Jeff Ament

Jeff Ament

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Jeff Ament
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist

Img_capt = Jeff Ament on stage with Pearl Jam in Bologna, Italy on September 14, 2006
Img_size = 250
Birth_name = Jeffrey Allen Ament
Alias = Al Nostreet
Born = birth date and age|1963|3|10 Havre, Montana, U.S.
Occupation = Musician, Songwriter
Years_active = 1982–present
Instrument = Bass, vocals
Label = J, Monkey Wrench, Homestead, Sub Pop, Stardog, Mercury, A&M, Epic
Associated_acts = Pearl Jam, Deranged Diction, Green River, Lords of the Wasteland, Mother Love Bone, Luv Company, War Babies, Temple of the Dog, Three Fish

Jeffrey Allen Ament (born March 10, 1963 in Havre, Montana) is an American bassist and songwriter. Along with Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, and Eddie Vedder, he is one of the founding members of the American rock band Pearl Jam. Ament is well known for his work in grunge rock bands based in Seattle through the 1980s prior to Pearl Jam, and is particularly notable for his work with the fretless bass, upright bass and twelve-string bass guitar.


Early life

Jeff Ament was born in Havre, Montana and grew up in the town of Big Sandy, Montana, a town with a population of less than 700. Ament's father was mayor of Big Sandy for fifteen years, as well as a school bus driver. [Chaney, Rob. [ "Pearl Jam to play benefit in Missoula"] . "Missoulian". July 14, 2005.] Ament described his family growing up as "pretty poor"Vaziri, Aidin. [ "Q & A With Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament"] . "San Francisco Chronicle". October 29, 2000.] and "hard-core Catholic." [Weisel, Al. [ "Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam"] . "Rolling Stone". August 8, 1996.] Ament has one brother, Barry.

He began playing the bass guitar as a teenager, often playing along with Ramones, The Clash, and The Police records. Ament participated in basketball, football, and track at Big Sandy High School, from which he graduated in 1981. ["Interview with Jeff Ament, Bassist for Pearl Jam". May 25, 2003.] He then went on to college at the University of Montana in Missoula, where he studied art and played basketball. [ [ "The Sky I Scrape: Pearl Jam FAQ"] .] [Heaney, John. [ "Meet: Jeff Ament: Pearl Jam's Ament Plays for Love of Game"] . "Missoulian". January 6, 2008.] Ament quit college in the middle of his sophomore year after the university told him they were no longer going to continue its graphic design program.Ho, Jeff. [ "Interview with Jeff Ament"] . "Juice" Magazine. 2006.] Ament then relocated to Seattle in the early 1980s with his band Deranged Diction.

Musical career

Green River

Ament became acquainted with fellow Seattle musicians Mark Arm and Steve Turner, and he was asked to join their new band Green River in 1984. The band also included drummer Alex Vincent, with guitarist Stone Gossard eventually being added to the line-up. By the time the band finished the recording of its debut EP, "Come on Down", Turner decided to leave the group, citing his distaste with Ament and Gossard's heavy metal leanings.Huey, Steve. " [ Green River Biography] ". Allmusic.] He was replaced by Ament's former Deranged Diction bandmate, Bruce Fairweather.

The band released the EP "Come on Down" in 1985 and followed it up with "Dry As a Bone" in 1987, the first release on Sub Pop records. [ Sub Pop Records biography] ] The band's only full-length studio album, "Rehab Doll", was released in 1988. In-fighting within the band lead to the group's break-up during the recording of "Rehab Doll". A stylistic division had developed between Ament and Gossard on one side, and Arm on the other. [Azerrad, Michael. "Our Band Could Be Your Life". Little Brown and Company, 2001. ISBN 0-316-78753-1, pg. 422] Ament and Gossard wanted to pursue a major-label deal, while Arm wanted to remain independent, viewing the duo as being too careerist. Regarding the accusation, Ament later said that during his time with the band he had to work at a restaurant in order to pay his rent, while the other members were supported by their parents. He said, "Did I want to play music and have my rent paid for? Hell yeah." [ [ "Pearl Jam Podcast"] . "Rolling Stone".] The band achieved a considerable local reputation in Seattle and had a significant influence on the genre later known as grunge, with Green River being described as "arguably the first grunge band."

Mother Love Bone

Following Green River's dissolution, Ament established Mother Love Bone in 1988 along with former Green River members Gossard and Fairweather, former Malfunkshun frontman Andrew Wood, and former Ten Minute Warning and Skin Yard drummer Greg Gilmore. The band quickly worked on recording and performing locally and by late 1988 had become one of Seattle's more promising bands. In early 1989 the band signed to PolyGram subsidiary Mercury Records. In March of that year the group issued its debut EP, "Shine".

