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Soundgarden

"Sound Garden" redirects here. For the art installation, see A Sound Garden.

Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil (both of whom are the only members to appear in every incarnation of the band), and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron became the band's full-time drummer in 1986, while bassist Ben Shepherd became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990. The band dissolved in 1997 and re-formed in 2010. Following Cornell's death in 2017 and a year of uncertainty of the band's future, Thayil declared in October 2018 that the band was finished; they did, however, reunite in January 2019 for a one-off concert in tribute to Cornell.

Soundgarden
Soundgarden performing in February 2013. From left to right: Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, Chris Cornell and Ben Shepherd.
Background information
Also known asNudedragons
OriginSeattle, Washington, U.S.
Genres
Years active
  • 1984–1997
  • 2010–2019
Labels
Associated acts
Websitesoundgardenworld.com
Past members

Soundgarden are associated with grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle. After releasing two EPs on the Seattle-based label Sub-Pop in 1987 and 1988, their debut album, Ultramega OK was released on the California-based independent label SST Records in 1989. Although the album did not sell well nationally, it gained critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy award in 1990. They recorded their second album, Louder Than Love, independently but had signed with major label A&M Records in the interim, and released the album as their major label debut. Unlike their debut, which had failed to chart, Louder Than Love peaked at number 108 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Released the same day as fellow Seattle grunge act Nirvana's album Nevermind, their third album Badmotorfinger would bring Soundgarden to national acclaim for the first time, buoyed by the popularity of the singles "Jesus Christ Pose", "Outshined", and "Rusty Cage", the album would reach number 39 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified double-platinum by the RIAA. Soundgarden was one of the seminal creators of grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle, and was the first of a number of grunge bands to sign to the record label Sub Pop. Soundgarden was also one of the first grunge bands to sign to a major label (A&M Records in 1989), though they did not achieve commercial success until they popularized the genre in the early 1990s with Seattle contemporaries Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana.

Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album Superunknown, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and yielded the Grammy Award-winning singles "Spoonman" and "Black Hole Sun". In 1996, the band experimented with new sonic textures on their follow-up album Down on the Upside, which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned several hit singles of its own, including "Burden in My Hand" and "Blow Up the Outside World". In 1997, the band broke up due to internal strife over its creative direction and exhaustion from touring. After more than a decade of working on projects and other bands, Soundgarden reunited in 2010, and Republic Records released their sixth and final studio album, King Animal, two years later.

As of 2019, Soundgarden sold more than 14 million records in the United States, and an estimated 30 million worldwide. VH1 ranked Soundgarden at number 14 in their special 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

Contents

Formation and early recordings (1984–1988)

Soundgarden in 1987

Soundgarden's origins began with a band called the Shemps, which performed around Seattle in the early 1980s, and featured bassist Hiro Yamamoto and drummer and singer Chris Cornell. Following Yamamoto's departure, the band recruited guitarist Kim Thayil as its new bassist. Thayil moved to Seattle from Park Forest, Illinois, with Yamamoto and Bruce Pavitt, who would later start the independent record label Sub Pop. Cornell and Yamamoto stayed in contact, and after the Shemps broke up Cornell and Yamamoto started jamming together, and were eventually joined by Thayil.

Soundgarden formed in 1984 and included Cornell (drums and vocals), Yamamoto (bass), and Thayil (guitar). The band named themselves after a wind-channeling pipe sculpture titled A Sound Garden, on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration property at 7600 Sand Point Way, next to Magnuson Park in Seattle. Cornell originally played drums while singing, but in 1985 the band enlisted Scott Sundquist to allow Cornell to concentrate on vocals. The band traveled around playing various concerts with this lineup for about a year. Their first recordings were three songs that appeared on the 1986 compilation album for C/Z Records called Deep Six—"Heretic", "Tears to Forget" and "All Your Lies". It also featured songs by fellow grunge pioneers Green River, Skin Yard, Malfunkshun, the U-Men, and the Melvins. In 1986, Cornell's then-girlfriend and future wife, Susan Silver started managing Soundgarden. In the same year, Sundquist left the band to spend time with his family and was replaced by Skin Yard's drummer, Matt Cameron.

A Soundgarden performance one night impressed KCMU DJ Jonathan Poneman who later said: "I saw this band that was everything rock music should be." Poneman offered to fund a release by the band, so Thayil suggested he team up with Bruce Pavitt. Poneman offered to contribute $20,000 in funding for Sub Pop, effectively turning it into a full-fledged record label. Soundgarden signed to Sub Pop, and the label released "Hunted Down" in 1987 as the band's first single. The B-side of "Hunted Down", "Nothing to Say", appeared on the KCMU compilation tape Bands That Will Make Money, which was distributed to record companies, many of whom showed interest in Soundgarden. Through Sub Pop, the band released the Screaming Life EP in 1987, and the Fopp EP in 1988, and a combination of the two, Screaming Life/Fopp, in 1990.

Ultramega OK, major label signing, and Louder Than Love (1988–1990)

"Hands All Over" "combines an Eastern-tinged rock riff in an extended arrangement. Guitars chime on a single note amongst a wash of cymbals, Cornell doing his best 'Islamic call', while Thayil foreshadows the vocal melody with a lilting lick."

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Though major labels were courting the band, in 1988 they signed to the independent label SST Records for their debut album, Ultramega OK, released on October 31, 1988. Cornell said the band "made a huge mistake with Ultramega OK" because they used a producer suggested by SST who "didn't know what was happening in Seattle". According to Steve Huey of AllMusic, Soundgarden demonstrates, a "Stooges/MC5-meets-Zeppelin/Sabbath sound" on the album. Mark Miremont directed the band's first music video for "Flower", which aired regularly on MTV's 120 Minutes. Soundgarden promoted Ultramega OK on a tour in the United States in the spring of 1989, and a tour in Europe, which began in May 1989—the band's first overseas tour. Ultramega OK earned the band a Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance in 1990.

After touring to promote Ultramega OK, the band signed with A&M Records, which caused a rift between Soundgarden and its traditional audience. Thayil said, "In the beginning, our fans came from the punk rock crowd. They abandoned us when they thought we sold out the punk tenets, getting on a major label and touring with Guns N' Roses. There were fashion issues and social issues, and people thought we no longer belonged to their scene, to their particular sub-culture." The band later began work on its first album for a major label, but personnel difficulties caused a shift in the band's songwriting process, according to Cornell: "At the time Hiro [Yamamoto] excommunicated himself from the band and there wasn't a free-flowing system as far as music went, so I ended up writing a lot of it." On September 5, 1989, the band released its debut major-label album, Louder Than Love, which saw it take "a step toward the metal mainstream", according to Steve Huey of AllMusic, describing it as "a slow, grinding, detuned mountain of Sabbath/Zeppelin riffs and Chris Cornell wailing". Because of some of the lyrics, most notably on "Hands All Over" and "Big Dumb Sex", the band faced various retail and distribution problems upon the album's release. Louder Than Love became the band's first album to chart on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 108 on the chart in 1990.[citation needed]

A month before touring for Louder Than Love was to begin, bassist Hiro Yamamoto, who was becoming frustrated that he was not making much of a contribution, left the band to return to college. Jason Everman, formerly of Nirvana, replaced him on bass. The band toured North America from December 1989 to March 1990, opening for Voivod, who were supporting their album Nothingface, with Faith No More and the Big F also serving as opening acts at the beginning and end of the tour. The band then went on to tour Europe. The band fired Everman in mid-1990 immediately after completing its promotional tour for Louder Than Love. Thayil said that "Jason just didn't work out." Louder Than Love spawned the EP Loudest Love and the video compilation Louder Than Live, both released in 1990.[citation needed]

Established lineup, Badmotorfinger, and rise in popularity (1991–1993)

'Jesus Christ Pose' "starts with a kind of free-jazz throwdown and moves quickly into the realm of rockdom."

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Bassist Ben Shepherd replaced Jason Everman and the new lineup recorded Soundgarden's third album in 1991. Cornell said that Shepherd brought a "fresh and creative" approach to the recording sessions, and the band as a whole said that his knowledge of music and writing skills redefined the band. The band released the resulting album, Badmotorfinger, on October 8, 1991. Steve Huey of AllMmusic said that the songwriting on Badmotorfinger "takes a quantum leap in focus and consistency". He added, "It's surprisingly cerebral and arty music for a band courting mainstream metal audiences." Thayil suggested that the album's lyrics are "like reading a novel [about] man's conflict with himself and society, or the government, or his family, or the economy, or anything". The first single from Badmotorfinger, "Jesus Christ Pose", garnered attention when MTV decided to ban its music video in 1991. The song and its video outraged many listeners who perceived it as anti-Christian. The band received death threats while on tour in the United Kingdom in support of the album. Cornell explained that the lyrics criticize public figures who use religion (particularly the image of Jesus Christ) to portray themselves as being persecuted. Although eclipsed at the time of its release by the sudden popularity of Nirvana's Nevermind, the focus of attention brought by Nevermind to the Seattle scene helped Soundgarden gain wider attention. The singles "Outshined" and "Rusty Cage" were able to find an audience on alternative rock radio and MTV. Badmotorfinger was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1992, and was among the 100 top-selling albums of the year.

Soundgarden name from the cover of the Badmotorfinger album

Following the release of Badmotorfinger, Soundgarden went on a North American tour in October and November 1991. Afterward, Guns N' Roses personally selected the band as its opening act for their Use Your Illusion Tour. The band also opened for Skid Row in North America in February 1992 on its Slave to the Grind tour, and then headed to Europe for a month-long headlining theater tour. The band returned for a tour in the United States, and then rejoined Guns N' Roses in the summer of 1992 in Europe as part of the Use Your Illusion Tour along with fellow opening act Faith No More. Describing opening for Guns N' Roses, Cornell said, "It wasn't a whole lot of fun going out in front of 40,000 people for 35 minutes every day. Most of them never heard our songs and didn't care about them. It was a bizarre thing." The band played the 1992 Lollapalooza tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Ministry and Ice Cube among others. In anticipation of the band's appearance at Lollapalooza, they released a limited edition of Badmotorfinger in 1992 with a second disc containing the EP Satanoscillatemymetallicsonatas (a palindrome), featuring Soundgarden's cover of Black Sabbath's "Into the Void", titled "Into the Void (Sealth)", which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1993. The band later released the video compilation Motorvision, filmed at Seattle's Paramount Theatre in 1992. The band appeared in the movie Singles, performing "Birth Ritual". The song is included on the soundtrack, as is a Cornell solo song, "Seasons".

