With a new Pearl Jam album “between half and three-quarters done” (plus more shows likely), and a tour and just-released album from his long-running band Brad afoot, guitarist Stone Gossard has plenty on his schedule for the remainder of 2012, he tells Billboard.com.
Brad’s fifth studio album “United We Stand” (April 24), a particularly assured set of the Seattle quartet’s soulful, rocking tunes, emerged out of a new energy among the old friendships in the band, which includes Gossard, singer Shawn Smith, drummer Regan Hagar, and bassist Keith Lowe. “We’re experiencing something of an epiphany,” Gossard says of Brad, whose debut album was released 19 years ago. “We look back and go, ‘Wow, we’re so lucky that we have this collection of songs’ That energy is kind of motivating us to [say], ‘Why not? Let’s make another one… It’s still that same exploring with friends on art. I find it so interesting because it’s never a straight line.”
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Brad’s brief tour in support of “United We Stand” is currently working it’s way along the West Coast, with a stop to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 2, before it jumps to the east for dates in New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia in May. As previously reported, Brad’s new deal with Razor & Tie will include reissues of the group’s previous four albums with bonus material. “We’re still figuring out what all of it is,” he says.
Pearl Jam, meanwhile is closing in on completing its next studio album, Gossard reports. “We really want to finish a record this year. [It’s] now between half and three quarters done, but we got some new material and we’re excited about hopefully doing some more work on that later in the year.” Among that new material, he divulges, is a brand new hard-edged rocker by fellow Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, “that’s fantastic that reminds me of Motorhead. I hope that that one is in the mix coming up.”
No release date is set for the as yet untitled follow up to 2009’s “Backspacer,” but Gossard explains Pearl Jam hopes it will be out in the first half of 2013, “if all goes according to plan.”
Though frontman Eddie Vedder recently had to postpone his spring solo tour to allow a back injury that resulted in temporary nerve damage to his right arm to heal properly, the Pearl Jam plan is still on track for live dates beginning in June. Beyond the already announced summer European tour and gigs at Florida’s DeLuna Festival and Atlanta’s Midtown Music Festival (both the weekend of Sept. 21), Gossard hints that there are more 2012 shows in the works. “We’re going to try to play a little bit more this year… Not too much, but a few things.”
Gossard shares that Vedder is “plugging away” at recovering fully. “It’s just really one of those things you have to rest it [and] you have to do physical therapy for awhile to get it to come back. He’s doing everything he can to get well… He’s probably overwhelmed with all the people sending him notes and saying, ‘Hey we’re thinking about you.'”
Vedder’s summer solo European tour remains slated to kick off July 25 in Amsterdam and wrap Aug. 3 in Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal, and his postponed spring tour has been rescheduled in full to begin on Halloween in Las Vegas and wind up in Clearwater, FL on Dec. 4.