Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament was the victim of a violent robbery outside Southern Tracks Recording studios in Atlanta, where the band is recording their ninth studio album with producer Brendan O'Brien. According to a police report, Ament and a band employee pulled up to the rear of the studio on the afternoon of April 27th when three assailants brandishing knives emerged from the woods wearing black masks, gloves and pants. The robbers smashed the windows of a rented Jeep and grabbed a BlackBerry before demanding more money. In total, the pair were robbed of $3,000 in cash and $4,320 worth of goods.
The bassist was chased and knocked to the ground, sustaining a head laceration which was treated by EMS. The attackers — who also stole Ament's passport — escaped into a waiting black Nissan Maxima. The incident was captured on a surveillance camera, but no arrests have been made. Pearl Jam declined to comment on the incident.
In February, Rolling Stone confirmed Pearl Jam were hitting the studio to work on an album they plan to self-release in the States. "The new record feels good so far — really strong and uptempo, stuff we can sink our teeth into," Eddie Vedder told us. It's the band's first album with O'Brien behind the boards since 1998's Yield.
Pearl Jam are booked to headline both the Outside Lands and Austin City Limits festivals alongside the Beastie Boys and Dave Matthews Band. The band has also confirmed two late-August gigs, one in Toronto and one in Chicago.