Stone Gossard has kept himself busy with Pearl Jam and his other band, Brad, over the past couple of years, but now he’s preparing to release his second solo album, 12 years after his debut, 2001’s Bayleaf. Moonlander is due out June 25, and the guitarist has been debuting tracks at Pearl Jam’s official website.
In an interview with JACK-FM in Seattle, “Songs from the album were recorded between 2003-2011. Over the last year, I went through all of my old demos and recordings that weren’t used as Pearl Jam or Brad songs and picked my favorites. With the help of [engineer] Floyd Reitsma, [executive producer] Pete Droge and [multi-instrumentalist] Hans Teuber, I went about trying to finish them. This included lots of re-singing tracks, fleshing out and re-editing, and adding new instruments.”
Moonlander consists of 11 original songs written and performed by Gossard as well as 11 accompanying pieces of artwork.
“My daughter loves to paint and draw and when she would, I would as well,” says Gossard. “I hope the pieces convey a sense of freedom from formal rules and of playfulness that comes from hanging with your lovely 5-year old.”
Gossard discussed “Your Flames,” from the album, with JACK-FM’s Lee Callahan. “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. And I remember thinking in my dream, ‘Oh my God, I’m horrible! What did I do? I can’t have done this!’ 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.”
With no solo tour planned, might he play some solo songs during Pearl Jam’s sets? “I have no idea,” he says. “Pearl Jam has at least 200 songs, 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.”
— Lee Callahan, Jack-FM Seattle