The Best 20 Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) Quotes

When it comes to the history of grunge music in Seattle, Washington, you can’t tell the story without mentioning the now-57-year-old songwriter and guitarist Stone Gossard about a billion times. Gossard, who played in bands like Green River and Mother Love Bone before co-founding Pearl Jam is ubiquitous.

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Gossard, who helped write Pearl Jam songs like “Once” and “Daughter,” is in many ways the band’s secret weapon. While Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready often get a ton of the credit, it’s Gossard who has been steady as can be over the years, playing a major role in the band.

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But given all that some fans may wonder just what the unassuming Gossard has to say about music, his hometown, grunge music and the world at large. To answer that, here below are the 20 best Stone Gossard quotes.

1. “I like rhythmic things that butt up against each other in a cool kind of way.”

2. “We may take breaks and do other things, but we feel we’ll ultimately have Pearl Jam as a family.”

3. “I think it’s evident that expensive neighborhoods in Seattle are surrounded by natural beauty. That elevates city life. So if we can make cities more attractive in the long run, we can be smarter about issues like development, zoning and economics.”

4. “I think if you exercise, your state of mind—my state of mind—is usually more at ease, ready for more mental challenges. Once I get the physical stuff out of the way it always seems like I have more calmness and better self-esteem.”

5. “Politics is tricky; it cuts both ways. Every time you make a choice, it has unintended consequences.”

6. “If it had remained always my band, my natural tendency would have been to get more complex and arrange things more and more. That wouldn’t necessarily be good for Eddie, or anyone else in the band.”

7. “A lot of fun stuff happens when you go out on a bike compared to when you’re in a car. You’re more in the environment. It’s enjoyable. Even when It’s raining It’s still fun.”

8. “You can say what you think music is, but the only way it really is, is how people experience it.”

9. “I like to write music. And I think exploring with lyrics and figuring out how to make complete songs is fun. I think I have a take on it. I don’t know if it’s great, but it’s an interesting take. It’s original.”

10. “I think that’s one of the biggest problems in rock is people thinking too much, putting too much emphasis on getting things perfect or completely sorted out. Sometimes that sound of not having everything sorted out is kind of cool.”

11. “My daughter loves to do art stuff. As a father, I like to play with her. We break out the big pads of paper and the glitter and all the stuff. She likes to do what she likes to do. I want to do something, too. So I’ve just started using her same materials—a lot of crayons, a lot of sparkle, charcoal, pencils, markers and glue.”

12. “The past is filled with people who aren’t traditionally thought of as fantastic singers singing these songs that capture people; songs like ‘Louie Louie.’ I just aim toward that, and I think I’ve gotten better at it.”

13. “My methodology is not knowing what I’m doing and making that work for me.”

14. “That’s not to say Eddie’s never done anything malicious. But he never grabbed power for power’s sake. His position was gained only because he has that energy, and that’s naturally where he ended up.”

15. “There’s been a lot of role reversal going on in the band. The roles people have been playing for a long time will always be there, but everybody’s willing to try on different outfits.”

16. “Call it holistic or holographic thinking, it’s been quite effective imagining the world’s problems are all right in front of you on a smaller scale with your band. You deal with those relationships, and that’s where real major change begins.”

17. “I love making music. I love being involved in arranging music. It’s very natural to know what I want to hear next and come up with ideas that are variations of what might be good.”

18. “Eddie is a natural leader. Jeff and I have been very much in control of previous bands we’ve worked in. But the way Eddie grew into being the leader of this band was the most gradual, slow and respectful process that I’ve ever been involved in.”

19. “I learn stuff from making music every time I go in the studio. I’m continuing to try to find new ways to play in a song or be in a song and have a positive impact on a song.”

20. “I picked up a guitar, and I knew what I wanted to do.”

Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images

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