Pearl Jam are hard at work on their new album, according to guitarist and co-lyricist Stone Gossard. In his new interview with Consequence and Kyle Meredith With…, the legendary rocker said, “We’ve recorded some songs. We’re on our way. We’re making music.”
The band have hardly gotten to promote their last album, 2020’s Gigaton, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But even so, two years have passed and the band are back in the studio. Gossard said, “It’s important for us to maintain that irreverence to songwriting, in terms of like, just throwing rough vocals on, just taking stabs at stuff, trying stuff.”
As Gossard previously confirmed to Spin, the new album will be produced by Andrew Watt, who is fresh off his Grammy win for 2021 Producer of the Year. Previously, Watt produced PJ frontman Eddie Vedder’s 2022 solo album, Earthling, and was a member of Vedder’s Earthlings touring band.
“We’re psyched,” Gossard said. “Andrew is a total character. Really, like immediately, we were writing quickly. Spontaneously. Bring in a riff. Let’s knock it out. [Drummer] Matt Cameron is playing his ass off. We didn’t bring any gear down. We were just doing some recording in Andrew’s basement in Beverly Hills, basically. So far, so good.”
The plan is to keep those creative juices flowing. As he told Kyle Meredith, “I want to keep staying in that state of mind where we make looser records, and are quicker in terms of being able to generate that feeling or art… Pearl Jam, we constantly are asking: What is another process? How is it that we can do something new? What’s the next step? Just speaking with Jeff [Ament] the other day, we’re talking about trying different formations of how to generate song ideas, particularly ones that move us, that move us in a cool direction, or in a direction that makes people go, ‘Ah!'”
According to Gossard, this “looser” approach has left Pearl Jam with some potential B-sides, which might lead to a compilation in the vein of 2003’s Lost Dogs: “I think we’ve been a little more methodical in terms of trying to start and finish things. There [are] songs out there that we haven’t finished, and there [are] some things — whether they’re B-sides or not, who knows?”
Ultimately, the songwriting impulse hasn’t changed. “It’s the alchemy of the whole thing,” he said. “Us being together and trusting each other and believing in that same process of rock and roll. It’s simple, it doesn’t require any scientific knowledge, or any special skill set other than a belief, and a little bit of talent, and some love for each other… We’re always pushing that to this day.”
Perhaps you’ll be able to hear some of Pearl Jam’s new songs on their upcoming 2022 tour. It kicks off in May with support from Pixies, IDLES, Shame, White Reaper, and Pluralone, and tickets are available here. If you’d like, you can revisit our list of the band’s 10 best needle drops now.