In 1993, the band contributed the track "Show Me" to the AIDS-Benefit album No Alternative, produced by the Red Hot Organization.

Superunknown and mainstream success (1994–1995)

"With its weepy, vibrato-guitar arpeggios and spare drums, the verses on 'Black Hole Sun' pave the way for a gloriously pounding metallic chorus."

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Soundgarden began working on its fourth album after touring in support of Badmotorfinger. Cornell said that while working on the album, the band allowed each other more freedom than on past records, and Thayil observed that the band spent a lot more time working on the recording of the songs than on previous records. Released on March 8, 1994, Superunknown became the band's breakthrough album, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart and being driven by the singles "Spoonman", "The Day I Tried to Live", "Black Hole Sun", "My Wave", and "Fell on Black Days".

The songs on Superunknown captured the creativity and heaviness of the band's earlier works, while showcasing the group's newly evolving style. Lyrically, the album was quite dark and mysterious, and it is often interpreted to be dealing with substance abuse, suicide, and depression. At the time, Sylvia Plath inspired Cornell's writing. The album was also more experimental than previous releases, with some songs incorporating Middle-Eastern or Indian music. J. D. Considine of Rolling Stone said Superunknown "demonstrates far greater range than many bands manage in an entire career". He also stated, "At its best, Superunknown offers a more harrowing depiction of alienation and despair than anything on [Nirvana's final studio album] In Utero." The music video for "Black Hole Sun" became a hit on MTV, and received the award for Best Metal/Hard Rock Video at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards, and in 1995 the Clio Award for Alternative Music Video. Soundgarden won two Grammy Awards in 1995—"Black Hole Sun" received the award for Best Hard Rock Performance and "Spoonman" received the award for Best Metal Performance. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 1995. Superunknown has been certified five times Platinum in the United States and remains Soundgarden's most successful album.

The band began touring in January 1994 in Oceania and Japan, areas where the record came out early and where the band had never toured before. This round of touring ended in February 1994. In March 1994 the band moved on to Europe. They began a theater tour of the United States, first with a stop on May 27, 1994 at the PNE Forum in Vancouver, with the opening acts Tad and Eleven. In late 1994, after touring in support of Superunknown, doctors discovered that Cornell had severely strained his vocal cords, and Soundgarden canceled several shows to avoid causing any permanent damage. Cornell said, "I think we kinda overdid it! We were playing five or six nights a week and my voice pretty much took a beating. Towards the end of the American tour I felt like I could still kinda sing, but I wasn't really giving the band a fair shake. You don't buy a ticket to see some guy croak for two hours! That seemed like kind of a rip off." The band made up the dates later in 1995. Superunknown spawned the EP Songs from the Superunknown and the CD-ROM Alive in the Superunknown, both released in 1995.[citation needed]

Down on the Upside and breakup (1996–1997)

Following the worldwide tour in support of Superunknown, the band began working on what would become their last studio album for over 15 years, choosing to produce the record themselves. However, tensions within the group reportedly arose during the sessions, with Thayil and Cornell allegedly clashing over Cornell's desire to shift away from the heavy guitar riffing that had become the band's trademark. Cornell said, "By the time we were finished, it felt like it had been kind of hard, like it was a long, hard haul. But there was stuff we were discovering." The band's fifth album, Down on the Upside, was released on May 21, 1996. It was notably less heavy than the group's earlier albums, and marked a further departure from the band's grunge roots. At the time, Soundgarden explained that they wanted to experiment with other sounds, including acoustic instrumentation. David Browne of Entertainment Weekly said, "Few bands since Led Zeppelin have so crisply mixed instruments both acoustic and electric." The overall mood of the album's lyrics is less dark than on previous Soundgarden albums, with Cornell describing some songs as "self-affirming". The album spawned several singles, including "Pretty Noose", "Burden in My Hand", and "Blow Up the Outside World". "Pretty Noose" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1997. Despite favorable reviews and modest sales, the album did not match the sales or critical praise of Superunknown.

The band took a slot on the 1996 Lollapalooza tour with Metallica, who had insisted on Soundgarden's appearance on the tour. After Lollapalooza, the band embarked on a world tour, and already-existing tensions increased during it. When asked whether the band hated touring, Cornell replied: "We really enjoy it to a point, and then it gets tedious, because it becomes repetitious. You feel like fans have paid their money and they expect you to come out and play them your songs like the first time you ever played them. That's the point where we hate touring." At the tour's last stop in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 9, 1997, Shepherd threw his bass into the air in frustration after suffering equipment failure, and then stormed off the stage. The band retreated, with Cornell returning to end the show with a solo encore. On April 9, 1997, the band announced it was disbanding. Thayil said, "It was pretty obvious from everybody's general attitude over the course of the previous half year that there was some dissatisfaction." Cameron later said that Soundgarden was "eaten up by the business". The band released a greatest hits collection entitled A-Sides on November 4, 1997, composed of 17 songs, including the previously-unreleased "Bleed Together", which had been recorded during the Down on the Upside recording sessions.[citation needed]

Post-breakup activities (1998–2009)

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Frontman Chris Cornell performing live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, 2005

Cornell released a solo album in September 1999, entitled Euphoria Morning, which featured Matt Cameron on the track "Disappearing One". Later, in 2001, Cornell formed the platinum-selling supergroup Audioslave with Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, then-former members of Rage Against the Machine, which recorded three albums: Audioslave (2002), Out of Exile (2005), and Revelations (2006). Cornell left Audioslave in early 2007, resulting in the band's break-up. His second solo album, Carry On, was released in June 2007, and his third solo album, Scream, produced by Timbaland, was released in March 2009, both to mixed commercial and critical success. Cornell also wrote the lyrics and provided vocals for the song "Promise" on Slash's debut solo album Slash, released in 2010.

Thayil joined forces with former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, and drummer Gina Mainwal for one show, performing as The No WTO Combo during the WTO ministerial conference in Seattle on December 1, 1999. Thayil contributed guitar tracks to Steve Fisk's 2001 album, 999 Levels of Undo, as well as Dave Grohl's 2004 side-project album, Probot. In 2006, Thayil played guitar on the album Altar, the collaboration between the bands Sunn O))) and Boris.

Cameron initially turned his efforts to his side-project Wellwater Conspiracy, to which both Shepherd and Thayil have contributed. He then worked briefly with the Smashing Pumpkins on the band's 1998 album, Adore. In 1998, he played drums for Pearl Jam's Yield Tour following Jack Irons's health problems, and later joined Pearl Jam as an official member. He has recorded six albums as the band's drummer: Binaural (2000), Riot Act (2002), Pearl Jam (2006), Backspacer (2009), Lightning Bolt (2013) and Gigaton (2020). Cameron also played percussion on Geddy Lee's album My Favourite Headache. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pearl Jam.

Shepherd was the singer on Wellwater Conspiracy's 1997 debut studio album, Declaration of Conformity, but left the band in 1998. He has toured with Mark Lanegan and played bass on two of Lanegan's albums, I'll Take Care of You (1999), and Field Songs (2001). Shepherd and Cameron lent a hand with recording Tony Iommi's album IOMMI (2000). While they were members of Soundgarden they were part of the side-project band Hater, and in 2005 Shepherd released the band's long-delayed second album, The 2nd.

In a July 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, Cornell shot down rumors of a reunion, saying that conversations between the band members had been limited to discussion about the release of a box set or B-sides album of Soundgarden rarities, and that there had been no discussion of a reunion at all. The band's interest in new releases emerged from a 2008 meeting about their shared properties, both financial and legal, where they realized Soundgarden lacked online presence such as a website or a Facebook page. As Thayil summed up, "we kind of had neglected our merchandise over the last decade". Eventually the musicians decided to create an official site handled by Pearl Jam's Ten Club, relaunch their catalog, and according to Cameron, seek "a bunch of unreleased stuff we wanted to try to put out". On March 2009, Thayil, Shepherd and Cameron got onstage during a concert by Tad Doyle in Seattle and played some Soundgarden songs. Cornell stated that the moment "sort of sparked the idea: If Matt, Kim, and Ben can get in a room, rehearse a couple songs, and play, maybe we all could do that as Soundgarden."

On October 6, 2009, all the members of Soundgarden attended Night 3 of Pearl Jam's four-night stand at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, CA. During an encore, Temple of the Dog reunited for the first time since Pearl Jam's show at the Santa Barbara Bowl on October 28, 2003. Chris Cornell joined the band to sing "Hunger Strike". It was the first public appearance of Soundgarden since their breakup in April 1997. Consequently, rumors of an impending reunion were circulating on the Internet.

Reunion, Telephantasm and King Animal (2010–2013)

Soundgarden performed at Lollapalooza in 2010. (L-R: Cornell, Cameron, and Shepherd. Not pictured: Thayil.)

On January 1, 2010, Cornell alluded to a Soundgarden reunion on his Twitter account writing: "The 12-year break is over and school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!" The message linked to a website that featured a picture of the group performing live and a place for fans to enter their e-mail addresses to get updates on the reunion. Entering that information unlocked a video for the song "Get on the Snake", from 1989's Louder Than Love. On March 1, 2010, Soundgarden announced to their e-mail subscribers that they would be re-releasing an old single "Hunted Down" with the song "Nothing to Say" on a 7-inch vinyl record. It was released on April 17, Record Store Day. They released "Spoonman" live at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, California from 1996. Soundgarden played their first show since 1997 on April 16 at the Showbox at the Market in the band's hometown of Seattle. The band headlined Lollapalooza on August 8.

