Stone Gossard About Making Pearl Jam’s Setlist

Ever wonder how the setlists get written? Stone Gossard cleared that up in this interview with The AV Club in 2013.

–AVC: So how do you guys go about making a set list? Are you all involved? Is it hashed out right before you go on?

–SG: It’s Ed’s process. We sort of leave it to him to begin to piece it together, and there will be days where he’s like, “I can’t do a set list. You do it, Jeff or Stone.” And it definitely used to be a more democratic process. But the longer we’ve been a band, the more important it’s been for him to find the emotional path in a set, and that’s really important. It’s a major benefit to all of us if he’s connecting with what’s going on and people are connecting with him. So he’s really good at continuing to work songs in and asking what you want to play. If you ask him to do a certain song or pull a certain song, he certainly will in general. But he’ll come up with the main set list before we go out and we’ll make adjustments if somebody says, “Oh, this one doesn’t work” or “I don’t know how to play this anymore” or “This tuning and that tuning are so similar that we don’t want to do those together.” There’s a lot of logistical reasons why you don’t want to play two songs back-to-back if everyone’s got to change guitars three times in a row. In general, he’ll spend a few hours figuring it out.


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