Dave Krusen

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Dave Krusen
Krusen in 2008
Krusen in 2008
Background information
Birth nameDavid Karl Krusen[1]
Also known asKarl 3‒30
Born (1966-03-10) March 10, 1966 (age 57)
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
GenresAlternative rock, grunge, hard rock, post-grunge
Years active1979–present
LabelsEpic, Mute, Warner, Universal, Wax Orchard

David Karl Krusen (born March 10, 1966) is an American musician who is best known for being the first drummer for the American rock band Pearl Jam, and for his work on the band's debut album, Ten. Krusen was also a member of the bands Hovercraft and Unified Theory, and was previously the drummer for Candlebox from 1997–1999 and 2015–2017.

Krusen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pearl Jam on April 7, 2017, and being the only former member of the band to be inducted.[2]


Early life[edit]

Krusen was born in Tacoma, Washington and grew up in the town of Gig Harbor along with his two brothers and sister.[3][4] He was into Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry when he was young,[4] and later got into The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Police, and Neil Young.[5] Krusen began playing locally in the Seattle area in 1979 while he was in high school.[6] His first band, Outrigger, was formed with his friends from high school. Throughout the 1980s, Krusen had several stints playing with Seattle area musical acts, including Boibs, Agent Boy, Gary Williams, Tramps of Panic, Liar's Club, Hard Time, and WarmDrive.[6]

Pearl Jam[edit]

Krusen was recruited in 1990 by bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard to be the drummer for Pearl Jam. Krusen was asked to join Pearl Jam after auditioning with the band.[6] Krusen was the first full-time drummer for Pearl Jam, replacing Matt Cameron. Cameron was unable to fully commit to Pearl Jam due to playing full-time in Soundgarden. Krusen played with Pearl Jam through to the completion of the band's debut album, Ten in 1991. After the recording sessions for Ten were completed, Krusen left Pearl Jam in May 1991 and checked himself into rehabilitation.[6] According to Krusen, he was suffering from personal problems at the time, including alcoholism.[6] Krusen said, "It was a great experience. I felt from the beginning of that band that it was something special," and added, "They had to let me go. I couldn't stop drinking, and it was causing problems. They gave me many chances, but I couldn't get it together."[5] Vocalist Eddie Vedder said, "Krusen was a real hero...He was going through a lot, but he had something really special."[7] Krusen was replaced by Matt Chamberlain.

On May 16, 2022, at the Fresno, CA show of Gigaton Tour, Krusen played with Pearl Jam for the second time since leaving the band (the first being Pearl Jam’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction),[8] after Matt Cameron tested positive for COVID-19.[9]


In the mid-1990s, Krusen joined Beth Liebling and Ryan Shinn in the band Hovercraft under the stage name "Karl 3‒30". Krusen replaced previous drummer Eddie Vedder. With a more technically proficient drummer, the band was now free to play beyond the lo-fidelity noise experiments of its debut release, and play proper shows with structured improvisation and avant experimentalism. While as a member of Hovercraft, Krusen toured with the band and recorded the album Akathisia (1997).

Diamond Star Halo[edit]

In 1994 Krusen co-founded Diamond Star Halo with former Candlebox bass player Aaron Seravo. The two were introduced by a mutual friend and discovered they had exactly the same vision for a band. The band was completed by Singer Bo Bligh and bassist Steve Martin the band released their first record in 1995 tilted In The Rough on Regal Recordings. The album was produced by Cristopher Thorne of Blind Melon and Kevin Martin of Candlebox & was mixed by Kelly Grey. The band enjoyed moderate success but not to the level of their former bands Candlebox and Pearl Jam. After much conflict centering on singer Bo Bligh's drug addictions the band dissolved. There was a later version of the band reformed by Seravo in 2000. Aaron Seravo died of cancer January 9, 2011, surrounded by friends and loved ones, at Stanford University Hospital. Steve Martin died very early in 2011 as well (committing suicide) a few days before Seravo's passing.


Krusen was the second drummer for Candlebox, replacing previous drummer Scott Mercado. Krusen joined in 1997 and recorded the album Happy Pills (1998) while as a member of the band. Krusen left the band in 1999 and was replaced by Shannon Larkin of Ugly Kid Joe. Krusen completed eight tracks on the Candlebox record, Into the Sun, which was released in July 2008 and nine tracks on the latest Candlebox record, Love Stories & Other Musings, which was released in April 2012. As of 2015 he has rejoined the band.

Unified Theory[edit]

Krusen played drums with the band Unified Theory on its self-titled album, issued in August 2000. The band was made up of two ex-Blind Melon members (bassist Brad Smith and guitarist Christopher Thorn) and newcomer Chris Shinn on vocals/guitar. Unified Theory began to form in early 1998. After the first plan to carry on Blind Melon with a new singer didn't work out, Smith and Thorn decided to start a new band and came across vocalist Chris Shinn after moving to Los Angeles. Krusen was already friends with Thorn and Smith. While working on tracks for a second album, delays set the band back, and Krusen grew somewhat frustrated and left. This eventually led to Unified Theory's break-up.