Telephantasm: A Retrospective, a new Soundgarden compilation album, was packaged with initial shipments of the Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock video game and released on September 28, 2010, one week before the CD's availability in stores on October 5, 2010. An expanded version of Telephantasm consisting of two CDs and one DVD is available for sale. A previously unreleased Soundgarden song—"Black Rain"—debuted on the Guitar Hero video game and appears on the compilation album, which achieved platinum certification status after its first day of retail availability. "Black Rain" hit rock radio stations on August 10, 2010, and was the band's first single since 1997. In November 2010, Soundgarden was the second musical guest on the show Conan, making their first television appearance in 13 years. The band issued a 7-inch vinyl, "The Telephantasm", for Black Friday Record Store Day. In March 2011, Soundgarden released their first live album, Live on I-5.

In February 2011 Soundgarden announced on their homepage that they had started recording a new album. On March 1, 2011, Chris Cornell confirmed that Adam Kasper would produce it. Four days later, the band stated it would consist of material that was "90 percent new" with the rest consisting of updated versions of older ideas. They also noted that they had 12 to 14 songs that were "kind of ready to go". Although Cameron claimed the album would be released in 2011, the recording was prolonged as Thayil said that "the more we enjoy it, the more our fans should end up enjoying it". Thayil also reported that some songs sound "similar in a sense to Down on the Upside" and that the album would be "picking up where we left off. There are some heavy moments, and there are some fast songs." The next day, Cornell reported that the new album would not be released until the spring of 2012.

Soundgarden performing in 2013

In April 2011, Soundgarden announced a summer tour consisting of four dates in July. The band headlined for Voodoo Experience at City Park in New Orleans on the 2011 Halloween weekend. In March 2012 a post on the band's official Facebook page said a new song, "Live to Rise", would be included on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie The Avengers, based on the Marvel Comics franchise. It was the first newly recorded song the band had released since re-forming in 2010. "Live to Rise" was released as a free download on iTunes on April 17. Also in March it was announced that Soundgarden would headline the Friday night of the Hard Rock Calling Festival the following July in London, England. In April, Soundgarden announced the release of a box set titled Classic Album Selection for Europe, containing all of their studio albums except for Ultramega OK, and live album Live on I-5. On May 5, just before The Offspring began playing their set, the band appeared as a special guest at the 20th annual KROQ Weenie Roast in Irvine, California. Later that month, Soundgarden told Rolling Stone they were eyeing an October release for their new album. That June, the band appeared at Download Festival in Donington, England. The band released "Been Away Too Long", the first single from their new album King Animal on September 27; the album was released on November 13, 2012. The band released a video for "By Crooked Steps", directed by Dave Grohl, in early 2013. "Halfway There" was the third single released from the album.

Echo of Miles... and Cornell's death (2013–2017)

Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil (2012)

On November 15, 2013, drummer Matt Cameron announced he would not be touring with Soundgarden in 2014, due to prior commitments promoting Pearl Jam's album Lightning Bolt. On March 16, 2014, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails announced they were going to tour North America together, along with opening act Death Grips. Former Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain replaced Cameron for live shows in South America and Europe on March 27, 2014.

Soundgarden announced on October 28, 2014, they would release the 3-CD compilation box set, Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path, on November 24. The set includes rarities, live tracks, and unreleased material spanning the group's history. It includes previously released songs, such as "Live to Rise", "Black Rain", "Birth Ritual", and others, as well as a newly recorded rendition of the song "The Storm" from the band's pre-Matt Cameron 1985 demo, now simply titled "Storm", which was, like the original, produced by Jack Endino. One day before its official announcement, on October 27, the band posted a copy of "Storm" on YouTube.

Thayil mentioned in several interviews it was likely the band would start working on material for a new album in 2015, and in August 2015, Cornell stated they were doing so. On January 19, 2016, The Pulse Of Radio announced that Soundgarden had returned to the studio to continue working on their new album. On July 14, 2016, bassist Ben Shepherd and Cameron stated that the band had written "six solid tunes" for the new album, with more writing to be done in August.

On May 18, 2017, Cornell was found dead, "with a band around his neck", according to his representative, Brian Bumbery. Cornell was in his room at the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Detroit, Michigan, after performing at the Fox Theatre with Soundgarden. From the outset, the investigation into the singer's death was described by a local police spokesperson as that of a "possible suicide", based on unspecified details in the room where his body was discovered. Subsequently, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death as suicide by hanging. However, Cornell's widow, Vicky, questioned whether he would deliberately end his own life, and said that the drug Ativan, which her husband was taking, might have led him to commit suicide. She said: "I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."

Following Cornell's death, Soundgarden canceled the rest of their 2017 tour, including headlining performances at Rock on the Range and Rocklahoma later that month.

Aftermath and disbandment (2017–present)

In September 2017, drummer Matt Cameron told Billboard that he and the other surviving members of Soundgarden had yet to make a decision about the future of the band following Cornell's death. He was quoted as saying, "I don't think we're ready to say anything other than ... Kim and Ben and I are certainly aware of how much our fans are hurting, and we're certainly hurting right there along with them. But we're extremely private people, and we're all still processing our grief in our own way and on our own time. But we definitely are thinking of our fans and love them very much."

In September 2018, guitarist Kim Thayil told Billboard that he and the other surviving members of Soundgarden were still unsure about the future of the band. He was quoted as saying, "We often reference rock history and we've often commented on what other bands in similar situations have done, not as a plan or anything but just commenting on how bands have handled situations like this and what bands seem to have been graceful and dignified in how they manage their future musical endeavors and how some maybe were clumsy and callous. We think about those things. We try not to go too deep into these conversations, but stuff comes up after a few beers." A month later, Cameron told Rolling Stone that the surviving members of Soundgarden "would certainly love to try to continue to do something, figure out something to do together." Bassist Ben Shepherd added, "We haven't even gotten a chance to hang out, just us three, yet. We're going through natural healing, then thinking about the natural next step."

In an October 2018 interview with Seattle Times, Thayil stated that the Soundgarden band name would be retired. He explained, "I don't know really what kind of thing is possible or what we would consider in the future. It's likely nothing. The four of us were that. There were four of us and now there's three of us, so it's just not likely that there's much to be pursued other than the catalog work at this point." Thayil also stated that while he does not rule out the possibility of working with Cameron and Shepherd in a different capacity, writing or touring under the Soundgarden banner again was unlikely. "No, I don't think that's anything we'd give reasonable consideration to at this point. When I say 'at this point,' I mean perhaps ever."

In January 2019, the remaining members of the band reunited in a tribute concert and fundraiser at The Forum in Inglewood, California, organized by Cornell's widow, Vicky Cornell. Members of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, Alice in Chains, Melvins, Foo Fighters, and Metallica together with other notable artists performed songs from Cornell's career. Taylor Momsen, Marcus Durant, Brandi Carlile, and Taylor Hawkins contributed vocals to Soundgarden, who performed "Rusty Cage", "Flower", "Outshined", "Drawing Flies", "Loud Love", "I Awake", "The Day I Tried to Live", and "Black Hole Sun", making this their only performance since Cornell's death.

Soundgarden was among hundreds of artists whose master tapes were destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

In July 2019, Thayil said in an interview with Music Radar that the surviving members of Soundgarden are trying to finish and release the album they were working on with Cornell. However, the master files of Cornell's vocal recordings are currently being withheld, and when Thayil sought permission to use these files, he was denied.

In December 2019, Cornell's widow Vicky Cornell sued the surviving members of Soundgarden over seven unreleased recordings Cornell made before his death in 2017, claiming "they have “shamelessly conspired to wrongfully withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars indisputably owed to Chris’ widow and minor children in an unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away." The lawsuit stated that Cornell made the seven recordings at his personal studio in Florida in 2017, which there was never any explicit agreement that these songs were meant for Soundgarden, and that Cornell was the only owner of tracks. In February 2020, Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd demanded Vicky to hand over the unreleased recordings, claiming that they worked jointly on these final tracks with Chris and that Vicky has no right to withhold from them what they call the "final Soundgarden album." The band members pointed to interviews Chris and his bandmates made at the time confirming they were working together on what would be Soundgarden's eighth album. In March 2020, March 2020, Soundgarden asked court to dismiss the lawsuit. In May 2020, Soundgarden countersued Vicky claiming that she engaged in "fraudulent inducement" by allegedly attempting to use the revenue from the January 2019 "I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell" concert, which was meant to go to the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, for "personal purposes for herself and her family". The band dropped the benefit concert lawsuit in July 2020.

On August 10, 2020, Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis's company Hipgnosis Songs Fund acquired 100% of Chris Cornell's catalog of song rights (241 songs), including Soundgarden's catalog. Rodgers is friends with Cornell's widow.

On December 1, 2020, Thayil, Shepherd and Cameron performed as "members of Soundgarden" alongside Tad Doyle, Mike McCready and Meagan Grandallat at MoPOP Founders Award tribute to Alice in Chains.

In February 2021, Vicky Cornell filed another lawsuit claiming that the remaining members of Soundgarden have undervalued her share of the band, offering her “the villainously low figure of less than $300,000.” Vicky claimed the band offered her $300,000 despite receiving a $16 million offer from another investor for the act's master recordings. Vicky said she counter-offered $12 million for the band's collective interests, equaling $4 million per surviving member, which they denied. She then offered them $21 million for the band’s interests, and that offer was also rejected. Soungarden said in a statement that the "buyout offer that was demanded by the estate has been grossly mischaracterized and we are confident that clarity will come out in court. All offers to buy out our interests have been unsolicited and rejected outright." The band also noted that they also haven't had access to their social media accounts, which has resulted in "misleading and confusing our fans", leading the band to create new Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts under the name "Nude Dragons", an anagram for Soundgarden. On March 19, 2021, a federal judge recommended that claims the surviving band members improperly withheld "hundreds of thousands of dollars" and that the band's manager breached his duty to look after Vicky's interests be dismissed, citing lack of evidence of the band withholding royalties. On March 25, 2021, Soundgarden demanded the passwords for their social media and website. On June 15, 2021, the band got their website and social media accounts back in a temporary agreement with Vicky.

