Why Brad Wilk Failed Pearl Jam Audition
He also discussed the chances of an RATM reunion, two years after everyone but singer Zack de la Rocha became part of the Prophets project.
In a recent interview with the Let There Be Talk podcast, Wilk said he’d been contacted by his friend, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, after drummer Dave Krusen left the band because of his addiction issues. “They go to England to mix Ten. … I get a call from Eddie: ‘We just lost our drummer, I’d love for you to come up and meet everybody. I’m going to send you the tape of the songs.'
“I’m like shitting my pants – I’ve never been out of the country. I’ve got to go get my fucking passport, I’m listening to the songs, I’m super-young and thinking, ‘This is my break. This is my time!’ I go to Europe and we play together. Me and Eddie have this history, and we’re bonding over in Europe. But to the others I’m just the new guy.”
Wilk admitted it was clear very quickly that it wasn’t going to work out. “Long story short, I go there, and I just don’t click musically, mostly with Jeff [Ament], who is an incredible bass player, awesome guy. … This is a classic case – it doesn’t matter how good you are, chemistry is everything. It just wasn’t clicking. … I just wasn’t the guy.”
In the same interview, Wilk – who played drums on Black Sabbath's 13 – said he remained in favor of an RATM reunion. The band first split in 2000 then regrouped from 2007 to 2011, but de la Rocha declined to join Prophets of Rage in 2016.
“Nothing would make me happier than to be able to fuck shit up right now with Rage Against the Machine,” Wilk said during the podcast. “It’s just really a matter of getting us all on the same page. It’s always been something different. It’s always been somebody different. It’s always something. For us, it’s kind of like the magnet theory. One magnet is always being pushed out. You’ve just got to get all of the magnets to stick together for a minute, and that’s always been our problem.”
Noting that the four Rage members were on “amicable” terms and “even hang out on occasion,” he concluded: “I think more we just want to be friends first more than anything.”