Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder offered a rare interview this morning on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show and during the discussion, one of the topics brought up was Vedder's good friend and former bandmate, Chris Cornell. Cornell tragically took his own life in 2017, and Stern asked Vedder how he coped with losing his friend.
Being very frank, Vedder responded "I've had to be somewhat in denial. I don't even feel like I had a choice. I was just terrified where I would go if I allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel or what I was instinctively wanting to feel or how dark I felt like I was gonna go. And because I didn't see him that often in the last 10 years — probably only, like, four or five times, and usually at a gig or something — I still haven't quite dealt with it. I'll get stronger as time goes.
"We were close," Vedder continued. "And it wasn't just because we were playing music. We were neighbors. I would hang out with him outside of the band more than even the other band guys, and I didn't know that many people in Seattle. So we would go on crazy hiking adventures, or we would go mountain biking, or we would chase the dog in the rain while drinking shitty beer— and it was cool. And it had nothing to do with anything like being around other music people or being around some kind of L.A. life. It was just cool. Like, wow, this is what a quote-unquote legit rock star, this is what he's doing — he's chasing a dog in the rain with his buddy on a Saturday night with a 12-pack of Schmidt?"
Cornell hanged himself in his room in May of 2017. While the official cause of death was suicide, his estate claimed his prescription for Ativan was higher than the recommended dosage, leading to suicidal thoughts.