Though Pearl Jam aren’t the chart-toppers they once were, they do represent a certain kind of steady rock ‘n’ roll integrity in their approach to music, fans, ethic, etc. They are an almost unique bridge between the alt-rock, classic rock, and jam-band factions, and exactly the kind of critically prestigious, reliable, career-oriented band that the old Columbia/Epic Records used to develop and cherish (Dylan, Springsteen, Santana, etc). So this is more than just another band leaving just another label:
- Pearl Jam has quietly confirmed reports that it’s no longer on Epic Records. In the Q&A section of the latest Pearl Jam Rumour Pit, the band’s official online newsletter, the question “Have Pearl Jam left their record company yet?” is answered by a simple “Yes.” Neither the band’s management nor Epic–Pearl Jam’s home since its debut album in 1991–are making official comments on the matter.
Prior to the start of Pearl Jam’s North American tour, bassist Jeff Ament expressed the band’s dissatisfaction with Epic and its parent company, Sony Music. “Our record company’s in shambles right now, so we’re (chuckles), we’re gonna wait for the label to get their sh-t together before we put anything else out,” Ament said. “It might be the sort of thing where, 10 years or 12 years, it’s kind of run its course a little bit. I mean, the good thing is that we have nothing but time right now, so we can enjoy our free agency.”
Ament said that Pearl Jam has started talking to other labels, including Clive Davis’ J Records, but nothing has been decided yet. “We want to be somewhere where people are really excited about us being at their label, and we have tons of ideas about how we want to do things, but we also want to hear somebody who has equally as many ideas about how we can do things,” Ament said. [Launch]
This is absolutely emblematic of the way things are going in the music industry, very sad.