If you’re a Pearl Jam fan, you know all about Matt Cameron. He’s a long-time Pearl Jam drummer, and he’s absolutely incredible. 

Cameron has been playing drums for Pearl Jam since 1998, and he’s never failed to impress fans with his amazing skills. In this article, we’ll take a look at Matt’s work as a Pearl Jam drummer, his personal life and other moments in his career.

So sit back and prepare to be inspired by one of rock’s greatest percussionists!

Who are the drummers for Pearl Jam?

Pearl Jam is an American rock band from Seattle, formed in 1990. It is one of the key bands of the grunge movement and definitely one of the most successful, with more than 85 million albums sold worldwide by 2018.

Pearl Jam had bad luck with drummers. Before Matt Cameron, the band changed four drummers, but none of them stayed in the band for a long time.

The former drummers for Pearl Jam are:

Jack Irons, quit the band in 1998, just before US Yield Tour, due to dissatisfaction with touring. After that Matt Cameron jumped in and stayed permanently. He made his first appearance with Pearl Jam on The Late Show and joined the band’s US tour.

Who was the drummer for Soundgarden?

If you think you heard Matt Cameron’s name before Pearl Jam, you are right. He rose to prominence as the drummer for Soundgarden, a Seattle-based rock band he joined in 1986.

Soundgarden developed the grunge sound and became legendary worldwide, achieving its biggest success with the 1994 album “Superunknown.”

Until the band’s first disbandment in 1997, Matt was a part of each Soundgarden studio album. When the band got back together in 2010, Matt joined Soundgarden again and simultaneously played in both bands. He stayed a part of Soundgarden until the death of the lead singer, which meant the end of the band.

Where is Matt Cameron from?

Matt Cameron was born and grew up in the city of San Diego, California. He discovered his passion for drums at a young age. Matt formed a cover band called “Kiss” with his friends, but after the legal warnings from the real Kiss band, the group fell apart.

In 1978, during his high school days, Matt sang the song “Puberty Love,” which was featured in the movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Cameron moved to Seattle in 1983. and started drumming at the local scene.

His first professional drumming experience happened with the band Bam Bam. After that, he was part of the local instrumental band feeDBack for a while. In 1983 he joined Skin Yard, the band which introduced the early grunge sound, and stayed with them for a year.

As he became pretty established on the local scene, Matt’s talent was recognized by Soundgarden, and they invited him to join in 1986. The next years carved the history of grunge music and Matt’s drummer’s career. After Soundgarden, he joined Pearl Jam on their tour, filling the place of their drummer, who suddenly left the band. 

Matt is the longest-serving drummer of Pearl Jam since the band had troubles with keeping the drummers for a long time. He stayed in the band ever since and established his place among the best drummers in the world. Matt’s influence on Pearl Jam music is undeniable, and many people agree that he made the band sound better.

Besides the main projects in his career, Matt appeared with many other bands such as Temple of the Dog, Tone Dogs, Hater, Wellwater Conspiracy, Nighttime Boogie Association, Queens of the Stone Age, Ten Commandos, The Smashing Pumpkins, Geddy Lee, Janet Weiss, Zach Hill and The Prodigy.

Matt Cameron was admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pearl Jam in 2017. However, he will not be remembered only as a Pearl Jam drummer. Matt has such a rich career and huge talent, making him one of the top drummers.

What drums does Matt Cameron play?

Currently, Matt Cameron endorses Yamaha drums and hardware, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks, and Remo Drum heads. If we rewind to the past, Matt used different kits and manufacturers. 

During his time with Soundgarden, he used his own Yamaha kit. In 1990 he started using DW (Drum Workshop), which he approached after Yamaha first turned down his endorsement.

In 1996 Cameron endorsed the Canadian custom outfit Ayotte. When he joined Pearl Jam in 1998, he continued using his purple Ayotte kit and equipment manufactured by DW, including pedals, cymbal stands, and snare stands.

Cameron switched to Yamaha in 2002, when he began endorsing and using Yamaha’s Birch Custom Absolute drums in a vintage natural finish.

This switch from maple-shelled drums was noticeable in his sound since the birch is higher-pitched with a quicker attack and produces fewer overtones.

He used this drum during the period of rejoining with Soundgarden. Cameron returned to maple in 2018 with Yamaha’s Absolute Hybrid Maple. His current setup usually includes 12, 13, 16-inch toms and shallow 24 bass drums.

If we talk about snares, he switches between various Gregg Keplinger built models and Yamaha productions, varying from copper and aluminum shelled models.

Sometimes he uses a Yamaha Steve Jordan signature cocktail kit during the live performances. Matt Cameron is described as unquestionably one of rock’s finest and most versatile drummers. His style is creative, powerful, and precise, teasing out a groove that will complement and support its atmosphere rather than dominate the song.

He is known for his use of tom grooves and tribal patterns, and he likes to revisit the paradiddle for effect. Personally, Matt is interested in jazz and progressive rock, and he admits he wasn’t such a big fan of rock music when growing up. His wide and interesting musical career brought him experience and tightened his talent, which made him what he is today- one of the best drummers in the world.