Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard on his rhythmic style: “It’s mostly a question of subtraction”

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“Why did the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack sound so good?” Why did it sound so heavy? “Muses Stone Gossard in a new interview with Dean Delray for the Let There Be Talk podcast.

But before descending into the rabbit hole of disco groove, the Pearl Jam guitarist explained his mindset when it comes to rhythm playing. “It was just always the groove and that chord change, you know, that chord change that is the blues – it’s that kind of sustained tension that you create by hanging on to a certain place and then doing. a movement It’s always that easy for me.

“It’s mostly subtraction,” the guitarist explained later. “I’m going to sit down and play something and then, ‘How about you take that off? You end up focusing on this really primitive stuff – I think that’s the fabric of the universe in a way. Rhythmic patterns, phrases, lyrics or rhythms, like I said, when playing with Matt Chamberlain [former Pearl Jam drummer who now plays with Gossard in Painted Shield] it doesn’t matter if you play a la chord or something really complex, if he smiles at you and you smile at him, and you have a little trick, if there is a singer there, the singer is going to ring good. It is not scientific. I have never been a scientist in the matter. It has always been magic. I don’t question it. I just savor it.

Stone Gossard

(Image credit: Joby Sessions / Future)

Gossard has been involved in a lot of musical magic over the years – from the intoxicating creation of Pearl Jam’s debut album Ten to the Temple Of The Dog supergroup with the late Chris Cornell. But in the interview, he reflected more when he spoke about songwriting, to his former band, Mother Love Band, from Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, which sadly disbanded with the singer’s death. Andy Wood in 1990.

We should have had more songs and we should have written more songs when we were there

“We didn’t really know how to make records back then. I think we’re still learning to make records, in a way,” recalls the guitarist of the recording of Mother Love Bone Apple’s debut label on the legendary Record. Plant in Sausalito. , California.

“We didn’t have as much fun as we should have,” he added. “We should have had more songs and we should have written more songs when we were there. So by the time we started making this record I think we made a good record but the joy was evaporating. already a little. ”

I wish I had time with Andy

Nonetheless, Apple stands as a strong testament to the group’s chemistry and Wood’s talent as a musician and lyricist. But the fact that her story ended too soon inevitably makes it a bittersweet memory for Gossard.

“It was a fun time because we were doing a record for a major and it sounded good. But I would have liked to have some time with Andy because we could have supported him so much more. We could have written so much more. they’re all fighting each other… I don’t know You’ve got a bunch of guys in a room and they all want to be in control… as guilty as anyone.


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