Pearl Jam Tell Red Hot Chili Peppers Why They Wouldn’t Exist Without Them


Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready recently interviewed the Red Hot Chili Peppers on Pearl Jam Radio on SiriusXM, and the legendary musicians discussed the influence the Chili Peppers had on Pearl Jam. Alternative Nation transcribed the conversation.

Mike McCready: This is a question from Ed, and from all of us in our band, do you have any idea how important and integral that you guys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, are to us even existing?”

Flea: No, no, no idea. I know you guys had Jack, and Jack introduced Eddie to you guys, and that’s the catalyst.”

Mike: You guys took us on the road early on in 1992 [with Smashing Pumpkins]. I always tell this story, you guys were always the coolest fuckin’ band to us. You guys us soundcheck, you gave us all the lights, and introduced us to a world that is often not that way. You were very successful with Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and we were just coming up.”

Flea: You guys were doing pretty good.

Mike: It started to do that in a bit, but had it not happened with you guys taking us out, I don’t know where it would have been, we’re all very aware of that and we all love you for that.

McCready later talked to Chad Smith about the same subject.

Mike: This is a question from Ed, I asked this to Flea too, do you guys have any idea how integral and important you are to us as a band, and do you remember those early touring days when we were with you, and how important it was to us how cool you treated us? Stone wanting to play with Jack Irons, to Jack Irons knowing Eddie, to that whole thing.

Chad Smith: We have a serious connection.

Mike: It could be said that we wouldn’t exist without the Chili Peppers. We got to go on that tour with you on Blood Sugar Sex Magik when you guys were blowing up, and you were super cool to us, and introduced us to a whole way of: ‘This is how we do it.’

McCready added that many people who worked for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on tour now work for Pearl Jam, and Smith joked that Pearl Jam had ‘poached’ the Chili Peppers.

Chad: That’s really nice for you to say that. I do [remember that tour], it was a long time ago, we were young men. I used to be a little crazier. We were young, like you said music was kind of changing. I remember, I don’t know if you know this, is we were rehearsing and getting ready to go on tour, and Smashing Pumpkins were already on the bill. It was maybe a month before the tour, we were looking for a third band to go on tour [and we weren’t sure who to pick], and Flea is like, ‘Jack Irons is friends with this guy Eddie who sings in this new band, and they put their record out. It would be really cool, can you guys listen to it as a favor, maybe take them out as the opening band.’ I remember sitting around [Flea’s] car, he used to have this Mercedes that had every panel of his car painted a different color, a clown car. I remember him putting a cassette in, we’re all sitting there smoking cigarettes after a rehearsal, we listen to 30 seconds and went, ‘Eh, it sounds pretty good. Okay!’ Everyone was in a good mood that day.

McCready said he knew they were starting to make it when he saw Anthony Kiedis wearing a Pearl Jam hat.