Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about her!
1. Matt Cameron became the band’s full-time drummer in 1986, while bassist Ben Shepherd became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990.
2. Cornell died suddenly and unexpectedly on May 17, 2017, leaving Thayil as the only remaining original member left in Soundgarden.
3. Soundgarden was one of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge, a style of alternative rock that developed in Seattle, and was one of a number of grunge bands signed to the record label Sub Pop. Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label (A&M Records in 1988), though the band did not achieve commercial success until they popularized the genre in the early 1990s with Seattle contemporaries Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains.
4. Thayil and Yamamoto began playing in bands in the burgeoning Seattle underground rock scene, and Pavitt founded a fanzine (a local and independently produced magazine).
5. Yamamoto, a bassist, founded a band with his roommate, vocalist Chris Cornell, and the pair recruited Thayil to play guitar. They added Scott Sundquist on drums and chose the name Soundgarden. Over the next two years the band hit the Seattle club circuit and earned a devoted following; they eventually replaced Sundquist with Matt Cameron.
6. The band signed to Pavitt’s newly formed label and released the EP Screaming Life in 1987. The cover photograph captures what became the archetypal grunge image: Cornell in midwail, his long hair falling wildly over his shoulders.
7. The music on Screaming Life is similarly striking, driven by Thayil’s swirling guitar chords and Cornell’s grandiose, rock-god vocals.
8. The plodding assault of “Hunted Down” and the tense “Tears to Forget” provide the clearest examples of their developing sound, with thudding guitars propelled by punk rock rhythms. The sound is at once familiar and strange, with the signature repetition of metal applied to the deliberately twisted song structures of underground rock.
9. They jumped to the legendary punk label SST for their first full-length album, Ultramega O.K. (1988).
10. The album finds the band becoming much more comfortable with their fusion of metal theatrics and punk fire, but the material tends to wallow in its own sludgy texture.
11. Soundgarden continued in the punk-metal vein on their major label debut Louder Than Love (1989).
12. “Ugly Truth” opens the album with an aggressive guitar attack that provides appropriately grand accompaniment for Cornell’s otherworldly howl. Cornell’s vocal dynamics veer from high-pitched screech to a low, mournful croon, a range that lends the imposing music an emotional texture usually absent from metal.
13. Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album Superunknown, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart and yielded the Grammy Award-winning singles “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman”. In 1997, the band broke up due to internal strife over its creative direction.
14. After more than a decade of working on projects and other bands, Soundgarden reunited in 2010 and their sixth studio album, King Animal, was released two years later.
15. As of 2012, Soundgarden sold more than 10.5 million records in the United States, and an estimated 22.5 million worldwide.
16. VH1 ranked Soundgarden at number 14 in their special 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
17. Lead singer Chris Cornell was really named Chris Boyle.
18. Lead guitarist Kim Thayil‘s parents come from the Kerala province in southern India.
19. Kim Thayil met Chris Cornell when they were roommates in Seattle. Thayil was studying philosophy at the University of Washington.
20. Founding member Hiro Yamamoto earned a Master’s Degree in Physical Chemistry at Western Washington University.
21. Bassist Ben Shepherd worked in manual labor after high school and entered the grunge scene when he worked as a roadie for Nirvana.
22. The producer for the band’s hit album “Superunknown,” Michael Beinhorn, played keyboards for a Herbie Hancock album.
23. Chris Cornell said he named “Superunknown” after a mistake he made. He noticed a video titled, “Superunknown” and thought, “Wow, that’s a cool title.” He was disappointed to find out he misread it and it was really “Superclown.”