The Hung White Ponies[edit]

Krusen played drums with The Hung White Ponies which also included Rick Rosas on bass, Ryan Kralik on guitar and vocals and Michael G. Ronstadt on Cello. Formed in 2011 by Ryan Kralik, the band released the album No Agenda in 2011 along with a cover single of CSNY's Neil Young penned classic protest tune Ohio which also featured Iraq War vet Josh Hisle. In 2012 the concept audio/film album CRAZYTOWN A Visual Music Album was released as both an audio album and a feature film, winning multiple awards in both music and film categories. In 2013, after a west-coast tour, the band released the live concert CD/DVD The Hung White Ponies Live at the High Dive which documented one of the tours Seattle, WA concerts. Krusen is credited as co-producer on many of the Hung White Ponies releases.

Other musical projects[edit]

After leaving Pearl Jam, Krusen teamed up with former Son of Man vocalist Tal Goettling, bass player Matt McClinton, and guitarist Tim Bethune to form the short-lived but highly acclaimed Purple Decade. The band recorded two demo tapes before imploding under the pressures of the Seattle and Los Angeles music scenes. In 2004, Krusen performed with musician Shawn Snyder as part of his backing band. He was a part of a Seattle, Washington-based band called Novatone which released the album Time Can't Wait in 2005. He was Cheyenne Kimball's drummer from 2005 to 2007 and played on her debut album, The Day Has Come (2006). He is currently working on a blues/noise-groove, avant-garde record and performing live and in the studio with various artists including Martyr Reef, Toy Robot, George Stanford, Lowlight, Jesse Cole, Foster Timms, Matthias Sturm, La La Birdtime, Dave Giles, Shelby, Carolyna Loveless, Chris Robinson, Puppies and Kittens and John Pringle. He is now touring with Ida Maria and recording her third album due out in 2012.


Krusen currently plays Paiste cymbals, DW, Gretsch, Yamaha and C&C Drums, Remo drum heads, and Vater drumsticks, preferring the SD9 in wood tip.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Krusen currently resides near Los Angeles with his wife and two children.[6][10]


Pearl Jam discography[edit]

Year Title Label Track(s)
1991 Ten Epic All
1993 In Defense of Animals Restless "Porch"
1999 Rock: Train Kept a Rollin' (Also part of the box set, Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century.) Sony "Black"
2003 Lost Dogs Sony "Alone", "Hold On", "Yellow Ledbetter", "Brother"
2004 rearviewmirror Sony "Once", "Alive", "Jeremy", "Black", and "Yellow Ledbetter"
2009 Ten (Reissue) Legacy All

Diamond Star Halo discography[edit]

Year Title Label
1995 In the Rough Regal Recordings

Hovercraft discography[edit]

Year Title Label
1997 Akathisia Mute

Candlebox discography[edit]

Year Title Label Track(s)
1998 Happy Pills Warner Bros. All
2006 The Best of Candlebox Rhino/WEA "Happy Pills", "It's Alright", "Sometimes", "10,000 Horses", and "Glowing Soul"
2008 Into the Sun Silent Majority Group/ILG All except " @#!*% Brewin", "Underneath it All", "Lover Come Back to Me", and "Consider Us"
2012 Love Stories & Other Musings Audionest/Fontana/Universal First Nine Songs

Unified Theory discography[edit]

Year Title Label
1999 Luma Self-released
2000 Unified Theory Universal
2007 Cinematic Wishbone

Novatone discography[edit]

Year Title Label
2005 Time Can't Wait Wax Orchard

Hung White Ponies discography[edit]

Year Title Label
2011 No Agenda Anatomy Music Group
2011 Ohio (single) Anatomy Music Group
2012 CRAZYTOWN A Visual Music Album Anatomy Multimedia
2013 The Hung White Ponies Live at the High Dive Anatomy Music Group
2014 Aint No Saint (single) Anatomy Music Group

Contributions and collaborations[edit]

Year Group Title Label Track(s)
1998 Caustic Resin The Medicine Is All Gone Alias Some
2002 Carrie Akre Invitation My Way All
2005 Thee Heavenly Music Association Shaping the Invisible Rehash Some
2006 Cheyenne Kimball The Day Has Come Epic "Good Go Bad", "Everything to Lose", and "Didn't I"
2008 Shawn Smith The Diamond Hand Sound Vs. Silence "Toss It in the Fire", "The White Queen", and "For Everyone to See"
2012 Joon Wolfsberg Wonderland Cow Universe Music All


  1. ^ USA People Search David Karl Krusen
  2. ^ "Inductees: Pearl Jam". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  3. ^ (1991) Album notes for Ten by Pearl Jam, [CD booklet]. New York: Sony Music.
  4. ^ a b "Dave Krusen". CandleShop.
  5. ^ a b Acrylic, Kim. "Interview with Dave Krusen of The Kings Royal". Punk Globe. January 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Greene, Jo-Ann. "Pearl Jam and the Secret History of Seattle Part 2". Goldmine. August 1993
  7. ^ Hiatt, Brian. "Pearl Jam Revisit Their Early Days". Rolling Stone. April 2, 2009.
  8. ^ "Watch Pearl Jam Reunite With Original Drummer Dave Krusen For A Ten-Heavy Set In Fresno". Stereogum. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  9. ^ "Original Pearl Jam Drummer Dave Krusen Joins Band in Fresno for First Show in 31 Years". Spin. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Brandolini, Chad. "Dave Krusen: Looking Back at Pearl Jam's Ten". Vater.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2016.

External links[edit]