Long before Pearl Jam was one of the biggest bands in the world, Stone Gossard was giving back to to the hometown Seattle community in which he was raised, be it through hands-on volunteering, philanthropy, or single-issue activism.
“When we first started out, it just kinda was built into the way we were doing things,” Gossard tells SPIN of ’90s-era experiences such as free concerts for fans in local Seattle parks. “We always thought that, ultimately, participating on some level in democracy … was important.”
“We’ve had some impact,” he adds, perhaps referencing the $11 million Pearl Jam raised for Seattle homeless initiatives during two massive 2018 concerts there. “We could always do more. … But clearly there’s so much to do and so many opportunities to grow in that regard.”
For Gossard, that means volunteer work at the Seattle/King County free clinic, which runs from April 27 through April 30 at the Seattle Center. “Anybody that needs glasses, anybody that needs dental work, anybody that needs all these kinda things that you could never pay for when you don’t have the money — these things become available,” he says. “And it’s a big deal.”
Gossard is also presently serving on the board of directors for Arts Corps, “an organization that basically funds arts classes for students that don’t have it in their school districts for whatever reason.” He’s been a supporter for around two decades, up through a new and exciting co-leadership model.
As previously reported, Pearl Jam is working on its next album with producer Andrew Watt and preparing for a fall U.S. tour. Gossard is also busy with his revived Loosegroove label, for which his side band Painted Shield has recorded two albums and is tweaking material for another.