A legendary drummer of the ’90s alternative and grunge scene, Matt Cameron has drummed for some of the best bands of the past two decades, including Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. A California native, Cameron’s drumming career began at the age of nine in his hometown of San Diego. By 13 he was playing in a cover band, and before long he was moving on to bigger and better things.

Cameron moved to Seattle in 1983 at the age of 21 and joined the early grunge band Skin Yard, where he made a name for himself before moving on to Soundgarden in 1986. A pivotal element in Soundgarden’s new and popular sound, Cameron not only played drums, but also wrote a number of the band’s best songs. Within the domain of Soundgarden, Cameron’s presence as a drummer fills the music with incalculable depth and energy. His drumming is always right there, perfectly placed within each song to complement Chris Cornell’s primal howling and the crunching guitar and bass interplay of Kim Thayil and Ben Shepherd. Cameron’s playing appeared on BadmotorfingerSuperunknown, and Down On The Upside. He stayed on with the band until their eventual breakup in 1997.

With the dissolution of Soundgarden, it wasn’t long before Cameron signed on with Pearl Jam for their 1998 summer tour. After the tour was over he was asked to be a permanent member of the band, where he’s remained ever since. As with Soundgarden, Cameron’s drumming in Pearl Jam is delicate and calculated, seeking to enhance the quality of the music rather than overshadow the rest of the band’s efforts. Pearl Jam recordings featuring Cameron’s drumming include BinauralRiot ActPearl Jam, and Backspacer.

In addition to Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, Cameron has a jazz trio with Bill Frisell and Herbie Hancock called Harrybu McCage. He has also played with Tone Dogs, Temple Of The Dog, Hater, Wellwater Conspiracy, The Smashing Pumpkins, Geddy Lee, Peter Frampton, Tony Iommi, and many others.

Greg Dawson