Nikki Sixx's Feud With Eddie Vedder Explained

People, people, why can't we all just get along? Especially artists. You're supposed to be examining the human condition and revealing faults, foibles, and innermost truths. And ... you know what, never mind. That's exactly what Eddie Vedder and Nikki Sixx are doing, at least indirectly. It turns out that the Pearl Jam frontman and Mötley Crüe bassist really don't like each other. The reasons? Well, they couldn't be a more perfect depiction of the gaping chasm between the musical ethics and sensibilities of '90s grunge and '80s hair metal.

In a recent interview with The New York Times about his early '80s gig days, Vedder said of bands like Mötley Crüe, "I hated how it made the fellas look. I hated how it made the women look. It felt so vacuous." Sixx sidestepped the dig at Crüe's ostensible misogyny and shallowness, and simply retaliated on Twitter, saying Pearl Jam is, "one of the most boring bands in history." (We're assuming Sixx never caught the video for "Do the Evolution," available on YouTube.)

In all fairness, the beef between the two men, and to an extent the blood feud between grunge and hair metal, is more of a by-product of media outlet clickbait than anything else. It's the typical "false outrage plying reader nostalgia" trick. If Vedder was giving an interview to The New York Times, he can be as honest about his opinions as he wants. And of course, the same goes for Sixx. We're all adults here.

A 30-year-old musical rivalry

Even a cursory online search reveals articles with oppositely opinioned headlines, such as Loudwire's "How Grunge Killed Hair Metal," and Far Out Magazine's "Dispelling the Myth that Grunge Killed Hair Metal." The grunge-vs-hair-metal rivalry, embellished or not, started long before Eddie Vedder and Nikki Sixx recently took to the horn and got folks' attention again.

It's true that the Nirvana-led Seattle scene shattered the '80s fab veneer, but they were really more the straw that broke the musical camel's back — a very shirtless, glammed-up, hair-sprayed camel. Hair metal was already on its way out by the late '80s, and ready to be supplanted. To many, '90s grunge, including bands like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Vedder's Pearl Jam, was a desperately needed gust of musical authenticity and raw grit to blow away all the nonsense. The 1980s, with its de-regulated Reaganomics and style-over-substance aesthetic sensibilities, bred an equal and opposite cultural backlash. It makes sense that Vedder and Sixx come at their respective arts from extremely different places.

Crüe might be getting a bit more media circulation because of the recently premiered "Pam and Tommy" mini-series starring Lily James (as Pamela Lee Anderson) and Sebastian Stan (as Tommy Lee Mötley Crüe). Time will tell if the revisited grunge vs hair-metal beef is more than mere bluster — or just a piece of overdone steak.