Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament Says Kanye West Outburst Is a "Big Publicity Stunt"
By Andrew Magnotta
May 4, 2018
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament says while he loves Kanye West, the rapper/producer's recent comments on Donald Trump and slavery being "a choice" have made him swing "the other way." Ament says he regrets reading a recent article about what Kanye has been saying because now he can't enjoy the rapper's music.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer tells NME in a new interview that he doesn't know Kanye personally, but he says it seems to him that the rapper is motivated by getting attention. Ament says West being associated with the Kardashians probably has a role in his recent outbursts.
"All of it is just a big publicity stunt," said the bassist. "He’s been out of the news for a few months, so I think he’s looking to generate some [news]."
Whether West truly believes what he's saying is anyone's guess, but most people close to Kanye say the artist can't cite any facts to back up his political stances and hasn't thought about the wider affects of his comments on race. Kanye recently said hundreds of years of African slavery indicates the slaves made "a choice" to remain in chains.
For Ament, he's just a fan who thinks Kanye's last tour was one of the greatest live events he's ever experienced, "but then when he opened his mouth, I swung the other way." Ament says he acutely understands the frustration of millions of Kanye fans.
“I have a hard time separating the art from the artist. There’s certain artists where I don’t read their interviews because it really affects me enjoying their music. I wish I hadn’t opened that text that had the article about dragon energy and Donald Trump. It’s unfortunate.”
Ament is preparing to release his latest solo album, Heaven/Hell, on May 10. His main band, Pearl Jam, is set to being a European tour next month, followed by a run of shows in South America in mid-summer.
Pearl Jam will then embark on a run of dates at North American baseball stadiums. The band has pledged to raise $10 million this year for the fight against homelessness, including $1 million from two shows in their hometown of Seattle, WA.
Fans can help by donating, volunteering or getting more information here.
Get the Pearl Jam tour dates here.
Photo: Getty Images