Korn, HIM, Machine Head, Megadeth, Dead Sara, Staind, Geoff Tate, and More Talk Soundgarden
Mon, 12 Nov 2012 07:13:03
You don't have to look far to feel Soundgarden's influence.
The Seattle legends altered the course of rock music forever with the thunderous wail of Louder than Love, the psychedelic grit of Badmotorfinger, the tuneful melancholy of Superunknown, and the irresistible darkness of Down on the Upside. They're pushing the genre forward once more with the release of King Animal [available November 13, 2012 via Seven Four Entertainment/Republic Records]. Waking the Soundgarden beast, it's everything listeners love about the band and so much more.
Given the band's importance, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to everyone from Korn and Staind to Megadeth and Machine Head to Dead Sara and HIM about Soundargden. Of course, everybody had something to say about Soundgarden's impact.
This continues our "Artists Talk Soundgarden" feature!
See what everybody has to say about Soundgarden below!
Get King Animal on iTunes below!
Can you share your thoughts on Soundgarden? Do you have a seminal Soundgarden experience or memory? When did you first hear them? What do they mean to you? What's your favorite record or song by the band?
James "Munky" Shaffer of Korn & Fear and The Nervous System
James "Munky" Shaffer: We actually had a song that we recorded as a B-side during Korn III: Remember Who You Are called "Diary of a Sadist" that reminds me of Soundgarden. I've always liked unique tunings, and Kim Thayil doesn't play like anybody out there. For a favorite record, I still have to go with Superunknown. There are so many great songs!
Ray Luzier of Korn
Ray Luzier: I first heard Soundgarden when I was teaching at the Musician's Institute. We had to learn "Outshined" and then teach it to the students. The song was different and stood out compared to a lot of music at the time. I like the tempo and grungy riff of "Jesus Christ Pose". It's ruthless and just keeps moving throughout the whole song.
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth
Dave Mustaine: I certainly listened to Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. If you had a radio in your car, you were force-fed alternative music during the early '90s [Laughs]. I think Chris Cornell is a very talented singer. I know Kim Thayil better than I know Chris. I've only met Chris once!
Ville Valo of HIM
Ville Valo: When it comes to Soundgarden, I'm a huge fan of Badmotorfinger. I was actually just thinking, I don't have the fucking album [Laughs]. I think I had it on vinyl, but I haven't heard it in fucking years and I need to get it back. Chris Cornell was on the top of his game there. He still is great! It's just a fantastic record.
Mike Mushok of Staind
Mike Mushok: It's funny. I don't know if I exactly remember the first time I heard them, but they're one of my favorite bands that came out of Seattle. I love what they do musically. Some of the music sounds simple, but it's not. Musically, they're mind-blowing. There all of these odd time signatures, but they have a way of making it so the music doesn't sound odd. Chris Cornell's voice is just amazing. They're probably one of my favorite bands ever. I'm looking forward to King Animal. I'm sure it's incredible. They haven't done anything that I haven't liked. I'm very glad they're back together making music. As far as a favorite goes, Superunknown is really good. There's so much awesome stuff on that record. The older albums are great too. Their songwriting on Superunknown really came together for me. I know those are some of the biggest hits, but they were hits for a reason. When "Jesus Christ Pose" comes on, I turn it up as loud as I can [Laughs].
Robb Flynn of Machine Head
Robb Flynn: Chris Cornell is the man! I first heard Soundgarden on Louder Than Love. I dug them. I went backwards and got into the whole trip. Badmotorfinger and Louder Than Love are phenomenal records. I love Temple of the Dog too. That record is a masterpiece. Soundgarden are super heavy, beautiful, and weird. They're such a unique band. That's something cool. Bands now are so freaking normal. I love the weirdness of the grunge era. My ear is always attracted to the psychedelic stuff. Growing up in San Francisco, there's a lot of that in the music around, and it wore off on me. Badmotorfinger is probably my favorite record. All of the albums are awesome in their own way—Louder Than Love, Down on the Upside, and Superunknown. There are a lot of good songs like "4th of July" and "Limo Wreck" on Superunknown. Those are heavy! They're tuned down super low. "Jesus Christ Pose", forget it! That song is ridiculous. I'll never be able to sing that high in my whole life. I gave up trying a decade ago [Laughs]. I'm not even going to go for it. It's unreachable! He's got that super high voice, but it's got grit. It's not a clean high. It's a gritty, dirty high, and I love that. They had a lot of that Sabbath vibe too which I was very attracted to.
