Billie Eilish’s deserved and stratospheric rise continues with the 17-year-old pop weirdo becoming the latest Rolling Stone cover star. Save for someone like Lil Nas X, few new artists have had as rapid an ascent as Eilish, whose first album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and has already been streamed more than 2 billion times. While she’s dominated the charts, cool teens, uncool teens, and older folks who want to feel like teenagers, there’s another group of people big fans of her work: famous rock dads.
Deep into Josh Eells’ sprawling profile is a not totally surprising anecdote from Eilish’s tour manager Brian Marquis. Eells writes,
"So many Gen X icons have kids who are just the right age to be Billie Eilish fans, and they’ve come backstage to say hi and be hero dads for a night: Dave Grohl, Billie Joe Armstrong, Thom Yorke. Marquis says Grohl and Armstrong were the sweetest guys ever, but Yorke was a little tough. ‘He was just as you’d expect—curmudgeonly, perturbed.’ According to Marquis, Yorke went up to Eilish and mumbled, almost grumpily, ‘You’re the only one doing anything f*cking interesting nowadays.’
Eilish’s response: ‘…thank you?’"
Those three aren’t the only Gen X icons having a backstage moment with Eilish. Eells shares a quote from Eilish’s father, who says that Eddie Vedder took his 14-year-old daughter to see her perform in Seattle. Mr. O'Connell said, “Billie was nice to him and nice to his daughter. And then she got out of there as fast as she could.” The piece doesn’t elaborate any further, which brings up a few questions: Does Billie Eilish prefer Nirvana to Pearl Jam? Why is her father telling a journalist that Eilish “got out of there as fast as she could” after meeting an alt-rock icon?
Though this wasn’t mentioned in the Rolling Stone piece, perhaps the best rock-dad-meets-Billie Eilish moment was when Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus went to one of her meet 'n' greets before a show in Portland last December.
Read Eells’ entire piece here, which does a deep dive into Eilish’s career so far—and her mental health as an increasingly famous musician—and check out the cover below.