Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and a band employee, Mark Anthony Smith, were mugged outside producer Brendan O’Brien‘s Southern Tracks Studios on April 27 and security camera footage has now surfaced. In it you see three dudes run up to Ament’s rented Jeep and smash the driver’s side window. Ament, who was in the passenger side, gets out and tries to run away but is tackled by one of the muggers. He reportedly suffered minor injuries in the afternoon attack.
On the band’s fourth full-length (fifth if you count Call Of The Mastodon) Atlanta’s Mastodon makes an album that will finally test the patience of the alternative elite that has traditionally supported them. I’m more suspicious of these music-types than the indie rocker who openly disdains metal because at least he’s being honest about it.
Yes, I’m one of those who believe there’s a large contingency of hipsters that have stood by Mastodon on the sole reason that they needed to find a relatively underground metal band to align with just to prove that they’re open to all kinds of music.
Their affection towards Mastodon should end with Crack The Skye, an album that puts the notion of “concept album” to a point of ridiculousness while utilizing a famous producer (Brendan O’Brien) to help capture the mayhem and, quite possibly, tidy up the results to get it ready for mass consumption.
It is very easy to dismiss a band like Velvet Revolver because of their actions outside the music. Nobody held a (ahem) gun to Slash or Duff’s head and made them sign over the rights to a band name that they rightfully co-owned, particularly in the creative sense. Nobody forced Scott Weiland to seek solace in a needle while negotiating the demands of rock stardom. So while some fans of Guns ‘N Roses or Stone Temple Pilots might have been excited by the idea of a decadent supergroup, the reality was less than noteworthy.
I shouldn’t dismiss a band on the dirt they track in from their depravity. If anything, I should force myself to actually sit down with the new Velvet Revolver album and listen to it, uncontested and open-minded. But when I eventually heard Velvet Revolver’s sophomore effort, Libertad, it suddenly became a whole lot easier to dismiss them.