Could Pearl Jam’s New Album Sound More Like Pop Music?
Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard offered a vague hint that the band’s nearly finished new album could carry more pop influences than anything they’ve done before.
The follow-up to the band's 2020 album, Gigaton, is being produced by Andrew Watt, who made his name with top-level pop stars before working with Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John, Iggy Pop and others. After producing Eddie Vedder’s 2022 solo LP Earthling and touring as a member of Vedder’s band, Watt was hired to hit the studio with Pearl Jam.
“We’ve been recording for a year or so, it hasn’t been constant,” Gossard told Consequence in a recent interview, without providing any specific dates for completion or release. “We’re getting closer and closer … it’s gonna be a good one.” He noted that Watt was “the most hardcore Pearl Jam fan you’ll ever meet. He can play all of our songs and all of Soundgarden’s songs back at us — better than we can play them!”
Making the record was “such a joy,” he added, describing Watt as “so enthusiastic, young and bouncing off the walls” and also “fucking hilarious,” and saying the producer was “energizing us.” “That’s what you’ll hear on the record – just good energy,” Gossard explained.
When asked how the material compared to the band’s previous output, he replied, “You’ll have to be the judge of that. … The energy he’s looking for … he’s a fan club member. He’s fucking seen the band 50 times. But he is also literally a top-flight pop producer.”
Pearl Jam starts a nine-date U.S. tour on Aug. 31.