Jeff Ament says pandemic needs to "turn a corner" before Pearl Jam tour

Bassist Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam
(Image credit: GENNA MARTIN/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament has spoken out about the difficulties of getting back on the road amid a global pandemic. 

In a new interview on the Kyle Meredith With… podcast, where he discussed his new, fourth solo album I Should Be Outside, the bassist shared his thoughts on playing gigs after months without live music and what Pearl Jam have planned for the coming months.

In a conversation that spans the pandemic, new music and the difficulties of having loved ones with opposing views, Ament touches on the dangers of internet misinformation, saying: "In a lot of cases I think those guys don't even believe what they're saying. They're certainly spewing anti-vax stuff when all those guys are vaccinated."

He goes on to share his hopes for an upcoming Pearl Jam live stint, but maintains some reservations about the current state of play – and whether it's safe to head back out on tour yet. "We have a few things penciled in for next year. Hopefully this [Delta] variant and whatever’s going on with the vaccinations and all that stuff, hopefully we turn a corner.

"It feels like we’re sort of still teetering on the edge of this thing. If we turn a corner, then hopefully we hit late winter, early spring with a tour, or a leg, at least. We’re jonesing to do it.

"Most of the shows that we have to make up for – the two legs: the European leg and the US leg – most of those shows, they’re indoors. I just don’t know if I want to go out and do 30 shows where you’re checking vaccination cards.

“Hopefully we can be smart enough that we can just turn the corner and by March we’re rocking and everybody can feel good about traveling and getting 20,000 people into a space.”

Speaking on what Pearl Jam have been up to recently, Ament says: "We actually had a little bit of a play, like three weeks, four weeks ago in Seattle. We just got in a room. We weren't playing any songs. We just jammed, and it was so beautiful. I just missed that so much. And we talked a little bit just about how everybody was feeling."

Earlier this year, Pearl Jam rescheduled their UK and European 2020 tour, and are now set to hit the road in 2022. 

I Should Be Outside is due out on August 10 via Monkeywrench.

Watch the full interview below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.