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PEARL JAM's STONE GOSSARD Answers Age-Old Question: "Did Grunge Kill Heavy Metal?"

His answer might surprise you.

Photo by Danny Clinch

Since the early 90s, the question as to whether grunge killed heavy metal as it became the internationally-dominant form of hard rock has been debated time and time again. But, one person who has some authority on the matter recently weighed in on the subject: Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard.

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During an interview with Andrew Daly of VWMusic, Gossard was asked that very question and replied, "I think there's always renewal in the world, and with that renewal, comes new perspectives. And I think that hard rock was really stagnating at that point in a way that gave an opportunity to what I'll call 'less musically talented' musicians to say, 'Hey, there's another way to play rock songs. There's another way to have songs that are heavy. And there's another way to create chaos and energy from those songs that would be outside the normal color palette of a heavy metal song.'"

Gossard's first high-profile group prior to Pearl Jam was the seminal Seattle group Mother Love Bone, which had serious Aerosmith and Zeppelin leanings, and arguably pre-dated the fuzz drenched influence of Black Flag and Husker Du that Nirvana, for example, relied so heavily upon.

Gossard continued by telling Daly, "Coming up, I listened to a lot of heavy metal. I listened to a lot of Motö

rhead. I listened to a lot of Iron Maiden. I listened to a lot of Mercyful Fate. I listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin. I listened to all those New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands, and I was into it. This said, as a kid, I didn't really know how to play like that, so I was just doing what sounded right to me. And I think that in the late '80s, there was a very free attitude about art and music that was brewing in the wake of hard rock, and a lot of people were experimenting with sounds, and the bands formed from there. There was something about it that was fresh, that really captured people's ears, and that had a huge effect on it all too.

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"But you know, a lot of those heavy metal bands you're talking about are still around, so clearly they all didn't die. Sure, a lot of them had to regroup, and yes, some did die, but that's part of the life cycle, right? There are still a lot of fans out there who love hard rock, and I'm one of them. I love hard rock, and I always have, but renewal and rebirth are a part of art, I think." [via Blabbermouth]

Well, there you have it folks! Case settled! Pearl Jam are currently on the road as part of the Gigaton Tour that was scheduled for 2020 but sidelined because… well, you know why by now! You can check out all the confirmed dates 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

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