Pearl Jam Member Reveals Bandmate Cause of Death

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Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard’s band Brad have announced on Facebook that their legendary bandmate, singer Shawn Smith, died peacefully in his sleep at 53 years old. Smith died on April 5th, the same day as fellow Seattle icons Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley.

Brad posted on Facebook, “With great sadness I have to inform you all of the passing of our wonderful friend Shawn Smith. Shawn has passed away peacefully in his sleep. He leaves us all with a cornucopia of his beautiful music, his beautiful message of oneness we all share. Share love, hug one another, say ‘I love you’ when you feel it. Plant a tree for Shawn everyone. -Regan.”

Smith discussed writing with Stone Gossard in an interview with Greg Prato on Songfacts.

Songfacts: As far as the songwriting in Brad, how would you compare how the songwriting was with those first two albums compared to what it is today in the band?

Shawn: I don’t think it’s a whole lot different. The first record was different because my skill set wasn’t where it is now and Stone was already good at his job as a producer. So we spent three days just working on some stuff, and we went out and recorded them. Then I learned how to write better, so that maybe made it more complicated.

But it’s really not that much different. Stone brings in something and I bring in something, and sometimes I have the whole thing worked out and we replay it, or Stone brings the whole thing in and I sing his melodies. It’s pretty much the same.

Me and Stone are the writers, generally.