“I wouldn’t say we got through it all with finesse, but we got through it,” says Vedder, 46, reflecting on the band’s success and his reticence to embrace it. “Music was your real passion, this thing you held dear even above family. It was this relationship that never betrayed you. Once it became your job—this thing that was highly visible, this thing that became about commerce—that’s when you were holding onto music like it was a palm tree in a hurricane. That was the scariest part, that success would effect your love of music and that love would somehow be taken away.”
Pearl Jam turns 20.