Launch Radio Networks reports: PEARL JAM frontman Eddie Vedder says in the new issue of Newsweek that the group's new album tackles politics and the Bush administration head on. Vedder explained, "It's just not the time to be cryptic. I mean, our tax dollars for this (Iraq) war are being funneled through huge corporations — one of which Dick Cheney used to be head of (Halliburton) -- and there's an even greater disparity between rich or poor in this country. It offends me on a really deep level." Vedder adds, "There's a lot of anger and frustration in the atmosphere these days. We didn't want to add to the negative noise pollution, but we did want to do something."
Vedder told Launch that he's been reluctant in the past to address political issues. "I've always been wary, you know, speaking from some kind of a podium as a singer in a rock band," he said. "First of all, I think it's ridiculous that it should be left to the singers of rock bands to have to bring up these issues. But then again, the arts are always going to reflect society, and there could be a responsibility there."
The group's self-titled eighth studio album comes out next Tuesday (May 2).
Vedder, now 41, joined PEARL JAM at the age of 25 when he was living in San Diego. The singer has a 21-month-old daughter.
PEARL JAM begins a North American tour on May 9 in Toronto, Canada, with dates stretching into late July. Six of its shows, in late June and early July, will be with TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS.