Since the early 1990s, the question of whether grunge killed heavy metal as it became the dominant form of hard rock internationally has been repeatedly debated. Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, however, recently weighed in on the subject as an authority on the matter. During an interview with VWMusic’s Andrew Daly, Gossard was asked this question and responded, “I believe there is perpetual renewal in the world, and with that renewal comes new perspectives. And I believe that the stagnation of hard rock at that time allowed what I will call “less musically talented” musicians to say, “Hey, there’s another way to play rock songs. There is another way to create heavy songs. And there is another way to create chaos and energy from these songs that is not typical of a heavy metal song’s color palette.'”
Prior to Pearl Jam, Gossard was a member of the seminal Seattle band Mother Love Bone, which was heavily influenced by Aerosmith and Zeppelin, and arguably pre-dated the fuzz-soaked influence of Black Flag and Husker Du that Nirvana, for example, relied so heavily upon. Gossard continued by saying to Daly, “When I was younger, I listened to a great deal of heavy metal. I listened extensively to Moto
rhead. I frequently listened to Iron Maiden. I frequently listened to Mercyful Fate. I frequently listened to Led Zeppelin. I was really into all of those New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands. As a child, I didn’t really know how to play like that, so I just did what I thought sounded right. And I believe that in the late ’80s, a very libertarian attitude toward art and music emerged in the wake of hard rock, with many people experimenting with sounds and bands forming as a result.
There was something about it that was new, that really caught people’s attention, and that also had a significant impact. However, many of the heavy metal bands you mention are still active, so they obviously did not all perish. Yes, many of them had to regroup, and some did die, but isn’t that just part of the life cycle? There are still many hard rock enthusiasts out there, and I am one of them. I’ve always loved hard rock, but I believe that renewal and rebirth are a part of art.” [through Blabbermouth]. Thus concludes the discussion, folks! Case closed! Pearl Jam are currently on tour as part of the Gigaton Tour, originally scheduled for 2020 but postponed due to… well, you already know the reason! You can view the confirmed dates listed below.
9/1 – Quebec City, Canada – Videotron Centre
9/3 – Ottawa, Canada – Canadian Tire Centre
9/6 – Hamilton, Canada – FirstOntario Centre
9/8 – Toronto, Canada – Scotiabank Arena
9/11 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
9/14 – Camden, NJ – Freedom Mortgage Pavilion
9/16 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
9/17 – Louisville, KY – Kentucky Expo Center (Bourbon & Beyond Festival)
9/18 – St. Louis, MO – USA – Enterprise Center
9/20 – Oklahoma City, OK – Paycom Center
9/22 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena