Born in Seattle, Gossard’s first band was March of Crimes, with future Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd, followed shortly thereafter by the Ducky Boys. Gossard and Jeff Ament met at a Seattle rock club in 1984 and spent three years playing together in Green River. After that band split, they formed Mother Love Bone.
What was your first instrument? When and where did you start playing?
Aside from a trumpet in third grade and some boys choir stuff in fourth (1975-ish), my first real instrument was the mandolin I got in 1980. There was a band called the Probes at my high school that were killing it and making everyone dance. They didn’t have a mandolin, so I thought maybe if I learned some tricks I could get in. It was a lot harder than I thought. I was never asked to join.
What was the inspiration behind why you wanted to play music?
In 1981, at the urging of Steve Turner, I got a bass and then a guitar and we formed Ducky Boys with Jeff Covell and Chris Peppard. Steve told me that garage rock was the way and that you can be crappy and still have cool songs and a band. It was a revelation. He liked the most underground, noisy punk, which I didn’t really get. But he also loved Alice Cooper and even Black Sabbath. I never let go of that advice.
What are some of the earliest/most influential concerts you attended?
Randy Hansen’s tribute to Jimi Hendrix in 1979, then UFO at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. My first punk show was Black Flag at Eagles Auditorium in 1982 or ’83.
What are some of the best memories you have from playing early shows with your first bands?
It’s fun now, but it used to scare me. I was nervous. But once we started getting drunk, it got better. More lose-your-mind rock ‘n’ roll.
Stone Gossard will release his sophomore solo album, Moonlander, on Tuesday June 25th in digital and limited edition vinyl formats via Monkeywrench Records.
For more information on Moonlander and to listen to music visit: pearljam.com/moonlander