Soundgarden were pioneers of the grunge music genre, which mixed elements of punk rock and metal to make a sludgy, murky sound through the use of fuzzy-sounding distortion in the guitars. "Soundgarden are quite good..." remarked Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, "It's very much like the same sort of stuff that we would have done." Soundgarden's sound during the early years of the Seattle grunge scene has been described as consisting of "gnarled neo-Zeppelinisms". The influence of Led Zeppelin was evident, with Q magazine noting that Soundgarden were "in thrall to '70s rock, but contemptuous of the genre's overt sexism and machismo." According to Sub Pop, the band had "a hunky lead singer and fused Led Zeppelin and the Butthole Surfers". The Butthole Surfers' mix of punk, heavy metal and noise rock was a major influence on the early work of Soundgarden. The band was also influenced by the likes of the Ramones, Kiss, Accept, the Melvins and Saint Vitus.

The name of the band, according to Thayil, was supposed to include the many roots of their style: that included "a virtual plethora of cutting edge rock that spans Velvet Underground, Meat Puppets, and Killing Joke". The band also mentioned "Metallica Gothicism and sublime poetry. The almost ethereal flavour of the name betrays the brutality of the music but never pins Soundgarden in one corner".

Black Sabbath also had a huge impact on the band's sound, especially on the guitar riffs and tunings. Joel McIver stated: "Soundgarden are one of the bands I've heard closest to the original Sabbath sound." Soundgarden, like other early grunge bands, were also influenced by British post-punk bands such as Gang of Four and Bauhaus which were popular in the early 1980s Seattle scene. Cornell himself said: "When Soundgarden formed we were post-punk – pretty quirky. Then somehow we found this neo-Sabbath psychedelic rock that fitted well with who we were." Thayil described the band's sound as a "Sabbath-influenced punk".

Soundgarden broadened its musical range with its later releases. By 1994's Superunknown, the band began to incorporate more psychedelic influences into its music. As a member of Soundgarden, Cornell became known for his wide vocal range and his dark, existentialist lyrics.

Soundgarden often used alternative tunings in its songs. Many Soundgarden songs were performed in drop D tuning, including "Jesus Christ Pose", "Outshined", "Spoonman", "Black Hole Sun", and "Black Rain". The E strings of the instruments were at times tuned even lower, such as on "Rusty Cage", where the lower E is tuned down to B. Some songs use more unorthodox tunings: "Been Away Too Long", "My Wave", and "The Day I Tried to Live" are all in a E–E–B–B–B–B tuning and "Burden in My Hand", "Head Down", and "Pretty Noose" in a tuning of C-G-C-G-G-E".

Soundgarden also used unorthodox time signatures; "Fell on Black Days" is in 6/4, "Limo Wreck" is played in 15/8, and "The Day I Tried to Live" alternates between 7/8 and 4/4 sections. The main guitar riff of "Circle of Power" is in 5/4. Thayil has said Soundgarden usually did not consider the time signature of a song until after the band wrote it, and said the use of odd meters was "a total accident". He also used the meters as an example of the band's anti-commercial stance, saying that if Soundgarden "were in the business of hit singles, we'd at least write songs in 4/4 so you could dance to them".

The development of the Seattle independent record label Sub Pop is tied closely to Soundgarden, since Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman funded Soundgarden's early releases, and the band's success led to the expansion of Sub Pop as a serious record label. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was a fan of Soundgarden's music, and reportedly Soundgarden's involvement with Sub Pop influenced Cobain to sign Nirvana with the label. Cobain also stated that Soundgarden was one of the only Seattle bands that he liked along with Tad and Mudhoney. In rare footage from the 2015 documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Cobain can be seen impersonating Chris Cornell singing "Outshined". Alice in Chains guitarist and vocalist, Jerry Cantrell stated that Soundgarden was a big influence on his band.

Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label when the band joined the roster of A&M Records in 1989. However, Soundgarden did not achieve success initially, and only with successive album releases did the band meet with increased sales and wider attention. Bassist Ben Shepherd has not been receptive to the grunge label, saying in a 2013 interview "That's just marketing. It's called rock and roll, or it's called punk rock or whatever. We never were Grunge, we were just a band from Seattle." They were ranked No. 14 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

In 1994, Electronic Arts approached Cornell about featuring Soundgarden's music in a CD-based entry in the Road Rash video game series. Cornell agreed, as him and his band members were big fans of the games and frequently played them on their bus while touring the country.

Regarding Soundgarden's legacy, in a 2007 interview Cornell said:

"I think, and this is now with some distance in listening to the records, but on the outside looking in with all earnestness I think Soundgarden made the best records out of that scene. I think we were the most daring and experimental and genre-pushing really and I'm really proud of it. And I guess that's why I have trepidation about the idea of re-forming. I don't know what it would mean, or I guess I just have this image of who we were and I had probably a lot of anxiety during the period of being Soundgarden, as we all did, that it was responsibility and it was an important band and music and we didn't want to mess it up and we managed to not, which I feel is a great achievement."

Soundgarden has been praised for its technical musical ability, and the expansion of its sound as the band's career progressed. "Heavy yet ethereal, powerful yet always-in-control, Soundgarden's music was a study in contrasts," said Henry Wilson of Hit Parader. Wilson proclaimed the band's music as "a brilliant display of technical proficiency tempered by heart-felt emotion".

Soundgarden is one of the bands credited with the development of the genre of alternative metal, with Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic stating that "Soundgarden made a place for heavy metal in alternative rock." Ben Ratliff of Rolling Stone defined Soundgarden as the "standard-bearers" of the rock riff during the 1990s. The band inspired and influenced a number of metalcore bands such as Between the Buried and Me and the Dillinger Escape Plan. In 2017, Metal Injection ranked Soundgarden at number three on their list of 10 Heaviest Grunge Bands.

  • Kim Thayil – lead guitar (1984–1997, 2010–2019)
  • Chris Cornell – lead vocals (1984–1997, 2010–2017), rhythm guitar (1988–1997, 2010–2017), drums (1984–1985); died 2017
  • Hiro Yamamoto – bass, backing vocals (1984–1989)
  • Scott Sundquist – drums (1985–1986)
  • Matt Cameron – drums, backing vocals (1986–1997, 2010–2019)
  • Jason Everman – bass (1989–1990)
  • Ben Shepherd – bass, backing vocals (1990–1997, 2010–2019)

Timeline

For a more comprehensive list, see Soundgarden discography.

Studio albums

Clio Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1995 "Black Hole Sun" Alternative Music Video Won

Grammy Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1990 Ultramega OK Best Metal Performance Nominated
1992 Badmotorfinger Nominated
1993 "Into the Void (Sealth)" Nominated
1994 "Spoonman" Won
"Black Hole Sun" Best Hard Rock Performance Won
Best Rock Song Nominated
Superunknown Best Rock Album Nominated
1997 "Pretty Noose" Best Hard Rock Performance Nominated
2011 "Black Rain" Best Hard Rock Performance Nominated

MTV Europe Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1994 Soundgarden Best Rock Nominated

MTV Video Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1994 "Black Hole Sun" Best Metal/Hard Rock Video Won

Northwest Area Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1991 Chris Cornell Best Male Vocalist Won
Matt Cameron Best Musician - Drums Won
Soundgarden Best Rock Group Won
1992 Matt Cameron Best Drums Won
Chris Cornell Best Male Vocalist Won
Badmotorfinger Best Metal Album Won
Soundgarden Best Metal Group Won

Revolver Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2013 King Animal Album of the Year Nominated
Soundgarden Comeback of the Year Nominated
Kim Thayil Best Guitarist Nominated
Chris Cornell Best Vocalist Nominated

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020 Soundgarden Performers Nominated
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Media related to Soundgarden at Wikimedia Commons

