Eddie Vedder Voice.

So, folks out there remember this right?

Went on to become an iconic band, stellar career and that voice is instantly recognizable. Which, while good for the band of course kind of led to a phenomena:

and then:

and then:

And more recently:

I’m not alluding to the music here. I’m talking about the voice; the voice or what I’ve come to label the “Eddie Vedder” voice. Stone Temple Pilots I do believe back in the day copped a bit for it, Creed, well, ask around  – Silverchair and I should stress early Silverchair here –  I do recall when the single tomorrow came out folks were saying “It’s amazing, the singer is only 16 and sounds just like Eddie Vedder”.  John Butler has the Eddie Vedder “Oooohs” and “Eee’s” and “Errrrrs” (emphasis on the pronunciation of the “R” sound) down a treat.

I’m not knocking the music here I should say, I like a lot of Stone Temple Pilots songs, Creed never did it for me but I do think Daniel Johns from Silverchair found his own voice after a while and the band went on and continued to make some awesome music, and The John Butler Trio can’t be faulted for their songs and Butler himself for his playing.

I’ve noticed the Eddie Vedder voice phenomena since way back in the day. I know it well because when I first started singing myself I also did it. I didn’t know what my voice sounded like and I didn’t like my voice so much and so I settled on a voice I could A) produce and B) knew worked. I’ve also seen similar done in countless come-and-go rock bands over the years where the music might vary but really, the voice is the same.

So why?

I used to think folks did it for the reasons I did it:  they don’t know or aren’t comfortable with their own voices so they settle on one they know and reproduce that. And make no mistake, this vocal tone is known so widely now as to be almost ubiquitous among rock bands fronted by male singers… Test the theory, go out in your local town and see some unknown local acts and I’ll guarantee you you will hear the “Errrrr” and “Eeeee” tones of Eddie Vedder-ites singing down at you.

If a lack of self vocal knowledge or confidence isn’t the reason, then is it simply because it works? It worked for Pearl Jam, it’s worked for the other aforementioned acts here, so why not go for it?

Or is it just how a large percentage of the male singing population actually sings like that?

Jury is out.

For a while there, another voice seemed to be imprinting itself of the minds of young impressionable male singers, I know, because for a while I wailed and screamed in this vein as well:

That was until i realized that I have my own voice, and just settled on that.

On a side note, shame we didn’t get to have more of the last guy’s music out there to imprint his vocal tone a little more.


~ by benephobia on September 14, 2010.

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