Soundgarden Guitarist Wants Legacy to Shadow the Beatles

2011-10-27

Story by Anne Erickson

Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil says upcoming album is a collaborative effort

With the immense buzz surrounding the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind, a record that served as the catalyst to bring grunge rock to the mainstream, it couldn’t be a better time for Soundgarden to churn out a new album. After all, Soundgarden signed to a major years before Nirvana, and Chris Cornell was a fixture on the Seattle grunge scene well before “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Polly” were alternative rock gems.

The new Soundgarden album is more of a complete band effort than ever, guitarist Kim Thayil told the Dallas Observer. “Yeah, I’m definitely contributing more,” he said. “With guitar bands, fans want to hear the guitarist’s ideas as a song. But the good thing about Soundgarden is that everybody in the band writes songs on guitar… So I’m the guy that has to learn everybody’s guitar nuances and styles and play their songs. So regardless of whether it’s me or the other guys in the band, we are a guitar-based band. I am contributing more, but I think the good news is that everybody is contributing.”

Thayil added that he and the guys hope Soundgarden enjoys a long tradition, much like the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. “… We had always been very attentive to our legacy,” he said. “We want to keep these records in print. I want to be able to go into a store and find a Soundgarden shirt just like when I was a kid and I could go into a store and buy The Beatles’ shirt or any merchandise of a band that broke up before I had an opportunity to discover them. Like Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix died when I was 10, but I didn’t start getting into Hendrix until high school. I would have been out of luck had they let those albums go out of print and if I couldn’t find Hendrix posters or t-shirts in stores.”

Soundgarden, he says, was born out of a similar vision for real, honest, gritty rock. “We just believed in what we were doing,” he said. “It was totally a collaboration that was met by four creative individuals that shared an artistic vision, and to have that neglected for a decade was of great concern to me and to other members of the band.”

 




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