“When I think of Soundgarden, I think of a sound, I think of one entity, one organic thing,” says singer and guitarist Chris Cornell, “but I guess that the exciting part is that it’s always been really varied.”
Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the 80s and 90s, the band’s mesmerising soundscapes and compelling lyrics seduced audiences hungry for originality. It was a sound rooted deeply within the wild landscape of the Pacific North West – an atmosphere which still resonates strongly for Cornell. “The band is dripping with it”, he says. “that indescribable longing. It’s not about the society, it’s not about the people, it’s not about the city. It’s some other thing.”
Soundgarden was founded in 1984 by Kim Thayil (guitar), Hiro Yamamoto (bass) and Chris Cornell (vocals). Later they were joined by Matt Cameron (drums) and Yamamoto was replaced by Ben Shepherd. Thanks to the albums like “Badmotorfinger” (1991), “Superunknown” (1994) and “Down on the Upside” (1996) the band has become one of the most influential and innovative groups of its generation. In 1997 Soundgarden broke up and returned in 2012 with a tournee and a new album “King Animal”.
Soundgarden remain a truly ‘alternative’ band in an age when the word has been devalued to just another genre label. Though firmly rooted in their shared sense of place, they continue to be instinctive pathfinders.