Matt Cameron – a former member of Soundgarden and the current drummer for Pearl Jam – is the latest musician to pay tribute to late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who died aged 80 earlier this week.
- READ MORE: Charlie Watts, 1941 – 2021: the ballast that kept The Rolling Stones tempered and on-track
In a statement to SPIN Magazine, the 58-year-old drummer described Watts as “the epitome of cool.”
“His contributions to the world of music and drumming will live on forever,” said Cameron.
“He had a beautifully greasy swagger in his drumming that was completely his own thing. He gave the Stones an authentic swing that partly came from his love of African-American be-bop masters like Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk.”
Cameron went on to praise Watts’ “jazz sensibilities” in his playing, alluding to Watts’ love of the genre and his time as a jazz musician both before and after joining the Rolling Stones.
“He refused to be defined as merely a rock drummer,” concluded Cameron. “He was so much more than that.”
Cameron also shared a photo of himself meeting Watts after a Rolling Stones show in 2019. “Charlie was 78 at the time, and sounded amazing,” Cameron said.
Many drummers have praised Watts in the wake of his passing – among them Pink Floyd‘s Nick Mason, Royal Blood‘s Ben Thatcher, Ringo Starr, Questlove, Alex Van Halen and The E Street Band’s Max Weinberg.
In 2016, both Cameron and Watts were featured on Rolling Stone‘s list of the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.” Cameron was ranked 52nd, being praised for creating “the rhythmic foundation for the ’90s rock revolution.” Watts, meanwhile, was ranked 12th, with the list noting that Watts “perfectly complemented Jagger, Richards and the rest of the gang” for “more than 50 years.”