Pearl Jam and its enigmatic frontman, Eddie Vedder, have addressed the subject of gun control as far back as 1991, namely with “Jeremy” and the song’s powerful music video. Twenty-two years later, gun control is still a hot button issue with Vedder, with the singer using an interview for Pearl Jam’s new album, Lightning Bolt, as a platform to express his unabashed disgust with Americans who support the Second Amendment and own firearms.
The revelations came during Vedder’s one-on-one chat with pro surfer Mark Richards, as part of a series of interviews with an inspired cast of interrogators including Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein, director Judd Apatow and former pro football player Steve Gleason.
“The fact that we’re living in a country where 90 percent of the people want further gun laws, to maybe somehow put a dent in some of this insanity that’s happening, and yet there’s no further legislation taking place, it’s very frustrating and upsetting,” Vedder told Richards. “If I didn’t have music to kind of at least get some of the aggression out or take the edge off, you wouldn’t want me having a gun either.”
Vedder goes on to call the Second Amendment laws “antiquated,” growing visibly upset at the thought that gun owners use “fun” as a reason they should be allowed to own firearms.
“I get so angry that I almost wish bad things upon these people,” the singer seethed. “But I don’t have to because it seems like they happen anyways. It seems like every week I’m reading about a 4-year-old either shooting their sister, their dad, their dog, their brother or themselves, because there’s f***ing guns laying around. But I guess it’s ‘fun.'”
Vedder’s interview with Steve Gleason is also currently generating headlines, with ESPN producing an emotional segment detailing the former New Orleans Saint’s life with ALS (he’s confined to a wheelchair and utilizes an eye-controlled computer to speak) while raising a young son, and the strong part Pearl Jam’s music plays in it all.
Lightning Bolt is scheduled for release on October 15, but is currently streaming on iTunes.