Soundgarden
Soundgarden Language Watch Edit Sound Garden redirects here For the art installation see A Sound Garden Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle Washington in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell lead guitarist Kim Thayil both of whom are the only members to appear in every incarnation of the band and bassist Hiro Yamamoto Matt Cameron became the band s full time drummer in 1986 while bassist Ben Shepherd became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990 The band dissolved in 1997 and re formed in 2010 Following Cornell s death in 2017 and a year of uncertainty of the band s future Thayil declared in October 2018 that the band was finished they did however reunite in January 2019 for a one off concert in tribute to Cornell SoundgardenSoundgarden performing in February 2013 From left to right Kim Thayil Matt Cameron Chris Cornell and Ben Shepherd Background informationAlso known asNudedragonsOriginSeattle Washington U S GenresGrunge heavy metal alternative metal hard rock alternative rockYears active1984 1997 2010 2019LabelsSub Pop SST A amp M Interscope Seven Four Republic VertigoAssociated actsAudioslave Hater Skin Yard Temple of the Dog Truly Wellwater ConspiracyWebsitesoundgardenworld wbr comPast membersChris Cornell Kim Thayil Matt Cameron Ben Shepherd Hiro Yamamoto Scott Sundquist Jason Everman Soundgarden are associated with grunge a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle After releasing two EPs on the Seattle based label Sub Pop in 1987 and 1988 their debut album Ultramega OK was released on the California based independent label SST Records in 1989 Although the album did not sell well nationally it gained critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy award in 1990 They recorded their second album Louder Than Love independently but had signed with major label A amp M Records in the interim and released the album as their major label debut Unlike their debut which had failed to chart Louder Than Love peaked at number 108 on the Billboard 200 album chart Released the same day as fellow Seattle grunge act Nirvana s album Nevermind their third album Badmotorfinger would bring Soundgarden to national acclaim for the first time buoyed by the popularity of the singles Jesus Christ Pose Outshined and Rusty Cage the album would reach number 39 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified double platinum by the RIAA Soundgarden was one of the seminal creators of grunge a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle and was the first of a number of grunge bands to sign to the record label Sub Pop Soundgarden was also one of the first grunge bands to sign to a major label A amp M Records in 1989 though they did not achieve commercial success until they popularized the genre in the early 1990s with Seattle contemporaries Alice in Chains Pearl Jam and Nirvana Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album Superunknown which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and yielded the Grammy Award winning singles Spoonman and Black Hole Sun In 1996 the band experimented with new sonic textures on their follow up album Down on the Upside which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned several hit singles of its own including Burden in My Hand and Blow Up the Outside World In 1997 the band broke up due to internal strife over its creative direction and exhaustion from touring After more than a decade of working on projects and other bands Soundgarden reunited in 2010 and Republic Records released their sixth and final studio album King Animal two years later As of 2019 Soundgarden sold more than 14 million records in the United States 1 and an estimated 30 million worldwide 2 VH1 ranked Soundgarden at number 14 in their special 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock 3 Contents 1 History 1 1 Formation and early recordings 1984 1988 1 2 Ultramega OK major label signing and Louder Than Love 1988 1990 1 3 Established lineup Badmotorfinger and rise in popularity 1991 1993 1 4 Superunknown and mainstream success 1994 1995 1 5 Down on the Upside and breakup 1996 1997 1 6 Post breakup activities 1998 2009 1 7 Reunion Telephantasm and King Animal 2010 2013 1 8 Echo of Miles and Cornell s death 2013 2017 1 9 Aftermath and disbandment 2017 present 2 Musical style and influences 3 Legacy 4 Members 4 1 Timeline 5 Discography 5 1 Studio albums 6 Awards and nominations 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External linksHistory EditFormation and early recordings 1984 1988 Edit Soundgarden in 1987 Soundgarden s origins began with a band called the Shemps which performed around Seattle in the early 1980s 4 and featured bassist Hiro Yamamoto and drummer and singer Chris Cornell Following Yamamoto s departure the band recruited guitarist Kim Thayil as its new bassist 4 Thayil moved to Seattle from Park Forest Illinois with Yamamoto and Bruce Pavitt who would later start the independent record label Sub Pop 5 Cornell and Yamamoto stayed in contact and after the Shemps broke up Cornell and Yamamoto started jamming together and were eventually joined by Thayil 4 Soundgarden formed in 1984 and included Cornell drums and vocals Yamamoto bass and Thayil guitar The band named themselves after a wind channeling pipe sculpture titled A Sound Garden 6 on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration property at 7600 Sand Point Way next to Magnuson Park in Seattle 7 Cornell originally played drums while singing but in 1985 the band enlisted Scott Sundquist to allow Cornell to concentrate on vocals 8 The band traveled around playing various concerts with this lineup for about a year Their first recordings were three songs that appeared on the 1986 compilation album for C Z Records called Deep Six Heretic Tears to Forget and All Your Lies 9 It also featured songs by fellow grunge pioneers Green River Skin Yard Malfunkshun the U Men and the Melvins In 1986 Cornell s then girlfriend and future wife Susan Silver started managing Soundgarden 10 In the same year Sundquist left the band to spend time with his family and was replaced by Skin Yard s drummer Matt Cameron 4 A Soundgarden performance one night impressed KCMU DJ Jonathan Poneman who later said I saw this band that was everything rock music should be 11 Poneman offered to fund a release by the band so Thayil suggested he team up with Bruce Pavitt Poneman offered to contribute 20 000 in funding for Sub Pop effectively turning it into a full fledged record label 12 Soundgarden signed to Sub Pop and the label released Hunted Down in 1987 as the band s first single The B side of Hunted Down Nothing to Say appeared on the KCMU compilation tape Bands That Will Make Money which was distributed to record companies many of whom showed interest in Soundgarden 13 Through Sub Pop the band released the Screaming Life EP in 1987 and the Fopp EP in 1988 and a combination of the two Screaming Life Fopp in 1990 14 Ultramega OK major label signing and Louder Than Love 1988 1990 Edit Hands All Over source Hands All Over combines an Eastern tinged rock riff in an extended arrangement Guitars chime on a single note amongst a wash of cymbals Cornell doing his best Islamic call while Thayil foreshadows the vocal melody with a lilting lick 15 The above file s purpose is being discussed and or is being considered for deletion See files for discussion to help reach a consensus on what to do Problems playing this file See media help Though major labels were courting the band in 1988 they signed to the independent label SST Records for their debut album Ultramega OK released on October 31 1988 Cornell said the band made a huge mistake with Ultramega OK because they used a producer suggested by SST who didn t know what was happening in Seattle 16 17 According to Steve Huey of AllMusic Soundgarden demonstrates a Stooges MC5 meets Zeppelin Sabbath sound on the album 18 Mark Miremont directed the band s first music video for Flower which aired regularly on MTV s 120 Minutes Soundgarden promoted Ultramega OK on a tour in the United States in the spring of 1989 and a tour in Europe which began in May 1989 the band s first overseas tour 19 Ultramega OK earned the band a Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance in 1990 20 After touring to promote Ultramega OK the band signed with A amp M Records which caused a rift between Soundgarden and its traditional audience Thayil said In the beginning our fans came from the punk rock crowd They abandoned us when they thought we sold out the punk tenets getting on a major label and touring with Guns N Roses There were fashion issues and social issues and people thought we no longer belonged to their scene to their particular sub culture 21 The band later began work on its first album for a major label but personnel difficulties caused a shift in the band s songwriting process according to Cornell At the time Hiro Yamamoto excommunicated himself from the band and there wasn t a free flowing system as far as music went so I ended up writing a lot of it 22 On September 5 1989 the band released its debut major label album Louder Than Love which saw it take a step toward the metal mainstream according to Steve Huey of AllMusic describing it as a slow grinding detuned mountain of Sabbath Zeppelin riffs and Chris Cornell wailing 23 Because of some of the lyrics most notably on Hands All Over and Big Dumb Sex the band faced various retail and distribution problems upon the album s release 24 Louder Than Love became the band s first album to chart on the Billboard 200 peaking at number 108 on the chart in 1990 citation needed A month before touring for Louder Than Love was to begin bassist Hiro Yamamoto who was becoming frustrated that he was not making much of a contribution 25 left the band to return to college 26 Jason Everman formerly of Nirvana replaced him on bass The band toured North America from December 1989 to March 1990 opening for Voivod who were supporting their album Nothingface with Faith No More and the Big F also serving as opening acts at the beginning and end of the tour 26 27 The band then went on to tour Europe The band fired Everman in mid 1990 immediately after completing its promotional tour for Louder Than Love Thayil said that Jason just didn t work out 28 Louder Than Love spawned the EP Loudest Love and the video compilation Louder Than Live both released in 1990 citation needed Established lineup Badmotorfinger and rise in popularity 1991 1993 Edit Jesus Christ Pose source Jesus Christ Pose starts with a kind of free jazz throwdown and moves quickly into the realm of rockdom 29 The above file s purpose is being discussed and or is being considered for deletion See files for discussion to help reach a consensus on what to do Problems playing this file See media help Bassist Ben Shepherd replaced Jason Everman and the new lineup recorded Soundgarden s third album in 1991 Cornell said that Shepherd brought a fresh and creative approach to the recording sessions 30 and the band as a whole said that his knowledge of music and writing skills redefined the band 28 The band released the resulting album Badmotorfinger on October 8 1991 31 Steve Huey of AllMmusic said that the songwriting on Badmotorfinger takes a quantum leap in focus and consistency He added It s surprisingly cerebral and arty music for a band courting mainstream metal audiences 32 Thayil suggested that the album s lyrics are like reading a novel about man s conflict with himself and society or the government or his family or the economy or anything 33 The first single from Badmotorfinger Jesus Christ Pose garnered attention when MTV decided to ban its music video in 1991 13 The song and its video outraged many listeners who perceived it as anti Christian The band received death threats while on tour in the United Kingdom in support of the album 34 Cornell explained that the lyrics criticize public figures who use religion particularly the image of Jesus Christ to portray themselves as being persecuted 35 Although eclipsed at the time of its release by the sudden popularity of Nirvana s Nevermind the focus of attention brought by Nevermind to the Seattle scene helped Soundgarden gain wider attention 36 The singles Outshined and Rusty Cage were able to find an audience on alternative rock radio and MTV Badmotorfinger was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1992 20 and was among the 100 top selling albums of the year 37 Soundgarden name from the cover of the Badmotorfinger album Following the release of Badmotorfinger Soundgarden went on a North American tour in October and November 1991 22 Afterward Guns N Roses personally