Richard Stuverud has enlisted longtime friends from Pearl Jam and the Fastbacks on his new single, “Looking Back to Looking Ahead” b/w “Longing for It.” The song is out today (March 3) on Bandcamp. Pearl Jam bassist and longtime Stuverud friend/collaborator Jeff Ament plays guitar and bass on both songs, while the Fastbacks’ Kurt Bloch contributes guitar to “Looking Back to Looking Ahead.”
The A-side dates back to 2004 when Stuverud was tracking drums for an Ament solo project in the latter’s Missoula, Mt., home base. “I was also able to track some of my own ideas while Jeff would run some errands in town,” Stuverud says. “I had recorded a scratch guitar part, rough vocals, and drums to get started on the tune you’re listening to now. For one reason or another, it ended up sitting on the shelf for a while as I wasn’t sure of where the song was going.”
When revisiting the song years later, Stuverud was inspired by his time “hanging out at punk rock dives” in the Pacific Northwest, particularly watching the Fastbacks play at Vancouver’s Smiling Buddha Bar when opening for D.O.A.
“I was embracing the idea of being nostalgic about the past as a way to find some hope for the future again. I decided to send this unfinished song to Kurt Bloch to see what he would come up with for extra guitars,” he recalls. “One day later he sent back some of the most righteous guitar parts that were so unexpected and unique, which was pure genius.”
The new single follows Stuverud’s 2022 album, Hummingbirds. As previously reported, the musician was pressed into duty to play drums for Pearl Jam at three shows last year while Matt Cameron recovered from COVID-19.