Seattle’s native son and Pearl Jam band member, Stone Gossard, is releasing one song per week from his new and highly innovative album, Moonlander.
I hopped on the phone with the guitarist and PJ mastermind to deconstruct a couple of his beautiful new songs – Both Live and Your Flames… and both come from Stone’s dreams.
Stone on who plays with him on the new album:
A lot of them you’ve heard of before – “Matt Cameron plays on three of the tracks. He plays with us and Soundgarden. My dear old friend Regan Hagar who I play with in Brad plays drums on 2 or 3 of the songs. Matt Chamberlain who played drums on the Alive video for Pearl Jam was actually Matt Cameron on the video because he toured with us for a few weeks back in the day when we were transitioning through drummers… and Hans Teuber who leads Teatro Zinzanni bands, who’s a fantastic piano player and sax player… and Pete Droge, produced my other album, Seattle guy… helped me with harmonies…(more). A lot of Seattle folks, for sure.”
Stone on the latest song release from his solo album, “Your Flames”:
It’s my “Sweet Child Of Mine” [laughs]. It’s like “Sweet Child Of Mine” but Slash isn’t on it. This song is about a dream that I had and it’s very straight-forward as far as lyrics. The dream was pretty simple: I came upon my nephew who was lighting matches in his bedroom, kinda down on his knees. I remember being so terrified and so angry that I went over to him and I ended up smacking him in the head three times with my open hand. One, I don’t hit people, but in dreams there are no rules, you don’t have any control. You’re sorta watching your dream unfold and you’re horrified. And I remember thinking in my dream, “Oh my God, I’m horrible! What did I do? I can’t have done this!” That was the moment of the dream when I was like, “whoa, this is a different dream.” The idea, I guess, is ultimately, his own flame – his spirit, is the most important one and you don’t have to light that one it’s already burning.
Stone on the ages of the songs:
I think the drums and bass and melody for “I Need Something Different” was from 2003; “Bombs Away” was also 2003. So, ten years for some of these. It’s fun to do a project that takes a long time to do. There’s something satisfying about really taking your time and almost being done and then scrapping it then looking at it again then getting rid of two songs and writing two more and just sort of being really patient with it.
Stone on touring Moonlander (and on the new Pearl Jam album):
I don’t have any plans yet, but ultimately it would be great to play out. I think that’s part of the plan, but we haven’t made plans yet. Just finishing making, putting the final touches on a Pearl Jam record, and we’ve got some touring with that coming up.
Stone talks about playing solo stuff on a Pearl Jam tour:
I have no idea. Pearl Jam has at least 200 songs that our fans are desperate to hear so it might not be a priority, and that’s absolutely okay. If I want to go out and play shows as Stone Gossard, I can do that anytime I want. I think for the most part, people who come to Pearl Jam shows want to hear songs that are on Pearl Jam records. If Ed [Vedder] says, “hey man, you gotta do a Moonlander song” I’m certainly gonna do it.