Nearly 30 years after breaking on the national scene, Pearl Jam still looks back at the band's early fame with a sense of confusion. In commemoration of the release band's debut album Ten on August 27th, 1991, frontman Eddie Vedder and guitarist Mike McCready recalled becoming seemingly overnight rock icons.
For Eddie Vedder, being singled out only caused him to cling even more tightly to the band dynamic, telling Classic Rock, “I felt that with more popularity we were going to be crushed, our heads were going to pop like grapes. I knew it wasn’t graceful, the way we were handling it. At the same time, it’s like being graceful in an alley fight. You’re just trying to get out of there alive. We held tight to each other and held tight to music.”
Guitarist Mike McCready revealed that the downshifting of the commercial elements to Pearl Jam didn't come from him: “The decision to pull back and to not do videos and to slow down interviews, it was all about (bassist) Jeff (Ament) and (guitarist) Stone (Gossard) and Ed thinking it was necessary. Ed was getting way more scrutiny than anybody. It was probably overwhelming for him. It was for all of us at the time.”