PEARL JAM guitarist Stone Gossard recently spoke to SiriusXM's Pearl Jam Radio (Ch. 22) about how he was influenced and inspired by late SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell. He said (hear audio below): "I can't tell you enough about how big of a Chris Cornell fan I am in terms of just [the] impact he's had on me personally in terms of watching him as an artist and listening to SOUNDGARDEN over the years and watching what SOUNDGARDEN did during their time and their peak of their powers. And just having been involved in music and having some successes around when they were and how we influenced each other and affected each other and supported each other. How Chris supported Jeff [Ament] and I through the death of [pre-PEARL JAM band MOTHER LOVE BONE singer] Andy Wood, and then the generosity of his including in making TEMPLE [OF THE DOG], the whole record, really about somebody else. I still think about it as one of the most generous and thoughtful expressions. And I think, ultimately, the highest expressions are about getting outside yourself on a certain level and telling stories about others."
PEARL JAM drummer Matt Cameron played in SOUNDGARDEN, and all of the band members were in TEMPLE OF THE DOG with the singer before forming PEARL JAM. Ament, Cameron and Gossard paid tribute to Cornell at the January 2019 Los Angeles concert dubbed "I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell", which also included performances by Cornell's former bandmates in SOUNDGARDEN, TEMPLE OF THE DOG and AUDIOSLAVE, as well as sets by FOO FIGHTERS, METALLICA and MELVINS.
PEARL JAM's latest album, "Gigaton", came out in March. Produced by Josh Evans and PEARL JAM, it marks the band's first studio album since Grammy Award-winning "Lightning Bolt", which was released in October 2013.
"Gigaton" has been hailed "superb", "fascinating and ambitious", "inspiring and engaging", "their finest studio hour" and "PEARL JAM's best in a generation." The critics and fans alike have praised the band's new LP, which bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart. Additionally, it landed in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200. Internationally, the album debuted No. 1 in Italy and Austria, Top 5 in Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Canada, and Finland and Top 10 in the U.K., Ireland, and New Zealand.