Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder has slammed the current state of gun laws in the U.S. in a new interview, calling the lack of tough legislation "frustrating and upsetting." Speaking with pro surfer Mark Richards in a video interview posted at Pearl Jam's website, Vedder said, "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. 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 blasted "antiquated" gun laws, arguing that the Second Amendment right to bear arms did not anticipate things like automatic ammunition. He also slammed gun owners for their position that firing guns is "fun," saying, "I get so angry that I almost wish bad things upon these people, but I don't have to because it seems like they happen anyways. It seems like every week I'm reading about a four-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 outspoken views on guns go all the way back to Pearl Jam's classic hit song "Jeremy," which was about a troubled youth who brings a gun to school and kills himself in front of his classmates.
- Guitarist Stone Gossard told us that current events inform some of the songs on the new album Lightning Bolt as well: "In terms of the world we live in and how we perceive it, there's certainly a variety of crazy military conflicts, famines, murders, terrorist activity, you know, everything you could possibly name that's coming at you at a thousand miles an hour. So as far as what Ed sort of portrays in his lyrics, he's seen a lot for sure."
- Lightning Bolt, Pearl Jam's 10th studio effort, arrives in stores on Tuesday (October 15th).
- Pearl Jam kicked off a lengthy North American tour in support of the CD on Friday (October 11th), stopping next on Tuesday in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- In other news, the band has launched a partnership with Fox Sports that will include extensive use of 48 Pearl Jam songs across the promotional and music beds for this month's World Series coverage. According to Billboard.com, the deal includes all 12 tracks from Lightning Bolt, plus 36 songs from the band's back catalog. The songs will be featured in opening teases, commercial bumpers and montages, as well as additional spots on other Fox networks.
SIDE NOTES: Rolling Stone reports that Pearl Jam kicked off its new tour with a two-and-a-half hour show on Friday night in Pittsburgh, opening with new song "Pendulum" and introducing another six Lightning Bolt tracks to the crowd during the course of the show. But the 29-song set drew from the band's entire catalog, going back to early tracks like "Footsteps," "Animal" and "Betterman," while encoring in fiery fashion with "Black," "Alive" and "Rockin' In The Free World" before closing out with "Yellow Ledbetter."
CHECK IT OUT: Watch Eddie give his comments on gun laws (warning: explicit language):
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Do you agree with Eddie that we need tougher gun legislation?
- If you don't, what is your counter-argument to him?
- Eddie and the other members of Pearl Jam have always touched on social and political issues. Does that enhance or detract from your enjoyment of the band?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Loudwire -- agree or not?
Justis Mustaine wrote: "Yeah typical non firearm owner, stop asking people who probably have private security and live in nice areas, no s*** he is against guns, probably never even held one."
Kevin ByGod Broussard wrote: "90% of people want stronger gun laws? And, of course, he has something to back up that claim. Oh, I forgot. Idiot rock stars can just spout off complete falsehoods, and their idiot fans take it as gospel."
Michael Miller wrote: "The price of the freedom to bear arms in this nation is the highest firearm death rate in the developed world, as in we have more then the next 30 countries combined, and that includes children. Your and my right to own firearms has been purchased with blood, not just of soldiers, but children and infants."
Jim Skeffington wrote: "Eddie, you suck! open your mind not your mouth for once! I will no longer listen to Pearl Jam."
Mike Malone wrote: "it took you how many decades of listening to them to get their feelings on gun control?"
Shawn Bolchen wrote: "I'm a big fan of the 2nd Amendment. That being said, the resistance to background and mental health check legislation is staggeringly stupid."
Stone Gossard Says Current Events Influence Songs On New Pearl Jam Album
Read more on Eddie Vedder's stance on gun laws at Loudwire
Read more on the World Series at Rolling Stone and Billboard