Pearl Jam’s Bassist Ament Gets Mystical
Pearl Jam has sold millions of records - and will release another in September - but meanwhile, bassist Jeff Ament is off with an intriguing, meditative side band called Three Fish. The group mixes Sufi poetry and mystical story songs that move from acoustic ballads to psychedelic guitar rock in the vein of the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin, capped by some processed vocals echoing U2 and David Bowie. It’s a musical potpourri that pays no attention to commercial trends.
“Until four or five months ago, we had no plans to make a record. It was all about experimentation,” says Ament, who plays bass and lead guitar, while Robbi Robb (from Tribe After Tribe) sings and Richard Stuverud handles drums.
“We made the record for just $7,000,” adds Robb.
“We really had no expectations,” says Ament. “We were just having amazing conversations and reading each other beautiful passages and poems. It was very healthy. And every time we got together, our minds were open and in the present. We weren’t worried about what people were going to think about it, and we weren’t bringing our other bands’ baggage into it.
“I don’t know if we’ll make more records or not,” says Ament. “It’s weird. People always ask, ‘Are you quitting Pearl Jam? What are you doing?’ But it’s all about creating and growing. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing with as long as you’re feeling communication and growth.”