
 Em Português


Networks image
 more networks

 ad info



Pearl Jam returns with 'Binaural'

Grunge is old, the album is new

Will Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder ever put his face in a video again?
QuickTime Play
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K
How has rock 'n' roll changed since Pearl Jam started?
QuickTime Play
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K
Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament discusses MP3
QuickTime Play
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K

June 12, 2000
Web posted at: 6:13 p.m. EDT (2213 GMT)

(CNN) -- Pearl Jam, purveyor of the Seattle "grunge rock" sound, has always done things its own way.

The band has been political, as when frontman Eddie Vedder scrawled pro-choice messages on his forearms for the band's "MTV Unplugged" performance. Pearl Jam has taken on big business: It took Ticketmaster to the U.S. Justice Department. And the band's members have gotten personal, as when they publicly eulogized Kurt Cobain on "Saturday Night Live."

As Vedder told WorldBeat, the band members are aware of their unique position. Their 1991 debut album "Ten" remained on the charts for five years, establishing Pearl Jam as a musical force.

"We got (fame) so quickly," he said. "We were very fortunate. We can have our blase attitude about it and do strictly what we want to do because we were afforded that."

But fame -- and an audience -- can leave as quickly as it came, a challenge Pearl Jam found with follow-up albums "Vs." and "Vitalogy."

"We kind of got ripped off of that slow rise (to success), but there's a part of me that feels like it was good to kind of get that over and done with," bassist Jeff Ament said. "It took a little while to ... just be at a point where we can make records and tour when we want to."

Now, the band only wants to tour in support of its latest album, "Binaural," which fans and critics have acclaimed.

What about that title? "It was a type of recording of not just the instruments, but the air around the instruments," Vedder said. "You really feel the space of the room. That's something that you miss from modern recordings."

Retro technology is not the only thing for which Vedder feels nostalgia; his musical goals seem just as pleasantly old-fashioned.

"Communicating between people is hard enough," he said. "Music has been a vehicle I've seen as being able to communicate, using the rhythms and volume and the melody. It's something I wanted to take advantage of, to have a chance to communicate.

Is he similarly nostalgic about "grunge," the sound that first sent Pearl Jam's fortunes spiking up the charts?

"It is official: It's over," Vedder said. "Put a stick in it. Gravestone."

Supreme Court decisions on death, long-distance and Ticketmaster
January 19, 1999
Rolling Stone still going strong at 30
November 3, 1997

Official Site: Peral Jam
Experience Music Project, Northwest Passage: Genealogy of Contemporary Northwest Rock'n'Roll
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Mick doesn't want world to know what he makes
B.B. King brings the blues to Big Apple
Pride to be first black member of Country Music Hall of Fame
Springsteen song prompts police protest
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.