selected the band as its opening act for their Use Your Illusion Tour 38 The band also opened for Skid Row in North America in February 1992 on its Slave to the Grind tour 39 and then headed to Europe for a month long headlining theater tour 28 The band returned for a tour in the United States and then rejoined Guns N Roses in the summer of 1992 in Europe as part of the Use Your Illusion Tour along with fellow opening act Faith No More 28 Describing opening for Guns N Roses Cornell said It wasn t a whole lot of fun going out in front of 40 000 people for 35 minutes every day Most of them never heard our songs and didn t care about them It was a bizarre thing 34 The band played the 1992 Lollapalooza tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers Pearl Jam Ministry and Ice Cube among others In anticipation of the band s appearance at Lollapalooza they released a limited edition of Badmotorfinger in 1992 with a second disc containing the EP Satanoscillatemymetallicsonatas a palindrome featuring Soundgarden s cover of Black Sabbath s Into the Void titled Into the Void Sealth which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1993 20 The band later released the video compilation Motorvision filmed at Seattle s Paramount Theatre in 1992 The band appeared in the movie Singles performing Birth Ritual The song is included on the soundtrack as is a Cornell solo song Seasons 40 In 1993 the band contributed the track Show Me to the AIDS Benefit album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization 41 Superunknown and mainstream success 1994 1995 Edit Black Hole Sun source With its weepy vibrato guitar arpeggios and spare drums the verses on Black Hole Sun pave the way for a gloriously pounding metallic chorus 42 The above file s purpose is being discussed and or is being considered for deletion See files for discussion to help reach a consensus on what to do Problems playing this file See media help Soundgarden began working on its fourth album after touring in support of Badmotorfinger Cornell said that while working on the album the band allowed each other more freedom than on past records 43 and Thayil observed that the band spent a lot more time working on the recording of the songs than on previous records 44 Released on March 8 1994 Superunknown became the band s breakthrough album debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart and being driven by the singles Spoonman The Day I Tried to Live Black Hole Sun My Wave and Fell on Black Days 45 The songs on Superunknown captured the creativity and heaviness of the band s earlier works while showcasing the group s newly evolving style Lyrically the album was quite dark and mysterious and it is often interpreted to be dealing with substance abuse suicide and depression At the time Sylvia Plath inspired Cornell s writing 46 The album was also more experimental than previous releases with some songs incorporating Middle Eastern or Indian music J D Considine of Rolling Stone said Superunknown demonstrates far greater range than many bands manage in an entire career He also stated At its best Superunknown offers a more harrowing depiction of alienation and despair than anything on Nirvana s final studio album In Utero 47 The music video for Black Hole Sun became a hit on MTV and received the award for Best Metal Hard Rock Video at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards 48 and in 1995 the Clio Award for Alternative Music Video 49 Soundgarden won two Grammy Awards in 1995 Black Hole Sun received the award for Best Hard Rock Performance and Spoonman received the award for Best Metal Performance 20 The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 1995 50 Superunknown has been certified five times Platinum in the United States and remains Soundgarden s most successful album 1 The band began touring in January 1994 in Oceania and Japan 51 areas where the record came out early 52 and where the band had never toured before 53 This round of touring ended in February 1994 In March 1994 the band moved on to Europe 51 They began a theater tour of the United States first with a stop on May 27 1994 at the PNE Forum in Vancouver 51 54 with the opening acts Tad and Eleven 52 In late 1994 after touring in support of Superunknown doctors discovered that Cornell had severely strained his vocal cords and Soundgarden canceled several shows to avoid causing any permanent damage Cornell said I think we kinda overdid it We were playing five or six nights a week and my voice pretty much took a beating Towards the end of the American tour I felt like I could still kinda sing but I wasn t really giving the band a fair shake You don t buy a ticket to see some guy croak for two hours That seemed like kind of a rip off 55 The band made up the dates later in 1995 56 Superunknown spawned the EP Songs from the Superunknown and the CD ROM Alive in the Superunknown both released in 1995 citation needed Down on the Upside and breakup 1996 1997 Edit Following the worldwide tour in support of Superunknown the band began working on what would become their last studio album for over 15 years choosing to produce the record themselves 57 However tensions within the group reportedly arose during the sessions with Thayil and Cornell allegedly clashing over Cornell s desire to shift away from the heavy guitar riffing that had become the band s trademark 58 Cornell said By the time we were finished it felt like it had been kind of hard like it was a long hard haul But there was stuff we were discovering 59 The band s fifth album Down on the Upside was released on May 21 1996 It was notably less heavy than the group s earlier albums and marked a further departure from the band s grunge roots At the time Soundgarden explained that they wanted to experiment with other sounds 60 including acoustic instrumentation David Browne of Entertainment Weekly said Few bands since Led Zeppelin have so crisply mixed instruments both acoustic and electric 61 The overall mood of the album s lyrics is less dark than on previous Soundgarden albums with Cornell describing some songs as self affirming 62 The album spawned several singles including Pretty Noose Burden in My Hand and Blow Up the Outside World Pretty Noose was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1997 63 Despite favorable reviews and modest sales the album did not match the sales or critical praise of Superunknown 1 The band took a slot on the 1996 Lollapalooza tour with Metallica who had insisted on Soundgarden s appearance on the tour 64 After Lollapalooza the band embarked on a world tour 65 and already existing tensions increased during it When asked whether the band hated touring Cornell replied We really enjoy it to a point and then it gets tedious because it becomes repetitious You feel like fans have paid their money and they expect you to come out and play them your songs like the first time you ever played them That s the point where we hate touring 66 At the tour s last stop in Honolulu Hawaii on February 9 1997 Shepherd threw his bass into the air in frustration after suffering equipment failure and then stormed off the stage 67 The band retreated with Cornell returning to end the show with a solo encore 68 On April 9 1997 the band announced it was disbanding Thayil said It was pretty obvious from everybody s general attitude over the course of the previous half year that there was some dissatisfaction 69 Cameron later said that Soundgarden was eaten up by the business 70 The band released a greatest hits collection entitled A Sides on November 4 1997 composed of 17 songs including the previously unreleased Bleed Together which had been recorded during the Down on the Upside recording sessions citation needed Post breakup activities 1998 2009 Edit This section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed November 2017 Learn how and when to remove this template message Frontman Chris Cornell performing live at the Montreux Jazz Festival 2005 Cornell released a solo album in September 1999 entitled Euphoria Morning which featured Matt Cameron on the track Disappearing One Later in 2001 Cornell formed the platinum selling supergroup Audioslave with Tom Morello Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk then former members of Rage Against the Machine which recorded three albums Audioslave 2002 Out of Exile 2005 and Revelations 2006 Cornell left Audioslave in early 2007 resulting in the band s break up 71 His second solo album Carry On was released in June 2007 and his third solo album Scream produced by Timbaland was released in March 2009 both to mixed commercial and critical success 72 73 Cornell also wrote the lyrics and provided vocals for the song Promise on Slash s debut solo album Slash released in 2010 74 Thayil joined forces with former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Gina Mainwal for one show performing as The No WTO Combo during the WTO ministerial conference in Seattle on December 1 1999 75 Thayil contributed guitar tracks to Steve Fisk s 2001 album 999 Levels of Undo as well as Dave Grohl s 2004 side project album Probot In 2006 Thayil played guitar on the album Altar the collaboration between the bands Sunn O and Boris 76 Cameron initially turned his efforts to his side project Wellwater Conspiracy to which both Shepherd and Thayil have contributed He then worked briefly with the Smashing Pumpkins on the band s 1998 album Adore In 1998 he played drums for Pearl Jam s Yield Tour following Jack Irons s health problems and later joined Pearl Jam as an official member He has recorded six albums as the band s drummer Binaural 2000 Riot Act 2002 Pearl Jam 2006 Backspacer 2009 Lightning Bolt 2013 and Gigaton 2020 Cameron also played percussion on Geddy Lee s album My Favourite Headache In 2017 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pearl Jam 77 Shepherd was the singer on Wellwater Conspiracy s 1997 debut studio album Declaration of Conformity but left the band in 1998 He has toured with Mark Lanegan and played bass on two of Lanegan s albums I ll Take Care of You 1999 and Field Songs 2001 Shepherd and Cameron lent a hand with recording Tony Iommi s album IOMMI 2000 While they were members of Soundgarden they were part of the side project band Hater and in 2005 Shepherd released the band s long delayed second album The 2nd In a July 2009 interview with Rolling Stone Cornell shot down rumors of a reunion saying that conversations between the band members had been limited to discussion about the release of a box set or B sides album of Soundgarden rarities and that there had been no discussion of a reunion at all 78 The band s interest in new releases emerged from a 2008 meeting about their shared properties both financial and legal where they realized Soundgarden lacked online presence such as a website or a Facebook page As Thayil summed up we kind of had neglected our merchandise over the last decade 79 Eventually the musicians decided to create an official site handled by Pearl Jam s Ten Club relaunch their catalog and according to Cameron seek a bunch of unreleased stuff we wanted to try to put out On March 2009 Thayil Shepherd and Cameron got onstage during a concert by Tad Doyle in Seattle and played some Soundgarden songs Cornell stated that the moment sort of sparked the idea If Matt Kim and Ben can get in a room rehearse a couple songs and play maybe we all could do that as Soundgarden 80 79 On October 6 2009 all the members of Soundgarden attended Night 3 of Pearl Jam s four night stand at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City CA During an encore Temple of the Dog reunited for the first time since Pearl Jam s show at the Santa Barbara Bowl on October 28 2003 Chris Cornell joined the band to sing Hunger Strike It was the first public appearance of Soundgarden since their breakup in April 1997 Consequently rumors of an impending reunion were circulating on the Internet 81 Reunion Telephantasm and King Animal 2010 2013 Edit Soundgarden performed at Lollapalooza in 2010 L R Cornell Cameron and Shepherd Not pictured Thayil On January 1 2010 Cornell alluded to a Soundgarden reunion on his Twitter account writing The 12 year break is over and school is back in session Sign up now Knights of the Soundtable ride again The message linked to a website that featured a picture of the group performing live and a place for fans to enter their e mail addresses to get updates on the reunion Entering that information unlocked a video for the song Get on the Snake from 1989 s Louder Than Love 82 On March 1 2010 Soundgarden announced to their e mail subscribers that they would be re releasing an old single Hunted Down with the song Nothing to Say on a 