Pearl Jam may not showcase much of a heavy metal influence, but guitarist Stone Gossard did indeed love metal growing up and shouted out some of his favorite metal albums as a kid during a recent interview.

Gossard's response came in a wide-ranging interview with KLOS DJ Matt Pinfield (who also co-hosts The Power Hour on AXS TV) on his "New and Approved" radio show. The two chatted about Eddie Vedder's lyrics on the title track of Pearl Jam's new album, Dark Matter, and how there's some ambiguity in the meaning of some of the lines.

As the guitarist notes, "Dark Matter" features the lyric "King Diamond to discard," to which he offers, "I don't know what that means or where it's going, but King Diamond — yes!" He then references King Diamond's early career with Mercyful Fate, calling them "the greatest."

READ MORE: Lyrics to New Pearl Jam Song 'Dark Matter' Reference Metal Legend King Diamond

Stone Gossard's Love of Metal + Favorite Albums As a Kid

Gossard hasn't been shy about his love of heavy music. In early 2022, when Eddie Vedder took a swipe at Motley Crue and triggered a response from Nikki Sixx, the Pearl Jam guitarist stepped in as a peacekeeper. He defended Crue, talking about how he bought the band's first album back in the day.

Diving into the music of his youth with Pinfield, Gossard stated, "Heavy metal changed my life. And then punk rock, on top of that, allowed me a door into heavy metal. I sucked and heavy metal was a little bit about being fucking wizardly. If you couldn't compete with Yngwie [Malmsteen], you needed to be gifted,and punk rock allowed me to be gifted in a different way, which was, like, can you just hit a couple of notes that sound good? And maybe that's enough, and then maybe somebody else can do something too. More of The Talking Heads approach."

Yngwie Malmsteen
Scott Legato, Getty Images

Asked specifically about which metal albums were among his favorites as a kid, Gossard shouted out Mercyful Fate's classic first two albums, Melissa and Don't Break the Oath. He also mentioned Iron Maiden, stating, "the first two or three Iron Maiden records freaked me out."

Mercyful Fate, "Evil"

READ MORE: The Most Played Song Live by 15 Big Grunge Bands

Stone Gossard's Favorite Rock Bands as a Kid

Working his way back in the musical timeline, Gossard says of his rock favorites growing up, "Going back and then finding Alice Cooper and T. Rex and the '70s glam and punk rock and [the] New York [scene]. And then Sex Pistols. How good does The Sex Pistols record sound right now? And there's nothing to it. It's just four points of view just fucking jammed in there."

Watch the full interview with Matt Pinfield below.

Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard With KLOS' Matt Pinfield

Pearl Jam in 2024

Pearl Jam are currently on a North American tour in support of their new album, Dark Matter. The trek kicked off on May 4, where the group played 25 songs in Vancouver, Canada.

They'll be on a global tour through the end of the year and you can see all of those dates here.

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Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita

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