Bamm board member Adam Swig caught up with a Mill Valley high school student at BottleRock Napa Valley 2022 who is living the rock n’ roll dream. His moment went viral when he took the stage to drum with Pearl Jam! He performed one song with the band May 13th, 2022 during the 2nd night of their Oakland tour stop. Pearl Jam was forced to plug in different drummers to perform in place of Matt Cameron who was out with Covid, and the legend of Kai Neukermans was born.
Who are you?
My name is Kai Neukermans, my band is called The Alive, I’m 18 years old and I’m from Mill Valley, California.
How was it playing with Pearl Jam?
It was surreal. Most amount of people I’ve ever played in front of.
How did it happen?
It happened because I texted Olivia (Eddie Vedder’s daughter) who I know from a music festival we played at called Ohana Fest. I texted her on Thursday night, which was the night before Pearl Jam was playing their 2nd show in Oakland and she said that Josh Klinghoffer was filling in so I kind of gave up on the idea. She texted me around noon the next day to send her a video of me playing a Pearl Jam song and I didn’t know any so I left school and learned ‘Mind Your Manners’ in a couple hours and I sent it to her and I guess they liked it and they gave me the green light.
Are they going to invite you back?
That would be crazy, but I’m already super stoked I was able to play with them.
Who would you like to play with next?
Foo Fighters would be insane. I can’t believe Taylor is gone, it’s super heartbreaking.
What did you do today?
I played BottleRock.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A big musician.