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Few drummers can genuinely claim to have trodden a career path that passes through two of the biggest bands of their generation, but that’s exactly the journey Cameron started out on back in the mid ‘80s as Soundgarden rose out of Seattle’s grey, rain-swept landscape and the drummer’s future Pearl Jam bandmates Stone Gossard and Jeff Ahmet achieved scene success first with Green River and then Mother Love Bone.
The latter group met a tragic end in 1990 when frontman Andy Wood died of a heroin overdose. The death brought Soundgarden and what would become Pearl Jam together.
“We all kept track of Mother Love Bone and everything that happened there after Andy passed away,” Cameron tells us in hushed, reflective tones. “We were all really supportive. It was a very tight knit local music scene. I think that always informed the personal relationships that we had with each other.
“After Mother Love Bone stopped Chris [Cornell, Soundgarden frontman] was going to do a Sub Pop single in honour of Andy Wood and once he told Stone and Jeff about that they decided to bring me into the fold and then the new singer they were working with.”
The then unknown singer that Pearl Jam trio Mike McCready, Gossard and Ahmet had been working with was Eddie Vedder and the fledgling frontman joined Soundgarden’s Cameron and Cornell in the studio. The project became the much-lauded Temple of the Dog record.
“That was the first time I worked with Eddie in the studio,” Cameron says. “We were all super blown away by just how well he fit into our music scene.”