The Pearl Jam Album Stone Gossard Described As ‘A Good Growing Experience’

Being stuck in a rut with their album releases is quite common for bands after doing the same old routine every time they start working on their next album. Once an album or a single does well, the sales are good, and the songs reach the top spots in the charts, then it’s pretty much game over for most musicians as they try to replicate or tweak their tracks to keep making hits that will succeed.

It’s a vicious cycle, and to some extent, paying close attention to numbers undermines the creativity and passion that led musicians to start their careers. How many of the same songs can an artist make? To avoid burnout or to get the creative juices flowing again, some bands try to push themselves out of their comfort zones to try new things and let their music take different directions.

For instance, Pearl Jam did that with their 2020 ‘Gigaton’ release that came out of challenging themselves to try diverse things. So, they eventually produced an album they were more involved with from top to bottom. Although it was the record that took the longest to complete, the band members were satisfied with the final output.

Although the band took a while, nearly seven years, to come out with a new album, the end product was worth the wait. Even though they had taken a long break, it didn’t shift their fanbase at all as ‘Gigaton’ debuted at number 5 on the US Billboard 200 charts and became the band’s twelfth top 10 album.

Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard was eager to share their utterly different approach while making the long-awaited album to VWMusic this past summer. “Well, ‘Gigaton’ is a record we made ourselves,” revealed the musician. “We made it by ourselves with Josh Evans, an engineer who worked with us back in Seattle. So, it was a lot more homemade in terms of everybody making demos and then compiling those afterward. And then, in the end, Ed took this big pile of material and began honing it down.”

He continued, sharing that the record helped them mature musically, “I think that ‘Gigaton’ is a record we took on as a personal challenge to see if we could do it ourselves. And it was a good growing experience because everybody did something they didn’t expect to do or had songs that ended up on the record representing a new plateau or something new for them. So, it was a great experience.”

The guys probably didn’t expect their creation process to go this way, but as Gossard said best, it turned out to be the best growing experience for Pearl Jam. The members had the chance to venture out of their roles, try new things, and broaden their capabilities, which probably made the process much more valuable. It also showed the guys a whole new way of producing music that made them feel more accomplished after getting involved in everything regarding the album, from the song choices and the lyrics to how they produced it.