Pearl Jam promoted their recent Missoula, Montana concert Monday with a poster that depicted the White House on fire and a bald eagle picking at President Donald Trump’s corpse. The band’s bassist, Jeff Ament, designed it with his artist friend Bobby Brown, who is known online as Bobby Draws Skullz.
The band posted the poster to its social media Tuesday with a note from Ament explaining the motivation behind it. “Y’all know the deal,” he wrote under a sketch of the poster. “We’re at a tipping point, and it’s time for action.” He then called for Montana fans to support the reelection of Democratic Senator Jon Tester. “[He] is the real deal,” Ament wrote. “Nobody cares more about our country and especially Montana.”
“The role of artists is to make people think and feel, and the current administration has us thinking and feeling,” Ament tells Rolling Stone. “I was the sole conceptualist of this poster, and I welcome all interpretations and discourse. Love, from the First Amendment, Jeff Ament.”
Tester’s Republican opponent, Matt Rosendale, decried the poster on Twitter. “This poster from Pearl Jam is disgusting and reprehensible,” he wrote. “It depicts a dead President Trump and a burning White House. It’s time for [Jon Tester] to denounce this act of violence and blatant display of extremism!” He also linked to a Breitbart article and used the hashtag #MAGA.
The Democrat has yet to weigh in on the poster, though on August 13th he tweeted that he was discussing issues with local radio outlets “and we mixed in a little Pearl Jam.”
The Missoula concert was part of Pearl Jam’s brief summer tour, dubbed “The Away Shows.” They’ll be hitting Chicago for two nights, after which they’ll play another two nights in Boston. They previously played their “Home Shows” in Seattle.