Pearl Jam and Greta Thunberg warn of climate disaster in Retrograde video

Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam (Image credit: Danny Clinch)

Pearl Jam have released their new video for Gigaton track Retrograde.

The band teased the Josh Wakely-directed promo earlier this week – and it's now been revealed that it features Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The animated video sees a man visit a psychic reader, and as he gazes into the crystal ball, he’s presented with melting glaciers and devastating floods decimating Manhattan, Paris, Seattle and London, while wildfires sweep across Australia. The fortune teller is then revealed to be Thunberg.

The band, meanwhile, appear in the video as tarot cards.

Speaking to Variety, Wakely revealed the video was originally intended to be a live action shoot, but those plans changed once the coronavirus lockdown began.

Wakely says: “Something Pearl Jam has done so extraordinarily well for 30 years is to speak truth to power and fire warning shots.”

He adds: “Several other Gigaton songs spoke to me, but this one kept me up at night.”

As for Thunberg’s involvement, Wakely said he took existing footage of the 17-year-old with her permission and then super-imposed her face on to that of an actor.

Wakely explains: “She never had to act a frame, but she provided that emotion I was looking for. It was a huge thrill to see an email in my inbox from her saying that she loved it."

Retrograde follows Dance Of The Clairvoyants, Superblood Wolfmoon, and Quick Escape from the follow-up to 2013 Lightning Bolt.

Pearl Jam: Gigaton

Pearl Jam: Gigaton
Pearl Jam released their 11th studio album Gigaton in March. The follow-up to 2013's Lightning Bolt features 12 tracks, including Dance Of The Clairvoyants and Superblood Wolfmoon.

Scott Munro
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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.