Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard: Brad Is No Side Project
It may not be of the same magnitude as Pearl Jam's recent celebration, but Stone Gossard is hoping 20 years and five albums of Brad -- including the upcoming "United We Stand" -- will assure fans that his "other" band is no mere side project.
"It's a little weird trying to be in two bands," Gossard tells Billboard.com. "It's more common these days, for sure, but it's always been a little bit of a struggle with me being in Pearl Jam and those other guys being in Satchel and Shawn (Smith) being in Pigeonhed, too. (Brad) has always felt like a little bit of a no man's land where we're making records together but then maybe it's not quite as serious of a band, and Pearl Jam casts such a big shadow."
But in making "United We Stand," due out April 24, Gossard says the quartet -- which also includes bassist Keith Lowe and drummer Regan Hagar -- took Brad "a little bit more seriously" themselves.
"We kinda figured we're stuck with each other and we're gonna make a record once in awhile and we might as well make more of them because we really like it," the guitarist explains. "So we went in giving ourselves more time to make it. I think we went in with less expectations of what it was supposed to be, and I think that helped us to just appreciate each other more and be more present in the studio, and I think it paid off. I think it ended up that we made one of our better records just by having recommitted ourselves to our little group... And we're confident that at some point the band will sort of be acknowledged and appreciated by others more, too."
Gossard says that taking more than a year to make "United We Stand" benefited Brad by the "sheer numbers" of songs the group came up with -- nearly 70 ideas by his estimation. "It was really a great process to have that abundance of material and then to be able to pick and really choose the 10 we used," he says. "We were able to represent the variety of ways that we wrote for this record -- rock songs, more dance-oriented songs, ballads, real downbeat stuff...You want to have a little bit of all those flavors, and then it becomes like you're making a collage or you've got all these different stories and you're putting them together in a way that hopefully has a structure that's cool. We feel like we accomplished that more than ever on this (album)."
Brad currently has three shows booked to promote "United We Stand" -- April 27 in Seattle, May 3 in Los Angeles and May 4 in San Francisco -- while its new deal with Razor & Tie will lead to reissues of the group's first four albums with some bonus material. "There will definitely be live versions (of the songs) and there will definitely be a lot of unreleased stuff," says Gossard, adding that the group's website may be upgraded with concert footage and other features. "We're really trying to take care of all the stuff so if and when people do find Brad in there own way there's a place that they can go and really get the full experience."
As for his OTHER band, Gossard says Pearl Jam remains "in the process of making a record" with producer Brendan O'Brien. "It's too early to tell what it's going to be yet," Gossard notes, "but we've recorded some great songs and we've written some more and we're going to do some more recording over the next three or four months and most likely the record will come out hopefully next year. I don't like to talk about it too much before it's done because it has a tendency to change direction on me. We're just in that process and we're having a great time and are as excited as ever about making music."
United We Stand Track List:
1. Miles Of Rope
2. Bound In Time
3. A Reason To Be In My Skin
4. Diamond Blues
5. The Only Way
6. Last Bastion
7. Make The Pain Go Away
8. Needle And Thread
9. Tea Bag
10. Through The Day
BRAD Tour Dates
April 27: Seattle (Showbox at the Market)
May 3: Los Angeles (Troubadour)
May 4: San Francisco (Cafe Du Nord)