From SignOnSanDiego.com‘s fantastic new interview with Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder where he talks about Ukulele Songs and Pearl Jam’s legacy:

With so much attention focused on the band’s history, does Vedder find he is especially surprised by — or proud of – any specific facet or accomplishment of the group’s?

“It’s a good question. And, to be dead honest, I don’t know how to answer it,” he replied.

“I think that, in order to keep progressing, there should be some benefits to looking back, to help you determine what your future course may be. But if they are (there), I don’t think they’ve been tangible for any of us… What we’ve learned is that we really do live in the present. And, to be honest, this looking back thing make me feel like I’m glad we have someone as astute and devoted to music as Cameron Crowe at the helm of putting something together that would represent us and tell a certain number of stories that happened over (the past) 20 years.. So I think we’re just happy we’ve survived it and are still friends and more than that, happy that we’re still a working group.

“I’m going to go to practice in the basement (with Pearl Jam) in about 10 minutes and I think that’s the best part, that we’re still working and probably working on a higher level of efficiency than ever before. Just meaning that our level of communication is a 20-year relationship between partners, (where) you kind of know what the other person is thinking; all these things that can really benefit you, just in the songwriting process alone. I think the biggest emotion is a bit of being overwhelmed, in a positive way, by the fact we survived it all.”


From the new interview with Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil in Illinois Entertainer:

The move back to Seattle was symbolic not only for the fact Thayil was born there, but it was a place where kindred outcasts could find gigs. Bear in mind, up to that point, the Emerald City wasn’t known for its music. The past belonged to under-heralded Nuggets stalwarts like The Kingsmen, The Sonics, and The Seeds, while Jimi Hendrix could claim lineage, as would Heart, Queensryche, and that’s about it.

“It was a little more youth-oriented and there are a number of universities directly in the city that had communities around them that were somewhat vital,” he explains. “[An hour away] in Olympia, there’s a college called Evergreen State that was a progressive/alternative school like the high school Hiro, Bruce, and I attended. But anyway, there were a lot more all-ages gigs and venues for original bands. The bands weren’t all that great; there were a few pretty outstanding ones. But definitely a little more accessible in that regard. You didn’t have to join the union to play.”

Things appeared to happen pretty quickly in Seattle, and soon major-label signing binges touched off across the country. Soundgarden signed with A&M in 1989, the same year Alice In Chains joined Columbia. Nirvana joined DGC at Sonic Youth’s urging in 1990, and by then the trail had been picked up. Pearl Jam were inked by Epic weeks after anointing themselves Mookie Blaylock – after the New Jersey Nets’ point guard – and the Seattle binge was on. But those were some lean years, in a commercial sense, until ‘89.

“We moved out when we were 21 [in 1981], so we were college age,” Thayil points out. “At that point, most of our youth/young adult/childhood was Chicago, so all the main rites of passage are Chicago. But all of the ones you establish for yourself as an adult – college degree, life partner, family, career, or, in this case, a rock band – that’s all pretty much Seattle. So our roots were then set down here.”