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Pearl Jam bassist says musicians have the right to speak out on politics

Photo by David Redfern/Redferns | Getty Images

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and his bandmate Richard Stuverud from side project RNDM discussed politics and music on a recent Pearl Jam Radio special. Stuverud remarked, "It’s always a difficult thing to go there as a songwriter going into any kind of politics, it can be a weird challenging thing.” Ament responded, "But I think that’s Fox News that have sort of put that out there. They have sort of thrown musicians and artists in the realm of, ‘Oh, you’re Hollywood people, so you shouldn’t talk about politics, or you shouldn’t use your pulpit to talk about that stuff.’ I think that’s crazy.”

Ament added, "I was sort of brought up in a conservative family. But I think it’s insane that people think as an artist you shouldn’t be able to -- I think there’s different kind of art. I think there’s Van Halen bands, where you just go out and party and want to forget about your problems. I think the music that I sort of gravitate towards are people who are talking about real issues, and issues that they’re affected by."

  • Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder has said in the past that he finds it difficult but necessary to balance politics and music: "Well, you don't like to balance it at all. I'd rather just be an entertainer, but it just seems too important to back down and feel like, 'Well, maybe I shouldn't get into this territory because I want to remain an artist and I don't want to confuse the people that listen to us or don't want to turn them off because we're talking about politics here.' It's like you have to act right now. You just have to."
  • Pearl Jam recently posted two teasers online for a new concert film called Let's Play Two. The documentary will chronicle the group's 2016 two-night stand at Wrigley Field in Chicago on August 20th and 22nd of last year. The film will tentatively arrive in selected theaters on October 3rd.
  • The band has released one previous film, a band history called Pearl Jam Twenty, and has made dozens of official live bootleg recordings available in addition to an official concert album, 1998's Live On Two Legs.


READ: Check out Alternative Nation for more on this story


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