Stone Gossard: I Want Pearl Jam’s Next Album To Make People Go, ‘Wow, That’s Unexpected!’

Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard looks ahead to what the follow-up to 2020's Gigaton could sound like…

Stone Gossard: I Want Pearl Jam’s Next Album To Make People Go, ‘Wow, That’s Unexpected!’
Emily Carter

Though fans are yet to see Pearl Jam tour their incredible, 5K-rated 2020 album Gigaton, guitarist Stone Gossard has already been pondering what its follow-up could sound like, and how he'd like to "make another record that really shocks people".

And while Gigaton already contains many exhilarating new elements from the Seattle legends (bassist Jeff Ament previously called lead single Dance Of The Clairvoyants the "perfect storm of experimentation and real collaboration"), Stone tells Kerrang! that there's potentially even more that can be done, referencing Radiohead's transition from 1997's OK Computer to 2000's Kid A.

"There’s some new territory there, and I think it bodes well for whatever comes next," he says of how Gigaton has opened new doors for Pearl Jam. "I think we’re still scratching the surface in terms of what really could be significantly different sounding songs. I guess I would probably compare [what I’m thinking of] to an OK Computer/Kid A moment, thinking about Radiohead’s transformation and the journey that they went on."

Read this: The 30 stages of Pearl Jam’s evolution

When asked if that moment still lays ahead for the band, Stone nods, "I hope so. It’s not going to be OK Computer, obviously, but a moment where we stumble onto something that is significantly different. That prospect always intrigues me. I’d like to make another record that really shocks people – that makes them go, 'Wow, that’s unexpected!'"

Despite Pearl Jam generally avoiding press and interviews, frontman Eddie Vedder explained of Gigaton's creative process back in April that getting together the tracklist was similar to how he makes a setlist.

"We still make records to be listened to – not that everyone will listen to a record track one to 12 in a row or side A or Side B – but we still make ’em in case somebody does want to listen to it like that," Eddie said.

"In a way, it’s also like a live show: we put the songs together in a way that have a flow and an energy, the one song passes the torch to the next. Really I think a lot of comes back to keeping score when I was a little kid in baseball games… Obviously, I wasn’t good at math and didn’t go to school for accounting, but what I did do was stare at the scoreboard at Wrigley Field and I think that really helped me."

Stone's new project Painted Shield’s self-titled debut album is out November 27 via Loosegroove Records. Get your tickets for Pearl Jam’s two massive nights at American Express presents BST Hyde Park, London with special guests Pixies (July 9) and IDLES (July 10) right here. Payment plans are available from only £17 per month.

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