Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard on Writing Great Riffs: 'My Methodology Is Not Knowing What I'm Doing'
"You pick up a guitar and the first thing you do is maybe you throw a capo on it," says the guitarist.
Posted on Jun 27, 2013 07:35 pm
Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam has been talking to Rolling Stone about his latest solo album "Moonlander," and the process of writing it. The record was whittled down from 50 demos that the guitarist had recorded over the past 12 years. As Gossard notes, part of the challenge was finding riffs that still sounded relevant to him:
"I went back through everything and said, 'Does this still excite me? Does this sound dated?'" he says. "I quickly picked the 10 or 11 that I wanted to kind of focus on."
On the subject of writing great riffs, Gossard notes that they are normally something that you stumble across:
"It's usually about sort of stumbling," he says. "My methodology is not knowing what I'm doing and making that work for me. You pick up a guitar and the first thing you do is maybe you throw a capo on it, but you don't throw it across all of the strings, and you D-tune that string, and then you strum on that for a second, and then maybe you tune up the bottom string and do something with that. You have a thing that you do that's good, but that thing is also your cliché, so you're always trying to push it someplace new that still feels like it comes from what you like."
"Moonlander" is out now.