“I don’t think there has ever been a candidate more desperate to win, just to keep himself out of prison.” There are no prizes for guessing who Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder won't be voting for in November's US presidential election

Pearl Jam in 2024
(Image credit: Danny Clinch)

Pearl Jam's 12th studio album, Dark Matter, was released on Friday, April 19, and looks set to be another huge hit for the Seattle band. One prominent US personality however might take umbrage at one particular song on the record.

On a surface reading, Wreckage, the latest single released from the album, could have been written about the aftermath of a divorce. But reading between the lines, with lyrics such as “Visited by thoughts on another darkened week, how even every winner hits a losing streak”, it becomes obvious that vocalist/lyricist Eddie Vedder is alluding to a certain sore loser in US politics, a fact he has confirmed in a new [paywalled] interview with UK newspaper The Sunday Times.

“There is a guy in the United States who is still saying he didn’t lose an election, and people are reverberating and amplifying that message as if it is true,” Vedder says.

“Trump is desperate,” the singer continues. “I don’t think there has ever been a candidate more desperate to win, just to keep himself out of prison and to avoid bankruptcy. It is all on the line, and he’s out there playing the victim - at least they’re doing this to me, because if not they would be doing it to you - but you haven’t falsified your tax records. You don’t have classified information in your basement. So the song is saying, let’s not be driven apart by one person, especially not a person without any worthy causes.”

When interviewer Will Hodgkinson suggests to the singer that, perhaps, Trump’s time is passing, Vedder responds “I can’t wait,” adding, “Most thoughtful people are going through a bit of PTSD about it now, so maybe you’re right.”

The full [paywalled] interview with Vedder can be read here

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.