7 inch vinyl record It was released on April 17 Record Store Day They released Spoonman live at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego California from 1996 Soundgarden played their first show since 1997 on April 16 at the Showbox at the Market in the band s hometown of Seattle 83 The band headlined Lollapalooza on August 8 84 Telephantasm A Retrospective a new Soundgarden compilation album was packaged with initial shipments of the Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock video game and released on September 28 2010 85 one week before the CD s availability in stores on October 5 2010 85 An expanded version of Telephantasm consisting of two CDs and one DVD is available for sale 85 A previously unreleased Soundgarden song Black Rain debuted on the Guitar Hero video game and appears on the compilation album 85 86 which achieved platinum certification status after its first day of retail availability 87 Black Rain hit rock radio stations on August 10 2010 and was the band s first single since 1997 88 In November 2010 Soundgarden was the second musical guest on the show Conan making their first television appearance in 13 years 89 The band issued a 7 inch vinyl The Telephantasm for Black Friday Record Store Day 90 In March 2011 Soundgarden released their first live album Live on I 5 91 In February 2011 Soundgarden announced on their homepage that they had started recording a new album 92 On March 1 2011 Chris Cornell confirmed that Adam Kasper would produce it 93 Four days later the band stated it would consist of material that was 90 percent new with the rest consisting of updated versions of older ideas They also noted that they had 12 to 14 songs that were kind of ready to go 94 Although Cameron claimed the album would be released in 2011 95 the recording was prolonged as Thayil said that the more we enjoy it the more our fans should end up enjoying it 96 97 Thayil also reported that some songs sound similar in a sense to Down on the Upside and that the album would be picking up where we left off There are some heavy moments and there are some fast songs 98 The next day Cornell reported that the new album would not be released until the spring of 2012 99 Soundgarden performing in 2013 In April 2011 Soundgarden announced a summer tour consisting of four dates in July The band headlined for Voodoo Experience at City Park in New Orleans on the 2011 Halloween weekend 100 In March 2012 a post on the band s official Facebook page said a new song Live to Rise would be included on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie The Avengers based on the Marvel Comics franchise It was the first newly recorded song the band had released since re forming in 2010 Live to Rise was released as a free download on iTunes on April 17 101 Also in March it was announced that Soundgarden would headline the Friday night of the Hard Rock Calling Festival the following July in London England 102 In April Soundgarden announced the release of a box set titled Classic Album Selection for Europe containing all of their studio albums except for Ultramega OK and live album Live on I 5 103 On May 5 just before The Offspring began playing their set the band appeared as a special guest at the 20th annual KROQ Weenie Roast in Irvine California 104 105 Later that month Soundgarden told Rolling Stone they were eyeing an October release for their new album 106 That June the band appeared at Download Festival in Donington England The band released Been Away Too Long the first single from their new album King Animal on September 27 the album was released on November 13 2012 107 The band released a video for By Crooked Steps directed by Dave Grohl in early 2013 108 Halfway There was the third single released from the album 109 Echo of Miles and Cornell s death 2013 2017 Edit Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil 2012 On November 15 2013 drummer Matt Cameron announced he would not be touring with Soundgarden in 2014 due to prior commitments promoting Pearl Jam s album Lightning Bolt 110 On March 16 2014 Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails announced they were going to tour North America together along with opening act Death Grips 111 Former Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain replaced Cameron for live shows in South America and Europe on March 27 2014 112 113 Soundgarden announced on October 28 2014 they would release the 3 CD compilation box set Echo of Miles Scattered Tracks Across the Path on November 24 The set includes rarities live tracks and unreleased material spanning the group s history It includes previously released songs such as Live to Rise Black Rain Birth Ritual and others as well as a newly recorded rendition of the song The Storm from the band s pre Matt Cameron 1985 demo now simply titled Storm which was like the original produced by Jack Endino 114 One day before its official announcement on October 27 the band posted a copy of Storm on YouTube 115 Thayil mentioned in several interviews it was likely the band would start working on material for a new album in 2015 116 117 and in August 2015 Cornell stated they were doing so 118 On January 19 2016 The Pulse Of Radio announced that Soundgarden had returned to the studio to continue working on their new album 119 On July 14 2016 bassist Ben Shepherd and Cameron stated that the band had written six solid tunes for the new album with more writing to be done in August 120 On May 18 2017 Cornell was found dead with a band around his neck according to his representative Brian Bumbery Cornell was in his room at the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Detroit Michigan after performing at the Fox Theatre with Soundgarden 121 From the outset the investigation into the singer s death was described by a local police spokesperson as that of a possible suicide based on unspecified details in the room where his body was discovered 122 Subsequently the Wayne County Medical Examiner s Office determined the cause of death as suicide by hanging 123 However Cornell s widow Vicky questioned whether he would deliberately end his own life 124 and said that the drug Ativan which her husband was taking might have led him to commit suicide She said I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life 125 Following Cornell s death Soundgarden canceled the rest of their 2017 tour 126 including headlining performances at Rock on the Range and Rocklahoma later that month 127 Aftermath and disbandment 2017 present Edit In September 2017 drummer Matt Cameron told Billboard that he and the other surviving members of Soundgarden had yet to make a decision about the future of the band following Cornell s death He was quoted as saying I don t think we re ready to say anything other than Kim and Ben and I are certainly aware of how much our fans are hurting and we re certainly hurting right there along with them But we re extremely private people and we re all still processing our grief in our own way and on our own time But we definitely are thinking of our fans and love them very much 128 In September 2018 guitarist Kim Thayil told Billboard that he and the other surviving members of Soundgarden were still unsure about the future of the band He was quoted as saying We often reference rock history and we ve often commented on what other bands in similar situations have done not as a plan or anything but just commenting on how bands have handled situations like this and what bands seem to have been graceful and dignified in how they manage their future musical endeavors and how some maybe were clumsy and callous We think about those things We try not to go too deep into these conversations but stuff comes up after a few beers 129 A month later Cameron told Rolling Stone that the surviving members of Soundgarden would certainly love to try to continue to do something figure out something to do together Bassist Ben Shepherd added We haven t even gotten a chance to hang out just us three yet We re going through natural healing then thinking about the natural next step 130 In an October 2018 interview with Seattle Times Thayil stated that the Soundgarden band name would be retired He explained I don t know really what kind of thing is possible or what we would consider in the future It s likely nothing The four of us were that There were four of us and now there s three of us so it s just not likely that there s much to be pursued other than the catalog work at this point Thayil also stated that while he does not rule out the possibility of working with Cameron and Shepherd in a different capacity writing or touring under the Soundgarden banner again was unlikely No I don t think that s anything we d give reasonable consideration to at this point When I say at this point I mean perhaps ever 131 In January 2019 the remaining members of the band reunited in a tribute concert and fundraiser at The Forum in Inglewood California organized by Cornell s widow Vicky Cornell Members of Soundgarden Temple of the Dog Audioslave Alice in Chains Melvins Foo Fighters and Metallica together with other notable artists performed songs from Cornell s career Taylor Momsen Marcus Durant Brandi Carlile and Taylor Hawkins contributed vocals to Soundgarden who performed Rusty Cage Flower Outshined Drawing Flies Loud Love I Awake The Day I Tried to Live and Black Hole Sun making this their only performance since Cornell s death 132 Soundgarden was among hundreds of artists whose master tapes were destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire 133 In July 2019 Thayil said in an interview with Music Radar that the surviving members of Soundgarden are trying to finish and release the album they were working on with Cornell However the master files of Cornell s vocal recordings are currently being withheld and when Thayil sought permission to use these files he was denied 134 In December 2019 Cornell s widow Vicky Cornell sued the surviving members of Soundgarden over seven unreleased recordings Cornell made before his death in 2017 claiming they have shamelessly conspired to wrongfully withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars indisputably owed to Chris widow and minor children in an unlawful attempt to strong arm Chris Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away The lawsuit stated that Cornell made the seven recordings at his personal studio in Florida in 2017 which there was never any explicit agreement that these songs were meant for Soundgarden and that Cornell was the only owner of tracks 135 In February 2020 Thayil Cameron and Shepherd demanded Vicky to hand over the unreleased recordings claiming that they worked jointly on these final tracks with Chris and that Vicky has no right to withhold from them what they call the final Soundgarden album The band members pointed to interviews Chris and his bandmates made at the time confirming they were working together on what would be Soundgarden s eighth album 136 In March 2020 March 2020 Soundgarden asked court to dismiss the lawsuit 136 In May 2020 Soundgarden countersued Vicky claiming that she engaged in fraudulent inducement by allegedly attempting to use the revenue from the January 2019 I Am the Highway A Tribute to Chris Cornell concert which was meant to go to the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation for personal purposes for herself and her family 136 The band dropped the benefit concert lawsuit in July 2020 136 On August 10 2020 Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis s company Hipgnosis Songs Fund acquired 100 of Chris Cornell s catalog of song rights 241 songs 137 including Soundgarden s catalog 138 Rodgers is friends with Cornell s widow 139 On December 1 2020 Thayil Shepherd and Cameron performed as members of Soundgarden alongside Tad Doyle Mike McCready and Meagan Grandallat at MoPOP Founders Award tribute to Alice in Chains 140 In February 2021 Vicky Cornell filed another lawsuit claiming that the remaining members of Soundgarden have undervalued her share of the band offering her the villainously low figure of less than 300 000 136 Vicky claimed the band offered her 300 000 despite receiving a 16 million offer from another investor for the act s master recordings Vicky said she counter offered 12 million for the band s collective interests equaling 4 million per surviving member which they denied She then offered them 21 million for the band s interests and that offer was also rejected 136 Soungarden said in a statement that the buyout offer that was demanded by the estate has been grossly mischaracterized and we are confident that clarity will come out in court All offers to buy out our interests have been