Wellwater Conspiracy is a trio that consists of drummer Ted Dameron, singer Zeb, and John Paul McBain on guitar. If the first two names sound familiar to Soundgarden fans, that's because it's none other than former members Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd going by aliases. Joining them is ex-Monster Magnet member John Paul McBain, and the group destroys all preconceptions of what a Soundgarden/Monster Magnet supergroup would sound like. It's understandable to think that it would be like Sabbath, but their debut, Declaration of Conformity, is anything but grinding metal. The group first came together in the side project Hater (with two other members), who released an album on A&M in 1993. Although Hater's sound is similar at times to Wellwater Conspiracy, it doesn't possess the same depth and focus. Some may dismiss Wellwater's sound as "lo-fi," but the songs are recorded with creativity, as the group manages to achieve loads of interesting, yet classic, sounds on their debut.
Not long after the release of the band's debut, Cameron accepted an invitation to fill the recently vacated drum position in Pearl Jam. Some assumed the move would spell the end to Wellwater Conspiracy, but Cameron was able to find the time to keep the project afloat — 1999 saw the release of the band's sophomore effort, Brotherhood of Electric: Operational Directives. This time out, Shepherd wasn't involved, as Cameron handled the vocals in addition to his usual drumming duties. 2001 saw the release of The Scroll and Its Combinations, the first Wellwater Conspiracy album to be issued on a sizeable record label (TVT). The album received favorable reviews in the press, as it featured such special guests as Eddie Vedder (listed as Wes C. Adle) and Kim Thayil, with Shepherd coming back onboard for a few tracks. ~ Greg Prato