Like so many other bands, Pearl Jam was forced to take an extended break from touring over the past year. While stuck at home in Montana, Jeff Ament began toying around with his own solo music. While Ament is excited to release his album I Should Be Outside, he says the pandemic had him rethinking his approach to Pearl Jam, as well.
"The band is just starting to get back together, so we're just starting those conversations," Ament told Forbes. "But the one thing that I said was that I hope during this last year and a half that everybody dreamt up some new ideas on how we can tour more efficiently and less wastefully."
"I'll admit it, the pandemic was horrible and people struggled, but having the time off and being able to go deep creating, that part was pretty great," he continued. "Just to sort of be out of the rat race for a year and a half, I didn't hate that part of it. I'm really looking forward to whatever we do next. I know there's gonna be a shift and I think it's gonna be a really positive shift. But I don't know what that is yet for the band."
One of the ways Ament is changing the way he thinks about being in Pearl Jam, as well as the band's deep catalog of music, is how they approach playing their songs live. "We were rehearsing the new record when the s**t hit the fan and we knew those songs," he explained. "But we hadn't touched any of the 140 songs in our catalog. So we haven't played any of those 140 songs in almost three years. So hopefully that allows s to change some stuff up with that too. Hopefully we'll get back into and maybe we'll play things a little bit differently. 'Oh, we should play that one slower, or let's extend this section or we've always extended this section in this song, let's not do that anymore.' Just have some new conversations about how we play those old songs; that's all exciting. But it's gonna be an undertaking, it's gonna be three or four weeks of rehearsal."
Ultimately, though, Ament says he's "just excited for music" to be back. "I'm re-excited to be in a crowd," he told the outlet. "I didn't go to a basketball game this year for the first time since I was a kid. So I think I'm just excited to be around all that energy. It's largely just been my wife and I and the dogs and a couple of friends that we have sort of trusted before everybody got vaccinated, So I can't wait to be anonymous in the middle of a bunch of energy, that's gonna be fun."