Ament Brothers Team Up and Score a Grammy
February 12, 2020
To start this article, I would like to take a moment to thank both Barry and Jeff Ament for taking the time out of their busy schedule to reach out to me, as without them, this article would not be possible. Secondly, I would like to thank The Mountaineer for allowing me to conduct this article. This article means a lot to me, and I am very humbled by the opportunity.On January 26th, 2020, the 62nd Grammy Awards were held. To most people across the United States, it was just another fancy award night for celebs and musicians; but for the people of Big Sandy, it meant something a little more. On this magnificent evening, Barry Ament, Jeff Ament and Joe Spix accepted the Grammy Award for Best Recording Package. The art work they collaborated on to win this award was for the "Chris Cornell" project. I asked Jeff on how he became involved with the project in the first place and he responded by saying, "Chris's wife Vicky reached out to us and asked if we could oversee the project." Jeff has history working with Cornell in the music industry as they were band mates in Temple of the Dog. A strong bond formed between both Cornell and Ament that helped develop and propel both artists' careers in a positive,successful direction. It was their friendship that introduced Barry Ament and his expertise in graphic design to Cornell. As a teenager, Barry loved Seattle-based bands,such as the likes of Chris's band Soundgarden. Barry's first experience working with Chris actually came when one of his T-shirt designs was picked and merchandised by Soundgarden. After his big break, Barry moved out to Seattle to start his successful career. Having his brother move out to the Emerald City earlier in his life was a strong reason why Barry made the decision. Today, Jeff is "rockin' in the free world" with Pearl Jam; and Barry is pumping out incredible designs for the likes of The Seattle Seahawks, Pagliacci Pizza and Pearl Jam through his company, Ames Bros, with his business partner, Colby Schultz.
All of the art work done for the project, including the album cover that is pictured to the left, has a lot of history and meaning behind it. I asked the Ament Brothers about what it meant to fulfill a childhood dream alongside each other and Barry responded by saying, "The best part of working on this project was working with my brother. Some of my oldest memories are listening to records and drawing in his room. Jeff left for college in the early 80s when I was 9 and we stayed connected through music and art. We're talking pre-internet/snail mail... he'd send me mixed tapes and band flyers he had created and I'd send him drawings, some of which he'd use on flyers and t-shirts. Later on when I thought about going to art school, he was one of the few voices saying to go for it." Jeff added that, "Barry and I have been working on art projects, t-shirt designs, album covers and posters together for over 30 years, so it is especially sweet to win a Grammy with my brother!"
This Grammy win was a major accomplishment in all three careers of those who accepted the monumental award, but it is just the beginning of a successful and eventful 2020. I only emailed the Ament brothers, so I do not know what 2020 has in store for Joe, but I can say what the year has in store for Jeff and Barry.
Jeff told me, "Lots of touring which means t shirt, sticker, and poster designs!" Barry told me, "We're working on a few posters for Pearl Jam's upcoming tour and more for The Who and Bottlerock Festival. Always fun stuff in the works for other clients like Pagliacci Pizza and the Seahawks."
Rest In Peace Chris Cornell, 1964-2017