Pearl Jam have addressed the storm of furore generated by their new gig poster starring Donald Trump.
Designed by the band’s bassist, Jeff Ament, in collaboration with artist Bobby Brown, the image casually depicts a burning White House with a bald eagle chomping down on the US President’s rotting corpse.
Naturally, US Republicans have been pretty pissed about it, particularly because the Montana concert advertised by the poster also doubled as a fundraiser for Democratic senator, John Tester.
We can’t be particularly surprised at this point – Pearl Jam have been both unashamedly political and unashamedly anti-Trump – but turns out this could have some pretty serious consequences for Senator Tester, given that he’s running in a state where Trump, a republican, has a high approval rating, according to The Washington Examiner.
Republican politician Matt Rosendale, who’s currently gunning for Tester’s job, has slammed the poster as “disgusting and reprehensible”.
“It’s time for @JonTester to denounce this act of violence and blatant display of extremism”, he tweeted.
Meanwhile Fox News’ notoriously right-wing Chad Pergram tweeted: “Campaign of GOP MT Senate candidate Matt Rosendale on Pearl Jam concert art: Jon Tester has shown he will stand w/the far-left..
“This poster from Pearl Jam is disgusting..It depicts a dead President Trump & a burning WH. It’s time for Jon Tester to denounce this act of violence.”
Now, responding to the backlash directly, the legendary rockers have defended their right to criticise Trump under the US First Amendment.
“The role of artists is to make people think and feel, and the current administration has us thinking and feeling,” Jeff 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.”