KIRO Radio's Josh Kerns talks local music
Seattle Sounds
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Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard will release his sophomore solo album "Moonlander" June 25. (Monkeywrench records image)

Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard finally gets around to finishing sophomore solo album

Playing in Pearl Jam and Brad, owning a recording studio and producing other acts while also raising a 5-year-old daughter doesn't leave a lot of extra free time, so Stone Gossard can be forgiven if it took him over a decade to finish his second solo album.

"It was really a sort of finally getting around to pulling some of the tracks that were really cool and still were kind of moving me over the years and sort of finishing them off over the last year. It's good to be done with something," Gossard tells Seattle Sounds.

He certainly had plenty to pull from. Turns out he's constantly making music. He says he probably had upwards of 150 "semi-complete" songs or riffs he's recorded over the years.

"It's been a long journey to kind of get it finished. A lot of these things are from five, six, seven, eight, almost 10 years old."

The result is "Moonlander", an 11-song set coming out Tuesday, June 25 on Pearl Jam's Monkeywrench Records. Luckily, fans don't have to wait that long. Gossard is debuting one track a week via live streaming on the Pearl Jam website every Tuesday, starting with last week's "I Need Something Different."

Gossard says he decided to do it that way since he isn't planning a big tour, videos or other promotional push for the new album. It's more of a gift for fans.

"We were just trying to think of different ways that would inspire people to come back and make it easy on them."

Each track comes with an original piece of art work from Gossard inspired by time spent painting with his daughter.

"She loves to pull out the big sheets of paper and pull out the sparkles and pull out the glue and pull out the ribbon and pull out the crayons and pull out the ink pen," he laughs. "They're all sort of creatures from an imagined sort of world. Making art with kids is a really great way to be in touch with your rock and roll spirit."

As for the significance of the title? Gossard admits it's pretty out there.

"I remember reading something about the odds of a planet having a hospitable environment for life to form and then cellular evolution occurring and then finally ending up with a human being," he says. "And then that human being being able to figure out how to get a spacecraft to land on the moon and sort of the odds of that as being so astronomical and that just sort of always stuck with me," he says.

Oh, and he adds it's also a love story of sorts.

Along with "Moonlander," Gossard is busy working with the rest of Pearl Jam readying the band's newest album. He says the band has a number of tracks well on their way and expects to release it later in 2013.

Gossard remains humble and grateful, both for the longevity of the band and the opportunities its ongoing success continues to afford.

"It's just such a rarity and we now realize how important those old relationships are," he says. "The comfort you get from having this family for so long that you can make music with and then trust you enough that you get to make music on your own and do your own thing too. It's having your cake and eating it too because everybody can go out and still explore the world."

Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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