Stone Talks Hank Khoir & Key Arena

by Kathy Davis on September 13, 2009

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Pearl Jam guitar genius Stone Gossard stopped by  Seattle radio station 103.7 The Mountain to speak with morning show hosts Marty and Jodi on Friday September 11th to discuss both his band’s upcoming shows at Key Arena as well as his own sideshow on Wednesday September 16th at Teatro ZinZanni’s speigeltent.  You can listen to the 13 minute interview here; we’ve put our ears to it for you and transcribed most of the chat below.  Our main homie had some cool things to say!

Regarding Seattle being the “official album kickoff” shows:  The Eurodates and Chicago were “promotional” Backspacer shows; “We were only playing a couple songs off the new record… but NOW we’ll be playing (songs off of) the whole record since the record’s out - Seattle is the official kick off for the new record.” 

On playing to the hometown crowd:  “It’s a big deal – we haven’t played Seattle proper in (five) years – we’re excited about the new record, happy and healthy, I think it will be a good show we’ve had some warm up dates already so we’re not just coming out cold…” 

Thoughts on the U2 360 tour spectacle  (DJ didn’t read carefully enough, referring to the Rolling Stone PJ Chicago Review saying “the band” were fascinated by the U2 tour production when it was actually just Ed-KD):  “I don’t know who in the band is fascinated by it, but I did not spend any time thinking about it. (interviewer reads quickly and tells him Ed was “dreaming about it”) “ I think he is giving them a bit of a tease…because when you have to go bigger and bigger, sometimes that’s a problem – we’ve managed to avoid getting into that racket which has been a great source of joy to the whole band. We can go out and have five trucks instead 200, and not 350 crew members and four different cities being set up before you get there. We just show up and put some amps on stage – well, not quite -and like,  play. It’s pretty old school.” 

About the possibility of a Pearl Jam concert “production” (a la U2):  Stone mentions that he saw Nine Inch Nails “big production, incredible, huge – dramatic presentation….[Asked by the DJ When going to someone else’s show do you think “We should try that?]  “I think you should try everything once. The idea of us doing something outrageous and indulgent sounds fun, but , I’m just glad that we don’t have to do it every time. I think U2 (must) feel a little bit…can we just go out, and get some theatre curtains?. We had a laser for about two weeks, 2 years ago – it was costing 5 grand a week man, we couldn’t afford it. (laughs).   We were like, “no way are we taking that out, everyone went ‘woah, that’s just so stupid’. People just want to hear the songs. They want to sing! They just want to sing along. It’s basically a giant campfire.” 

On wine bottles a plenty onstage:  “Yep. Two Different kinds. (at the DJ’s suggestion) yeah, It’s for the show and it’s probably for lubricating the festivities. I’ll have some wine onstage sometimes. Or beer. I try not to drink before the show though. Right as soon as I get onstage I start drinking.” (laughs) 

About the Teatro ZinZanni Hank Khoir performance at the Zinzanni Tent on September 16th:  “Thematically Hank Williams that’s our starting point.  Hans Teuber… primary musician at the Zinzanni and I are good friends, we’ve been playing some songs together, some Hank Williams, kind of collaborating that was the starting point for the evening. I happen to know a lot of fantastic singers. Using Hank Williams as the basis, but expanding into the singer’s own written material – we’ve got Shawn Smith, Pete Droge, Vince Mira, Dejha Colantuono…good friends of mine, we’re just going to get together and we’re going to share music over an hour and forty five minutes it’s gonna be a crack band, playing some new music, some originals lots of covers, some Hank,  some disco….a fantastic Chinese pole dance duo at the half time. So, it’s gonna be something special.”  “Very music-centric…Shawn Smith is gonna be very featured, Pete Droge doing  some new material, some sing-alongs, some big choral arrangements. I’m gonna sing a few. Lonnie Marshall of Weapon of Choice is  gonna do a few.   (audio of Shawn Smith singing ‘Ramblin’ Man’ by Hank Williams)  Over the last two years this has all been coming together some material recorded…there’s been a lot of individual things (around the Hank Khoir) this is the first time we’ve brought it all together in one form. We’ll be doing some Brad songs…it’s gonna be ‘hits’ laden.”   

Will you be doing any Pearl Jam songs? “You never know…I was thinking about covering a Pearl Jam song…we’re rehearsing tonight….You never know…. (The Hank Khoir show) is  sold out but if you’re interested and want to go, if enough people are excited about it, if there is enough interest to warrant it there is an opportunity to do another show, and it’ll be on the 15th. Call 206-802-0015…or go to go to TeatroZinZanni.com. ” (Actually, this link might be better-Kath)

Upcoming plans/more about the Key Arena shows & his fave to play live: After the tour….we’re gonna regroup after the first of the year, see where we’re going after that. All the new material is fun to play, we’ve got 150 songs, people still go to the shows, everybody sings along. 

Re: Eddie doing the setlists: . You want him to kind of get back there and go ‘I know what we’re gonna do tonight.’  (Stone is asked How much advance notice Ed gives of the setlist) “Sometimes 5 hours, sometimes 15 minutes, right before. He can’t really pull a fast one on us, If he wants to try something new he’s got to give us at least 20 minutes to say ‘okay, how does that one go again?’  A- A – A-A E-E-E-E E-A-A-A-A …great got it.   All our songs are pretty simple….” 

Of the 150 which one is your favorite to play? “How about Nothingman.  We don’t play it very often, and I just think it’s gorgeous Jeff Ament composition I think the lyric is stunning. It’s a strummy strum.”  (Interviewer:  You make it sound so easy, anyone could be a rock star).  “Let me tell everyone out there:  There’s no one behind the curtain.”Rock!

Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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