unsolicited and rejected outright The band also noted that they also haven t had access to their social media accounts which has resulted in misleading and confusing our fans leading the band to create new Twitter Instagram and Facebook accounts under the name Nude Dragons an anagram for Soundgarden 136 On March 19 2021 a federal judge recommended that claims the surviving band members improperly withheld hundreds of thousands of dollars and that the band s manager breached his duty to look after Vicky s interests be dismissed citing lack of evidence of the band withholding royalties 136 On March 25 2021 Soundgarden demanded the passwords for their social media and website 136 On June 15 2021 the band got their website and social media accounts back in a temporary agreement with Vicky 141 Musical style and influences EditSoundgarden were pioneers of the grunge music genre 142 143 which mixed elements of punk rock and metal to make a sludgy murky sound through the use of fuzzy sounding distortion in the guitars 144 Soundgarden are quite good remarked Black Sabbath s Tony Iommi It s very much like the same sort of stuff that we would have done 145 Soundgarden s sound during the early years of the Seattle grunge scene has been described as consisting of gnarled neo Zeppelinisms 146 The influence of Led Zeppelin was evident with Q magazine noting that Soundgarden were in thrall to 70s rock but contemptuous of the genre s overt sexism and machismo 147 According to Sub Pop the band had a hunky lead singer and fused Led Zeppelin and the Butthole Surfers 148 The Butthole Surfers mix of punk heavy metal and noise rock was a major influence on the early work of Soundgarden 148 The band was also influenced by the likes of the Ramones 149 Kiss 150 Accept 151 the Melvins 152 and Saint Vitus 152 The name of the band according to Thayil was supposed to include the many roots of their style that included a virtual plethora of cutting edge rock that spans Velvet Underground Meat Puppets and Killing Joke The band also mentioned Metallica Gothicism and sublime poetry The almost ethereal flavour of the name betrays the brutality of the music but never pins Soundgarden in one corner 153 Black Sabbath also had a huge impact on the band s sound especially on the guitar riffs 154 and tunings 155 Joel McIver stated Soundgarden are one of the bands I ve heard closest to the original Sabbath sound 156 Soundgarden like other early grunge bands were also influenced by British post punk bands such as Gang of Four and Bauhaus which were popular in the early 1980s Seattle scene 157 Cornell himself said When Soundgarden formed we were post punk pretty quirky Then somehow we found this neo Sabbath psychedelic rock that fitted well with who we were 158 Thayil described the band s sound as a Sabbath influenced punk 159 Soundgarden broadened its musical range with its later releases By 1994 s Superunknown the band began to incorporate more psychedelic influences into its music 160 161 As a member of Soundgarden Cornell became known for his wide vocal range and his dark existentialist lyrics 162 163 164 Soundgarden often used alternative tunings in its songs Many Soundgarden songs were performed in drop D tuning including Jesus Christ Pose Outshined Spoonman Black Hole Sun and Black Rain The E strings of the instruments were at times tuned even lower such as on Rusty Cage where the lower E is tuned down to B 165 Some songs use more unorthodox tunings Been Away Too Long My Wave and The Day I Tried to Live are all in a E E B B B B tuning and Burden in My Hand Head Down and Pretty Noose in a tuning of C G C G G E 166 Soundgarden also used unorthodox time signatures Fell on Black Days is in 6 4 Limo Wreck is played in 15 8 and The Day I Tried to Live alternates between 7 8 and 4 4 sections 166 The main guitar riff of Circle of Power is in 5 4 167 Thayil has said Soundgarden usually did not consider the time signature of a song until after the band wrote it and said the use of odd meters was a total accident 166 He also used the meters as an example of the band s anti commercial stance saying that if Soundgarden were in the business of hit singles we d at least write songs in 4 4 so you could dance to them 168 Legacy EditThe development of the Seattle independent record label Sub Pop is tied closely to Soundgarden since Sub Pop co founder Jonathan Poneman funded Soundgarden s early releases and the band s success led to the expansion of Sub Pop as a serious record label Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was a fan of Soundgarden s music 169 and reportedly Soundgarden s involvement with Sub Pop influenced Cobain to sign Nirvana with the label 48 Cobain also stated that Soundgarden was one of the only Seattle bands that he liked along with Tad and Mudhoney 170 In rare footage from the 2015 documentary Kurt Cobain Montage of Heck Cobain can be seen impersonating Chris Cornell singing Outshined 171 Alice in Chains guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell stated that Soundgarden was a big influence on his band 172 Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label when the band joined the roster of A amp M Records in 1989 However Soundgarden did not achieve success initially and only with successive album releases did the band meet with increased sales and wider attention 58 Bassist Ben Shepherd has not been receptive to the grunge label saying in a 2013 interview That s just marketing It s called rock and roll or it s called punk rock or whatever We never were Grunge we were just a band from Seattle 173 They were ranked No 14 on VH1 s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock 3 In 1994 Electronic Arts approached Cornell about featuring Soundgarden s music in a CD based entry in the Road Rash video game series Cornell agreed as him and his band members were big fans of the games and frequently played them on their bus while touring the country 174 Regarding Soundgarden s legacy in a 2007 interview Cornell said I think and this is now with some distance in listening to the records but on the outside looking in with all earnestness I think Soundgarden made the best records out of that scene I think we were the most daring and experimental and genre pushing really and I m really proud of it And I guess that s why I have trepidation about the idea of re forming I don t know what it would mean or I guess I just have this image of who we were and I had probably a lot of anxiety during the period of being Soundgarden as we all did that it was responsibility and it was an important band and music and we didn t want to mess it up and we managed to not which I feel is a great achievement 175 Soundgarden has been praised for its technical musical ability and the expansion of its sound as the band s career progressed 176 177 Heavy yet ethereal powerful yet always in control Soundgarden s music was a study in contrasts said Henry Wilson of Hit Parader Wilson proclaimed the band s music as a brilliant display of technical proficiency tempered by heart felt emotion 177 Soundgarden is one of the bands credited with the development of the genre of alternative metal 178 with Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic stating that Soundgarden made a place for heavy metal in alternative rock 36 Ben Ratliff of Rolling Stone defined Soundgarden as the standard bearers of the rock riff during the 1990s 179 The band inspired and influenced a number of metalcore bands such as Between the Buried and Me and the Dillinger Escape Plan 180 181 182 In 2017 Metal Injection ranked Soundgarden at number three on their list of 10 Heaviest Grunge Bands 183 Members EditKim Thayil lead guitar 1984 1997 2010 2019 Chris Cornell lead vocals 1984 1997 2010 2017 rhythm guitar 1988 1997 2010 2017 drums 1984 1985 died 2017 Hiro Yamamoto bass backing vocals 1984 1989 Scott Sundquist drums 1985 1986 Matt Cameron drums backing vocals 1986 1997 2010 2019 Jason Everman bass 1989 1990 Ben Shepherd bass backing vocals 1990 1997 2010 2019 Timeline EditDiscography EditFor a more comprehensive list see Soundgarden discography Studio albums Edit Ultramega OK 1988 Louder Than Love 1989 Badmotorfinger 1991 Superunknown 1994 Down on the Upside 1996 King Animal 2012 Awards and nominations EditClio Awards Year Nominee work Award Result1995 Black Hole Sun Alternative Music Video Won Grammy Awards Year Nominated work Award Result1990 Ultramega OK Best Metal Performance Nominated1992 Badmotorfinger Nominated1993 Into the Void Sealth Nominated1994 Spoonman Won Black Hole Sun Best Hard Rock Performance WonBest Rock Song NominatedSuperunknown Best Rock Album Nominated1997 Pretty Noose Best Hard Rock Performance Nominated2011 Black Rain Best Hard Rock Performance Nominated MTV Europe Music Awards Year Nominee work Award Result1994 Soundgarden Best Rock Nominated MTV Video Music Awards Year Nominee work Award Result1994 Black Hole Sun Best Metal Hard Rock Video Won Northwest Area Music Awards Year Nominee work Award Result1991 Chris Cornell Best Male Vocalist WonMatt Cameron Best Musician Drums WonSoundgarden Best Rock Group 184 Won1992 Matt Cameron Best Drums WonChris Cornell Best Male Vocalist WonBadmotorfinger Best Metal Album WonSoundgarden Best Metal Group 185 Won Revolver Music Awards Year Nominee work Award Result2013 King Animal Album of the Year NominatedSoundgarden Comeback of the Year NominatedKim Thayil Best Guitarist NominatedChris Cornell Best Vocalist 186 Nominated Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Year Nominee work Award Result2020 Soundgarden Performers 187 NominatedReferences Edit a b c Gold and Platinum Database Search RIAA Archived from the original on May 26 2012 Retrieved February 12 2007 Kaufman Gil September 25 1998 Ex Soundgarden Singer Chris Cornell Plows Ahead With Solo Debut VH1 com Archived from the 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The Modern Age Billboard Archived from the original on April 25 2016 Al Kowalewski Cake May June 1992 An interview with Kurt Cobain Flipside 78 Dave Grohl Chris Cornell Tribute YouTube May 19 2017 Archived from the original on November 2 2017 Retrieved May 26 2017 Watch Kurt Cobain Imitate Chris Cornell In Montage of Heck Clip Billboard April 30 2015 Archived from the original on October 19 2016 Retrieved May 26 2017 Alice In Chains Jerry Cantrell remembers Chris Cornell YouTube April 14 2018 Archived from the original on October 29 2021 Retrieved October 4 2019 Soundgarden Refuse to be Labeled as Grunge Ultimate Guitar May 13 2013 Retrieved October 4 2019 Chris Cornell Soundgarden And Road Rash Hypebot com May 22 2017 Retrieved September 11 2020 Cornell Hesitant To Tamper With Soundgarden Legacy Artisan News Service June 10 2007 Archived from the original on October 29 2009 Retrieved July 2 2009 Phalen Tom That Rock Thing As Soundgarden Matures the Band Finds Itself on Solid Ground The Seattle Times December 5 1996 a b Wilson Henry Soundgarden A Fond Farewell Hit Parader June 1997 Alternative Metal AllMusic Retrieved on July 22 2009 Ben Ratliff June 22 2000 R Album Reviews Rolling Stone Archived from the original on December 3 2007 Retrieved November 13 2012 Between the Buried and Me AllMusic Retrieved March 2 2009 Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan KPSU November 29 2005 Archived from the original on July 4 2008 Retrieved July 22 2009 Evanescence Frontwoman on Lineup Changes Marriage And Family Values Tour Blabbermouth net July 20 2007 Archived from the original on May 30 2012 Retrieved July 22 2009 10 Heaviest Grunge Bands Metal Injection Archived from the original on July 29 2017 Retrieved June 16 2017 Established Acts Take Big Awards The Seattle Times March 4 1991 Nirvana Wins Five Awards At Music Fete The Seattle Times March 23 1992 REVOLVER GOLDEN GODS Awards 2013 Winners And Performance Highlights Metal Injection May 3 2013 Class of 2020 Nominees Rock amp Roll Hall of Fame September 10 2020 Retrieved October 15 2019 Bibliography EditNickson Chris 1995 Soundgarden New Metal Crown St Martin s Griffin ISBN 978 0 312 13607 9 Prato Greg 2009 Grunge Is Dead The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music ECW Press ISBN 978 1 55022 877 9 Prato Greg 2019 Dark Black and Blue The Soundgarden Story Independently published ISBN 978 1 69108 613 9 English Mike amp Jaye 2015 Photofantasm Soundgarden Nudedragons to King Animal Spoondog Entertainment Group ISBN 978 0 988530 01 0 External links Edit Media related to Soundgarden at Wikimedia Commons Official website Soundgarden at IMDb Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Soundgarden amp oldid 1052970241, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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