Jeff Ament’s Departure From War Babies Changed Pearl Jam’s Future, According To Brad Sinsel
The Seattle Grunge Scene of the ’90s was one of rock music’s most fertile grounds and witnessed the formation of iconic acts like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. War Babies were also present in the same scene, and their stories intersect with Pearl Jam. As a recent guest of VW Music, former frontman Brad Sinsel told the story of his band’s short journey with Jeff Ament and how one of grunge’s trailblazing bands was formed at the end of this journey.
“War Babies signing to Columbia Records coincided with the passing of Andrew Wood and the consequential demise of Mother Love Bone,” said the musician, recalling Mother Love Bone’s disbandment in the early ’90s. “Their bass player, Jeff Ament, needed a job, and War Babies needed a bass player. Kelly approached us with the suggestion to bring Jeff on board. It was all done in-house. He basically was a salaried player doing some live shows and some demo work as well.”
Sinsel recalled, “Within a year, Jeff and Stone Gossard reconnected, forming Pearl Jam. We hired our third bass player following his departure; the rest is history. Had Jeff elected to stay, I’d venture to say that Pearl Jam’s rhythm section would not have the infamous signature it has today. Ultimately, our outcome would have been the same if he had stayed with War Babies, as grunge was clearly an unstoppable freight train.”
He added that he is still in touch with Pearl Jam members, saying, “I’ve been involved with recordings with Stone as well as Mike McCready has contributed guitars on a few songs from my current project, Angels of Dresden, in exchange for my appearing on his charity event ‘Flight To Mars.’ This summer, of course, Rich [Stuverud] filled in for Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron during their tour dates, so safe to say, to this day, we all stay in contact in contact.”
War Babies, who came out from Seattle in the early ’90s, were performing with different bands at that time, including Mother Love Bone. The latter disbanded when Andrew Wood, the frontman, died of an overdose just as the band’s new album release approached. After parting ways with Mother Love Bone, Jeff Ament played with them for a very short time until he decided to join Stone Gossard’s new band, which marked the formation of Pearl Jam.
As for Brad Sinsel, he is one of the names who devoted his life to rock music. After War Babies, he was busy with many musical projects, the last of which was Angels of Dresden. There don’t seem to be any hard feelings between him and Pearl Jam after the guitarist decided to leave his band since the rockstar deeply cared about the continuation of grunge, whether it be with his band or with another. He has stayed in touch with the Pearl Jam members, and lead guitarist Mike McCready was one of the guest musicians in his latest project.