The actual date may be some time off, but Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard tells Billboard.com that the Seattle rock veterans have begun eyeing a return to the recording studio. "I don't know exactly

The actual date may be some time off, but Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard tells Billboard.com that the Seattle rock veterans have begun eyeing a return to the recording studio. "I don't know exactly when, but in the next six months," he says. "And I don't think it's going to be that long before we have a record done."

"We're definitely letting ourselves relax at this point, in terms of everybody feeling like we've come a long way," Gossard says of his bandmates, who last October celebrated the 10th anniversary of their first live show. "We need to allow ourselves enough time to really be fresh when we get back together. That's basically what everyone's doing. But my guess is we'd be doing some recording at some point relatively soon."

In October, Pearl Jam will join R.E.M. and event founder Neil Young for the 15th annual Bridge School Benefit concert in Mountainview, Calif. Gossard doesn't rule out the possibility of debuting new material there, as has often occurred at the group's four previous Bridge School appearances. "I would imagine we'll play a new song there," he says. "I know [lead singer] Ed [Vedder has] been writing."

Gossard said he had recently spent time jamming in a rented Seattle studio with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, "just screwing around and having a good time." Band members are also sorting through scores of odds-and-ends for a planned rarities album, although there's no firm release date just yet. "Over the next few months, we'll be doing more sorting," Gossard reports. "Everyone got CDs of 30 or 40 songs. There's a lot of stuff floating around, like Christmas singles, B-sides, unreleased stuff, unfinished things, and live versions of covers."

In the meantime, the artist is gearing up for the release of his Epic solo debut, "Bayleaf," which hits retail Sept. 11, but will be available for sale through Pearl Jam's fan club Web site a full month earlier. First single "Unhand Me," with vocals by former Green Apple Quick Step frontman Ty Willman, can be downloaded from Gossard's newly launched official Web site.

Fans may not have to wait until October to see Gossard in a live setting. He reports that his side band, Brad, will "be doing some showcases in Seattle" in early September as a precursor to finishing work on its third studio album. The group -- which also comprises vocalist/keyboardist Shawn Smith, drummer Regan Hagar, and bassist Mike Berg -- is shopping for a new label deal, with an eye on releasing the album by early next year.

As previously reported, Vedder will perform a rare solo set as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, set for Oct. 19-21 on the campus of the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). In addition, drummer Matt Cameron's side project, Wellwater Conspiracy, has lined up a short West Coast tour, kicking off Aug. 23 in Los Angeles and wrapping Aug. 31 in Seattle.