For Post Malone, 90s rock was a big part of his upbringing, and during a recent visit to SiriusXM Howard Stern Show, the musician decided to cover a song that sparked a very special childhood memory for the musical. That song was “Better Man” by Pearl Jam.
“I remember my brother Jordan, he was a Marine and he was stationed in Hawaii. And we went to see him. I was maybe 12 or 13,” Posty recalled to Stern. “He was playing this song and it was on an island where you could go around in a few hours and he played it and I thought about it a lot.”
When asked to elaborate on the meaning, Post Malone offered that “every moment” reminds him of his brother. “It makes me fucking cry,” the singer said. “He’s just a handsome guy and he introduced me to Pearl Jam in a fucking big way.” The emotion can be felt in Post Malone’s voice as he sings, with a small emotional crack in his vocals.
“Better Man” originally appeared on Pearl Jam’s third studio album, in 1994 Vitology. It reached No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart and No. 2 on the Alternative Airplay chart and remains one of Pearl Jam’s most popular songs.
The performance also has a Pearl Jam connection beyond the song. Frequent Post Malone collaborator Andrew Watt played guitar on the cover along with some backing vocals as well. Watt was also producer of Eddie Vedder’s recent solo album, earthlingwhich happened earlier this year.
Post Malone’s grunge ties were further explored in Stern’s interview, with the host asking about his 2020 live gig where he covered Nirvana songs. Malone revealed that before the concert, he asked for the approval of Kurt Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, as a sign of respect for the musician he loved. One of Malone’s face tattoos is also a sign of honor to the late leader of Nirvana.