Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament discussed backlash from conservative fans for expressing their liberal political views onstage in a new Kerrang interview.
In 2002 Pearl Jam released “Bu$hleaguer” when lampooned then President George W. Bush. Eddie Vedder wore a Bush mask onstage during performances of the song. The band’s Seattle headquarters were inundated with threatening phone calls and emails. Moreover, when they performed it onstage at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York in 2003, some members of the crowd did not exactly warm to it.
“There was a hail of quarters being thrown at us,” reflected drummer Matt Cameron in Pearl Jam’s official 20th anniversary book, Pearl Jam Twenty. “That was the first time at a Pearl Jam show where, like, I felt the crowd was really mad, and they were trying to hurt us.”
Undeterred, in 2006, on their elf-titled album, they had the re-elected Bush in their crosshairs again on songs such as “World Wide Suicide.” As one would expect, Jeff is extremely proud of this legacy.
“I come from a punk rock background so I love that stuff,” he beams. “I love people getting mad and getting upset and reacting. That’s the best of art, that you can get a reaction out of somebody – whether it’s a reaction of pure joy or pure hate. I think both are good.”
Pearl Jam are now highly critical of President Donald Trump, with Eddie Vedder at times wearing a Trump mask onstage, and mocking the size of the President’s penis.