Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament Preps Solo Debut
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament will unveil his first solo album, "Tone," Sept. 16 via the band's Ten Club fan organization and select U.S. indie retailers.Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament will unveil his first solo album, "Tone," Sept. 16 via the band's Ten Club fan organization and select U.S. indie retailers. As of now, "Tone" will only be available on CD as part of a one-time-only pressing of 3,000 copies.
The material on "Tone" represents an accumulation of 10 years worth of songs Ament never solicited for potential inclusion on a Pearl Jam album. "It just got to a point where I had to clean off the shelf a little bit," he tells Billboard.com. "I broke this group of 35 songs into three groups and decided to finish one of them."
Richard Stuverud, Ament's collaborator in his prior solo project Three Fish, plays drums on seven tracks, while King's X frontman Doug Pinnick sings lead on "Doubting Thomasina." "Everything else is me," Ament says.
One "Tone" track, "The Forest," was actually put to tape by Pearl Jam "but [singer] Ed [Vedder] never got around to recording vocals for it. So I just wound up using the original version with a drum machine."
Another cut, "Hi-Line," was written for a film based on the short story "Dry Rain." Says Ament, "It takes place up in north central Montana, pretty close to where I grew up. I didn't end up finishing the song before they put the movie out, but I got two pretty cool songs out of it, inspired by growing up in north central Montana. It forced me to write from a different perspective."
Ament, who toured with Three Fish, says he "eventually" may play some solo gigs, and that "me and Richard doing a two-piece thing with loops and a set of both our songs" could be a possibility at some point.
Meanwhile, later this fall, Pearl Jam will reconvene to continue work on its ninth studio album with producer Brendan O'Brien.
"We have five or six almost finished instrumental beds, and maybe 15 other things from which we could definitely get three or four songs out of," Ament says. "Hopefully sometime this winter we will knock a record out. The goal is to know the songs front to back before we actually record them, which we haven't always done."
Ament is particularly excited to work again with O'Brien, whose last production credit on a Pearl Jam album was 1998's "Yield." "He's a great musician and we trust him, which is really important when you have a group of people with totally different opinion on whether a song is good or not," he says.
Here is the track list for "Tone":
"Just Like That"
"Give Me a Reason"
"Life of a Salesman"
"The Only Cloud in the Sky"