In late 1989 the group returned to the studio to record its debut studio album, "Apple". It was planned for a March 1990 release. Only days before the release of "Apple", however, frontman Wood, who had a long history with drug problems, overdosed on heroin. After spending a few days in the hospital in a coma, Wood died, effectively bringing Mother Love Bone to an end. "Apple" would see release later that year.

Temple of the Dog

Following Wood's death, Ament and Gossard almost parted company, but eventually got back together along with a childhood friend of Gossard's named Mike McCready. The trio were attempting to form their own band when they were invited to be part of the Temple of the Dog project founded by Soundgarden's Chris Cornell as a musical tribute to Andrew Wood. Cornell had been Wood's roommate. Ament described the collaboration as "a really good thing at the time" for him and Gossard that put them into a "band situation where we could play and make music."cite web|title=KISW 99.9 FM: Seattle, Radio Interview by Damon Stewart in The New Music Hour with Chris Cornell, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard|author=Nicholls, Justin||url=|accessdate=2007-10-03|date=1991-04-14] The band's lineup was completed by the addition of Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron.

The band started rehearsing songs written by Cornell on tour prior to Wood's death, as well as re-working some existing material from demos written by Gossard and Ament.Alden, Grant. "Requiem for a Heavyweight." "Guitar World". July 1997] This project eventually featured vocalist Eddie Vedder, who sang a duet with Cornell on the song "Hunger Strike" and provided background vocals on several other songs. Vedder had arrived in Seattle to audition to be the singer for Ament and Gossard's next band, which later became Pearl Jam. The band decided that it had enough material for an entire album and, in April 1991, "Temple of the Dog" was released through A&M Records.

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam was formed in 1990 by Ament, Gossard, and McCready,cite web | last = Crowe | first = Cameron | url = | title = Five Against the World | work = Rolling Stone | date = 1993-10-28 | accessdate = 2007-06-23 ] who then recruited Vedder and drummer Dave Krusen. The band signed to Epic Records in 1991. Drummer Dave Abbruzzese joined the band a few months later following the completion of the band's debut studio album, "Ten". "Ten" broke the band into the mainstream, and became one of the best selling alternative albums of the 1990s. The band found itself amidst the sudden popularity and attention being paid to the Seattle music scene and the genre known as grunge. Upon its release, the band's sophomore album, "Vs.", set at the time the record for most copies of an album sold in a week, [cite web | url=,,308749,00.html | title=Pearl's Jam | accessdate=2007-08-31 | publisher="Entertainment Weekly" | date=1993-11-19] and spent five weeks at number one on the "Billboard" 200.

Feeling the pressures of success, the band decided to decrease the level of promotion for its albums, including refusing to release music videos. [Ashare, Matt. "The Sweet Smell of (Moderate) Success". CMJ. July 2000.] "Ten years from now," Ament said, "I don't want people to remember our songs as videos." In 1994, the band began a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster, which lasted for three years and limited the band's ability to tour in the United States. [DeRogatis, Jim. "Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's". Cambridge: Da Capo, 2003. ISBN 0-306-81271-1, pg. 58] Ament took an active role during Pearl Jam's dispute with Ticketmaster in 1994 over prices and surcharges. Along with Gossard, Ament testified before a congressional subcommittee, arguing that Ticketmaster's practices were anti-competitive. [Van Schagen, Sarah [ "Jam Session" - Interview with Stone Gossard] . July 21, 2006.] Later that same year the band released its third studio album, "Vitalogy", which became the band's third straight album to reach multi-platinum status.

Following the firing of Abbruzzese in 1994, drummer Jack Irons joined the band. The band subsequently released "No Code" in 1996 and "Yield" in 1998. The band once again changed drummers in 1998, with Irons leaving the band due to dissatisfaction with touring. [cite web | url= | title=Off He Goes | accessdate=2007-06-28 | author=Fischer, Blair R | publisher="Rolling Stone" | date=1998-04-17] Irons was replaced by former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, who has been with the band ever since. In 1998, Pearl Jam recorded "Last Kiss", a cover of a 1960s ballad made famous by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. It was first released on the band's 1998 fan club single; however, by popular demand, the cover was released to the general public as a single in 1999. "Last Kiss" peaked at number two on the "Billboard" charts and became the band's highest-charting single. In 2000, the band released its sixth studio album "Binaural" and initiated a successful and ongoing series of official bootlegs. In 2002, the band released its seventh studio album "Riot Act" and in 2006 the band released its eighth studio album, the eponymous "Pearl Jam". The band has begun preliminary work on its ninth studio album.

Aside from his musical contributions for the band, Ament has made significant contributions to the band's album artwork. His photography can be found throughout the majority of the band's releases.

ongwriting and influences

Ament makes a major songwriting contribution to Pearl Jam. He penned the music for one of the band's biggest hits, "Jeremy", as well as "Nothingman". His contributions to Pearl Jam's songs have not been limited to music with Ament having written the lyrics for the songs "Pilate", "Low Light", "Gods' Dice", "Nothing as It Seems", "Help Help", "Other Side", and "Sweet Lew". As well as bass contributions, Ament has often provided backing vocals and has played guitar on two of the songs he had written musically: "Smile" ("No Code") and "Bee Girl" ("Lost Dogs"). He performs lead vocal duties on "Sweet Lew" (from "Lost Dogs").

