LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - When Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder launches his first solo tour in April, he will have some capable support from a relative veteran almost half his age.
New Zealand singer/songwriter Liam Finn will open the seven shows on Vedder’s “April Fool’s Tour” of the West Coast, which kicks off April 2 in Vancouver, B.C. Finn is currently on the road to promote his solo debut, “I’ll Be Lightning” (Yep Roc).
“I’ve known Eddie since I was about 10 or 11 years old,” Finn, 24, told Billboard.com. “He’s kind of a friend of the family, I suppose.”
The “family” would be Finn’s father, Neil, and uncle, Tim, who were the principal singer/songwriters in Split Enz, a New Zealand art-rock band often praised by Vedder. Neil went on to form Crowded House, which Tim briefly joined. Vedder, 43, has crossed paths with the Finns at various times.
“My last band Betchadupa supported Pearl Jam in Australia, and (Eddie) would get up and sing a song with us,” Finn recalls. “This is the first time he has really wanted to work with me on a tour, which is really exciting.”
Finn describes his live performance as a “wild one-man-band kind of show where I make guitar loops, then go and play drums. It’s pretty gnarly and wild.”
He toured last year with Crowded House, but “this will be the first time in America doing the 16-hour-drives-in-a-band kind of touring,” he says.
Asked what it was like growing up in such a musical environment, Finn says, “I don’t know any different. It was normal for me, because it was my reality. But it was really amazing to travel and watch music every night. It was a pretty inspiring way to grow up.”