Stone Gossard on Brad, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and When That New Pearl Jam Album Is Coming Out

Categories: interview

Daniel Zetterstrom
When the Seattle sound exploded in the early '90s and went on to define a generation, Stone Gossard was one of the people most responsible for the sound. As the rhythm guitarist of Pearl Jam, Gossard wrote some of the band's biggest hits.

His other, lesser-known band, Brad, has done pretty well for themselves as well. In the 20 years since the release of their debut, Shame, the band has released five albums. Consisting of vocalist/pianist Shawn Smith, drummer Regan Hagar and bassist Keith Lowe, Brad has carved out a different niche than Pearl Jam and hasn't had to deal with the pressures of a gigantic band. Ahead of their stop tomorrow at the Troubadour in support of their latest release, United We Stand, Gossard gives us his thoughts on why Brad and his other band are similar, an update on Pearl Jam's latest album and whether or not he's supporting the Oklahoma City Thunder in their quest to capture an NBA championship.

With the previous Brad album, Best Friends? there was an eight-year gap between it and its predecessor. Why the quick turnaround for United We Stand?

We wrote this album after we got back from our West Coast run in late 2010. We took a month or two off, then dove into making a new record. The studio was open and over a six to nine month period, we'd pop in there for three or four days and throw out an idea. Using Dropbox (a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them) has helped us too because even when one of us wasn't in the studio, we could still check in and see what was going on with ideas and rough mixes. We ended up with 60 or so ideas and then we spent another month honing in on the 11 that everyone felt like had enough magic to hit the spots that we wanted. That was a fun process.

Is there enough material for another album?

Yeah. Maybe there's a couple of things that are completely finished that we didn't touch, but I think there's a lot of sketches and rough ideas that would require some more work for sure. We're the kind of band that likes to go in and write but I think we'll go in and revisit what we have that hasn't been released.

Both Brad and your bandmates from Pearl Jam released exclusive albums for Record Store Day. How did that come about?

I don't know whose idea it was, but both Pearl Jam and Brad have been involved with supporting indie record stores in the past. It's a great way of getting people in their stores and it's a cool collectible. It's pretty easy and a no-brainer to get behind.

What should fans expect from the live show? Any covers or rare tracks?

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