Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil said in a new interview with Soundwave that Pearl Jam was probably the only Seattle band that did not emulate Soundgarden’s use of lower guitar tunings — a trademark of the grunge scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Thayil explained, “I think we certainly popularized it locally in Seattle, and probably the influence Seattle had, it probably extended nationally, and ultimately internationally with that genre of music.”
Thayil added, “Pearl Jam was a giant band that never did that . . . They’re the only ones that didn’t really take or borrow from us. They had their own vision about what they were doing.”
Thayil continued, “But those other bands…we were pretty damn popular. We were probably the biggest band in Seattle for a while there, and many of our friends ended up borrowing, and sounding, more like us.”
Thayil told us that he and his fellow Seattle musicians were influenced at the time by both heavy rock and punk:
“I turned 17 around the time that the Sex Pistols were getting a lot of news. It was perfect. I’d been playing guitar for a year or two, so my background of Sabbath and Kiss all of a sudden starts moving towards the Ramones and the Sex Pistols. And that kind of says not just where I came from, but I think it’s a good blueprint of where the Seattle music scene came from.”
Soundgarden released a three-disc collection of B-sides and rarities called Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path late last year.
The group plans to work on a new studio album sometime later in 2015, while singer Chris Cornell is currently recording a new solo effort.
Soundgarden will play in Australia and New Zealand later this month as part of the Soundwave Festival.