Ament has cited The Who, The Beatles, Aerosmith, Kiss, AC/DC, Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Clash, and Black Flag among his influences.Coryat, Karl. [ "Godfather of the "G" Word"] . "Bass Player Magazine". April 1994.] citeweb | last = Hiatt | first = Brian | url = | title = The Second Coming of Pearl Jam | work = Rolling Stone | date = 2006-06-16 | accessdate = 2007-06-22] In an interview, Ament stated:

I have to be able to feel the bass. I've worked hard with our producers to make sure that when you play our records on your stereo, you can feel the bass. You might not necessarily be able to hear it all the time, but if you turn it up you can feel the movement in the low end -- that it's moving the song. And when it's not there, it should be creating a dynamic.

Other musical projects

Three Fish

Ament had a side project band named Three Fish, which he formed in 1994 with Robbi Robb of Tribe After Tribe and Richard Stuverud of the Fastbacks. Three Fish released two albums, "Three Fish" (1996) and "The Quiet Table" (1999).

"Mirror Ball"

Ament performed with other members of Pearl Jam on Neil Young's 1995 album "Mirror Ball", and subsequently took part in an eleven-date tour of Europe as part of Young's backing band. This tour proved very successful with Young's manager Elliot Roberts calling it "One of the greatest tours we ever had in our whole lives." [McDonough, Jimmy. "Shakey: Neil Young's Biography", Anchor, 2003. ISBN 0-6797-5096-7 [] ]


On September 16, 2008, Ament released his first solo album entitled "Tone". The album features ten songs written over a span of 12 years. [ [ "Jeff Ament: "Tone"] .] 3,000 copies of "Tone" were pressed and were distributed through independent record stores across the United States as well as through Pearl Jam's official website. [Cohen, Jonathan. [ "Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament Preps Solo Debut"] . "Billboard". September 3, 2008.]

Other work

Ament had a brief acting cameo in the 1992 movie "Singles", along with Stone Gossard and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. He appeared as himself, playing bass in lead actor Matt Dillon's backing band, Citizen Dick. [ [ "Jeff Ament"] . Internet Movie Database.] Most of Matt Dillon's wardrobe in the movie actually belonged to Ament. [ [,,305806,00.html "Northwestern Exposure"] . "Entertainment Weekly". March 5, 1993.] During the making of the film Ament produced a list of song titles for the fictional band.Prato, Greg. [ "Spoonman > Review"] . Allmusic. Retrieved on August 1, 2008.] Chris Cornell took it as a challenge to write songs for the film using those titles, and "Spoonman" was one of them. The title of "Spoonman" is credited to Ament in the liner notes for Soundgarden's 1994 album "Superunknown". [(1994) Album notes for "Superunknown" by Soundgarden, [CD booklet] . New York: A&M Records.] Ament was also interviewed for the 2001 skateboarding documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys".

With his brother Barry, Ament runs Ames Bros., an art production company that produces tour posters and album artwork for many bands, including Pearl Jam.

Personal life

Ament currently lives in Seattle, Washington, and Missoula, Montana. Aside from music, Ament's interests include skateboarding, basketball, graphic design, snowboarding, and wakeboarding. He was a fan and season ticket holder of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics. Ament assisted in financing the construction of Missoula's Mobash Skatepark. [Woodhouse, Murphy. [ "Riding a vision to reality — Success of Mobash skatepark is the triumph of determination over inexperience"] . Western Montana InBusiness Monthly. October 2007.] He and his partner, Pandora, climbed Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro in support of Save the Children. [Kelley, Steve. [ "From Malawi to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro"] . "The Seattle Times". August 20, 2004.]

Ament is a supporter of organic farmer and United States Senator Jon Tester. Tester grew up near Big Sandy and Ament knew of Tester before either were famous. Ament campaigned for Tester in 2006.


Green River

Pearl Jam

Three Fish


External links

*MySpace|jeffamentpj|Jeff Ament
* [ Pearl Jam's official website]
* [ Ames Bros Homepage]
*allmusicguide|11:5dq3g4fttv4z|Jeff Ament
*imdb name|0024610
* [ Given to Wail] – Information on Jeff Ament's equipment in the Gear section of the site dedicated to fellow Pearl Jam member Mike McCready

NAME= Ament, Jeff
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Ament, Jeffrey Allen
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Musician, Songwriter
DATE OF BIRTH= birth date and age|1963|3|10
PLACE OF BIRTH=Havre, Montana, U.S.

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