Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk talked about auditioning for Pearl Jam back in 1991 before their monumental studio debut “Ten” was released, saying on Let There Be Talk:
“They go to England to mix ‘Ten,’ which Tim Palmer was doing, I get a call from Eddie [Vedder], ‘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 [23 years old] 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.”
“The original drummer that played on ‘Ten’ [Dave Krusen] had drug issues, so they needed a new drummer. So this was right after that guy, ‘Ten’ wasn’t even mixed yet. They’re at this farm house in England mixing ‘Ten’; I’m just so young, and they’re on Sony/Epic Records at the time.
“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, and this is a classic case – it doesn’t matter how good you are, chemistry is everything. It just wasn’t clicking.
“For me, I wanted to be blinded by that, I just want to be in a band with my buddy, what an incredible opportunity. It didn’t work out, and I remember kind of leaving Europe with my tail between my legs, driving off going, ‘Fuck, there was my opportunity.’
“I was there about a week – we’re rehearsing, we’re playing. Some of it I thought sounded incredible. Maybe some of it just didn’t, for whatever reason, that’s the way it goes. It wasn’t exactly clicking, who knows for whatever other reasons, but I just wasn’t the guy.”