Eddie Vedder, who used to rock out as the lead singer of Pearl Jam, says that fatherhood has not mellowed him. He is now the father of a three-year-old daughter named Olivia.
“When I had a child, everyone was telling me that I was going to see the world through her eyes, and everything was going to get this nice gloss to it,” Eddie told reporters at Tuesday’s Into the Wild press conference in West Hollywood. “I kept waiting for that to happen, and thought there was a real problem with me that it wasn’t.”
Eddie, 42, says, “It was a different reaction. It wasn’t the glowy lovey-dovey. It fueled my anger.” Vedder’s daughter, Olivia, was born to girlfriend Jill McCormick in 2004.
The Pearl Jam frontman, who performs on the film’s soundtrack and is friends with Into the Wild director Sean Penn, blames current events for his emotions.
“I realized that I was getting more angry – the exact opposite – and maybe it was because of the times, three years ago and what’s still happening. … All of a sudden, I saw the world as her world that they were messing with. That really pissed me off.”
He has kept a low profile in recent years, and fatherhood has forced Eddie to question his attitude about life, he says.
“I don’t know what I’m going to say when she sees pictures of me hanging 30 feet off a rafter, over a crowd,” Eddie says. “At a certain point, you realize you have a responsibility more behind yourself and your need for adrenaline. I’m glad I did things in my 20s that were more reckless.”
One of Pearl Jam’s most popular songs, “Alive,” is reportedly based semi-autobiographically on Eddie’s childhood. Eddie insists that as a father he won’t repeat his caretakers’ mistakes.
“I’m trying to break any chain of negative parenting that I might have survived,” he says. “I know that she’s going to go through a time where she has to assert her independence. I’m going to have to just encourage that.”
Despite his emotions, Eddie feels like he is a good father to his daughter.
Eddie boasts, “I think she’s going to have a great upbringing. … Already, she’s been provided a life of travel. I didn’t get to New York until 25 or Europe until I was 26. She’s been to all these places six or seven times. She’s beyond me in terms of her comfortability around other people, to this day.”