In the future, everyone will be the drummer of Pearl Jam for fifteen minutes. Now, it’s Matt Cameron’s turn to take a ride on the group’s drumming carousel. The former Soundgarden percussionist will replace Jack Irons, Pearl Jam’s third drummer, effective immediately. He’ll make his debut with the grunge denizens beginning June 13 or 14 at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in Washington, D.C., and continue on as the band’s skinsman indefinitely, according to a source close to the band. According to another source, Cameron is *not* an official member of Pearl Jam. “He’s not joined the band, he’s touring with the band,” said the source.
During Pearl Jam’s infancy, Cameron played drums on early demo versions of classics, like “Alive,” “Evenflow” and “Animal.” He was also the man behind the drumkit for the Seattle side project Temple of the Dog, which featured members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
According to sources, Irons is simply fed up with touring. He apparently got his fill of the road during the band’s recent one-month jaunt through New Zealand and Australia and was dreading an extensive U.S. tour, which begins June 20 in Missoula, Mont. and ends September 18 in Washington, D.C.
The seminal grunge band rotates drummers like Van Halen does vocalists. First drummer Dave Krusen, who played on the band’s debut, Ten, was replaced by Dave Abbruzzese before the band even toured. In 1994, just before the release of Vitalogy, Abbruzzese was booted and replaced by Irons, whose first show with the band was the now-fabled “Self Pollution Radio” broadcast on January 8, 1995.
Abbruzzese now records with Green Romance Orchestra and has been mentioned as a possible replacement for on-again, off-again Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum. Krusen recently replaced Scott Mercado as the drummer for Candlebox.