Ex-Pearl Jam Drummer Reveals Why He Was Really Fired: ‘I Couldn’t Quit’


Ex-Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen discussed his exit from the band in a new Washington Post article.

“I had a lot of stress in my life and just stuff going on, and I couldn’t quit drinking, and they gave me every opportunity to get it together. Like, ‘Dave, maybe try and slow down.’ I was like ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m getting it together.’ I was such an alcoholic then. To this day, I wish I could’ve gotten it together and stopped drinking, and said something like, ‘You know what? I’ve gotta go to rehab for a few weeks and get my [life] together.’

“’93 was extremely rough for me. At that point, they’re the biggest band on the planet, and I’m just struggling to make it through the day. The last gig I played with them, I was completely blacked out. I did go into rehab, actually. It did not last.”

“[Success] created more of an infighting kind of vibe. A lot of resentment, a lot of bitterness . . . not only toward the labels, but [the bands], like, ‘Well, you didn’t grow up down the street.’ It’s literally, like, if you’re from the other side of Lake Washington, you’re from out of town. It continued for years. It probably took a decade for it to turn around again.”

Jeff Ament told the Powell Movement podcast earlier this year, “We spent some time with him last year over the Hall of Fame stuff [Dave was among the Pearl Jam members inducted into the Rock Hall on April 7, 2017]. That guy has handled the whole situation, I couldn’t even imagine anybody handling it as well as he has.

“I think he’s been on the program for a long time since then. We warned him and warned him and warned him, and then we were like: ‘Dude, you’ve got to go get help. We have tours coming up, and we can’t babysit you. You can’t be falling down getting on your drum kit every night.’

“We were serious at that point, we all of a sudden got another shot. We had this killer singer, and we were writing songs. We were writing so many songs at that point so quickly. We sort of felt like, we can’t mess around right now, we need to get the right people involved.

“But yeah, Dave said, ‘You kicking me out of the band saved my life, because it really helped me deal with what I was dealing with.’ He said, ‘I got help, and within a year or so, I had my act together.’

“He kept playing music with other bands at that point. It was huge for us to be able to play to get to play with him at the Hall of Fame thing, and sort of have that thing come full circle, and have it not be weird at all. There wasn’t anything even remotely weird about it, which is [chuckles] really unbelievable.”