Pearl Jam Member Opens Up On ‘Sloppy’ Grunge

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Stone Gossard looked back on his early days in the grunge scene, recalling the fun despite the “sloppiness.” Known as Pearl Jam’s guitarist, Gossard’s involvement in the Seattle underground scene is extensive. Before Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog, he was part of Green River and Mother Love Bone. T

he latter, along with its legendary frontman Andy Wood, is often seen as the link between glam and grunge, which might explain why Gossard doesn’t share Eddie Vedder’s aversion to big hair and spandex.

At 57, while promoting two new albums—Painted Shield’s third LP and Pearl Jam’s twelfth studio release “Dark Matter”—Gossard reminisced about the late ’80s and early ’90s in an interview with NME. He spoke about playing music with Andy Wood, working on Temple of the Dog with Chris Cornell, and recording Pearl Jam’s first album “Versus” with Brendan O’Brien. He appreciated O’Brien’s musicality and generosity and noted the strong sense of community at events like Lollapalooza.

“Playing music with Andy Wood, working on Temple Of The Dog with Chris Cornell. Making our first record ‘Versus’ with Brendan O’Brien, and how much he impacted us, and how appreciative I was of his musicality and his generosity with us. At Lollapalooza, there really was a sense of community in that group of people.”

“Watching Ice Cube play every night and just thinking this is the best, that Ice Cube and the band I’m in are playing on the same day. There was a really fun time at the beginning where we were just all drunk all the time and that was part of the unhinged joy of being onstage. We’re crappy and we’re just fucking drunk and this is great and everybody’s having a good time and isn’t that great? That Mudhoney era was a lot of fun. People were sloppy.”

Gossard also enjoyed watching Ice Cube perform every night and found joy in the early days of performing, even when the band was drunk and unhinged on stage. He described the Mudhoney era as particularly fun, despite the sloppiness.

Despite these vibrant memories, Gossard mentioned that he didn’t socialize much with other grunge stars back then and still doesn’t. He acknowledged that while it would be interesting to reflect on shared experiences with bands like Smashing Pumpkins or Foo Fighters, those conversations aren’t currently happening.

“As far as personal relationships and hanging out, not for me personally. But you can’t have come through the same thing – Smashing Pumpkins or Foo Fighters – and not think that it would be interesting to have a conversation or reflect about what are the things that we appreciate about each other or not. That’s interesting to me, but it’s not currently happening.”

In related news, a Pearl Jam member agreed with Billie Eilish as well.