Pearl Jam Member Reveals How He Inspired Huge Chris Cornell Hits


Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament was recently interviewed by The Powell Movement, and he discussed working on the 1992 film Singles, and how he created the cassettes that helped inspire Chris Cornell to write “Spoonman” and a few of his greatest songs.

“Matt Dillon’s apartment was basically my apartment. We basically took everything down from my apartment and put it up in Matt Dillon’s. We basically put posters all over the walls, and decorated it. In some ways, it was sort of the apartment that I wish I had.

We were putting a nice little Persian carpet down, which I couldn’t afford a Persian carpet, a nicer stereo. It was super fun, because any little bit of posters or tapes that were laying around the room, any of that stuff they needed, they came to me and said, ‘Hey man we need you to do this.’ So I would go to Seattle Art, which is down by the Greyhound station, and for the first time in my life, I had an expense account.

I could go in and buy $2,000 worth of art supplies, that I got to keep! It was insane, and they were paying me rent for my posters and a couple of skateboards that they ended up using in the movie. They paid me for that stuff. Just to work in an atmosphere where there were no boundaries. I would work on stuff, and Steven Lineweaver would come over and look at them and go, ‘Eh, that’s not that good.’ The next day Cameron would come through and be like, ‘Oh man that’s awesome! There’s going to be a time when Matt Dillon is going to be busking through the market, and we need some tapes for him.’

So I made these tapes that Chris Cornell later found, and ended up writing songs off of.”

Listen to the interview below.

  • Duncan Bishop

    You’ve picked the wrong bit of the interview to collate. The actual part relating to the title is only 6 words longer than the title itself. And the whole ‘revealing’ thing -Chris Cornell himself revealed that Jeff Ament provided the titles, and he gets a credit on Superunknown. You’re at least 23 years late with the ‘reveal’ -a new record for you Brett?

  • Olga Stewart

    I can just see Jeff standing thinking, “Wow but I now have an expense account? Who would have thought?”

  • Carrie Walker

    Someone always trying to steal the glory. I’m sure Chris didn’t need your tapes to write his tunes.Anyway good try. Peace😁😁

    • Trovoid

      Chris thought it would be cool to write actual songs based off of the fake cassette tape Jeff made for the movie.. Jeff isn’t taking credit for the songs but the titles did inspire Chris. The songs wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

      • FM KC

        Chris even said he tried to replicate that, put random titles down and write songs based on them. But it didn’t work twice 🙂

        • Trovoid

          Exactly. 1990-1992 was a very prolific time for Chris.

  • killingjoke13

    I guess I owe it to Citizen Dick for helping inspire one of my favorite songs of all time

    • Olga Stewart

      It’s good to see you, killingjoke13. :).

      • killingjoke13

        Hello, Olga. Likewise!