Eddie Vedder Talks Friendship with Late Chris Cornell and the Advice He Gave to Bradley Cooper

Georgia Slater
·3 min read

Eddie Vedder wasn't afraid to get personal during his Howard Stern Show debut this week.

On Monday, the Pearl Jam frontman joined the SiriusXM show where he discussed everything from his relationship with the late Chris Cornell to his work with Bradley Cooper for his role in A Star Is Born.

Vedder told Stern that he still continues to struggle with processing the death of his friend and former bandmate Cornell, who died by suicide in May 2017 at age 52.

"I've had to be somewhat in denial," Vedder admitted. "I don't even feel like I had a choice. I was just terrified where I would go if I allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel or what I was instinctively wanting to feel or how dark I felt like I was gonna go."

The rocker said it's been challenging to process his grief as he didn't "see [Cornell] that often in the last 10 years."

RELATED: Bradley Cooper Reveals Close Friend Eddie Vedder Inspired His Star Is Born Rocker

"I still haven't quite dealt with it," he said. "I'll get stronger as time goes."

The 55-year-old said he and the late Soundgarden frontrunner became close after Vedder moved to Seattle to form Pearl Jam.

"We were neighbors. I would hang out with him outside the band more than even the other band guys, and I didn’t know that many people in Seattle,” he explained. "We would go on crazy hiking adventures, or we would go mountain biking, or we would chase the dog in the rain while drinking s—ty beer—and it was cool."

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell in 2014

The Pearl Jam rocker said Cornell's death caught him at a difficult time as his third-youngest brother had recently died in a climbing accident.

"That one took me down so hard … I seriously didn't know if I was going to get out of that one and it really hurt me to think about what my daughters were witnessing," he said. "There was no hiding it. It was a dark place."

RELATED: Eddie Vedder Remembers 'Older Brother' Chris Cornell with Moving Tribute: 'I Will Love Him Forever'

Later in the interview, Vedder discussed his cinematic assist on A Star Is Born, in which he helped coach Cooper in how to act like a rock star.

"We just hung out for a couple days. He just asked me a few questions and I told him things like, 'Make sure your guitar covers your balls at all times,'" Vedder said with a laugh. "I think sometimes when the guitar gets a little bit high it looks like a bib."

The musician admitted he was hesitant about Cooper's role in the movie when he first started to work with him.

"On the way over [to Cooper's], I'm thinking of all the ways I can let him down nicely," he recalled. "I was a little nervous."

After seeing the 2018 film, however, Vedder said he completely changed his mind.

"I tell you when I saw it I was just f—ing blown away," he said.