Pearl Jam's Ament Probes Childhood With "Seems"

After playing a pair of preview shows last week in Bellingham, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia, Pearl Jam is set to return to store shelves this week with its new album, "Binaural," the band's first release since 1998's "Live On Two Legs" concert record.

Pearl Jam has already issued the dark and foreboding "Nothing As It Seems" as the first single, and the track has already crept into the Top 5 at rock radio, and on May 23 the band will launch a European tour in Lisbon, Portugal.

MTV News' John Norris recently sat down with Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament to discuss the dark feel of "Nothing As It Seems," a track for which Ament provided both the music and lyrics.

"It's a little bit reflecting on where I came from," Ament said. "I grew up in really rural area in Northern Montana, and ['Nothing As It Seems' is] looking back at [that].

"I think until two or three years ago, I looked back at my childhood as being a fairly utopian situation where I had the freedom to ride my bike around town when I was five years old, and my parents didn't have to worry about anybody taking me and killing me or whatever.

"In the last couple of years," Ament continued, "there have been some things that have kind of allowed some darker things to come to the surface of my childhood, seeing things that I had kind of selectively forgotten for my own mental health or whatever.

"I had just seen 'Affliction' and I had just read 'Nine Below Zero' by this guy, Kevin Canty, all very kind of rural things that unearthed a lot of stuff. ['Nothing As It Seems'] is just kind of what came out.

"I'm just now starting to actually really analyze what I was talking about," Ament stated, "because I still don't really have a grip on that." [RealVideo]

Pearl Jam will begin its North American tour in support of "Binaural" on August 3 in Virginia Beach, Virginia with Sonic Youth opening (see "Pearl Jam Talks 'Nothing As It Seems,' Firms Up Tour").