Davey Havok of AFI & Blaqk Audio
Davey Havok: Chris Cornell is a really great singer! I do remember the first time I heard Soundgarden. My song was "Loud Love". They played it on MTV Headbangers Ball. However, my main memory of "Loud Love" was another time I heard it. I saw a high school talent show, and this boy who was a year older than me and a year younger than Jade Puget, played "Loud Love" at some point during the talent show really loudly, and he came out and headbanged to it. Then, he left the stage [Laughs]. That was it. That's my memory of "Loud Love". Is it a good memory?
Geoff Tate of Queensrÿche
Geoff Tate: We toured with Soundgarden and shared a bill with them many times over the years. They weren't strangers to us at all. The first time I heard them was when they opened for us. I can't remember where the venue was. I liked what they were doing. They had this cool, primal feel to their music, which I really like. I thought Chris Cornell was fantastic. He's got a great voice and he really threw himself into the performance every night. It was really admirable. I enjoy watching musicians that can channel that kind of passion into a performance. He has that. Ben Shepherd was my neighbor. We lived in the same neighborhood for many years so we became coffeehouse acquaintances because we used to be on the same type of schedule. We'd go down to the coffee shop at the same time and sit around yapping about music for a while.
Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down
Brad Arnold: I like Soundgarden a lot! I'm probably a bigger fan now than I was when the first came out. I was so young when they first came out. I love Audioslave too. I was walking through Vegas the other day too, and I heard Chris Cornell's voice on "I Am the Highway". It's so powerful.
Jeff Kendrick of DevilDriver & Co-founder of AllAxess.com
Jeff Kendrick: Soundgarden still is one of my favorite bands of all time. When I was young, Badmotorfinger changed my life. Seeing them live on Lollapalooza in the mid-nineties cemented them in my psyche forever. They are one of the best bands of all-time. "Rusty Cage" is my favorite track off their catalog. Fortunately for me, I got to play with them at Download Festival 2012. That was my seminal moment for sure! Talk about a timeless band, they're one of the best.
Brian Vodinh of 10 Years
Brian Vodinh: Soundgarden is a band that somehow made fans of drastically different genres meet in the middle. In the '90s I was mostly into metal, and I had friends that were punks and even friends who liked fusion jam music but we could all agree that Soundgarden was amazing. The thing that sticks out in my memory most about Soundgarden is the music video for "Black Hole Sun". This came out when MTV still broke bands and played a ton of video. That video still sticks out in my head like it was yesterday. I actually think that the first time I ever heard them, though, was on Beavis and Butthead! Soundgarden was definitely a major influence and the main thing I always admired most about them was simply the song writing. The melodies and lyrics were just fantastic and musically they really had their own stamp and unique sound that they put on everything. It's really tough to determine a favorite song from Soundgarden. I would have to say my top two are "Jesus Christ Pose" and "Burden In My Hand".
Chris Null of Dead Sara
Chris Null: I think my first Soundgarden experience was like that of a lot of people my age—the "Black Hole Sun" music video. It was such a brilliant video. At the time, you couldn't help but be glued to it. For me, Superunknown and Down on the Upside are such amazing records. If I had to choose a favorite, it's Down on the Upside. Yes, they are "rock" records, but there is so much more going on stylistically and dynamically. That's what I love about this band and that's what has influenced me as a musician from listening to them.
Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides
Andy Biersack: I remember "Black Hole Sun". The first time I heard it was on the local rock radio station. In those days, I'd ride around in the backseat of my dad's car. Anyone rock song that would come on radio, I had two pens and I'd try my best to be a reasonable facsimile of the drummer using the pens on the back of my dad's seat.
Austin Dickinson of Rise to Remain
Austin Dickinson: Soundgarden are one talented group of dudes with a truly amazing set of ears. I remember being 10-years-old and hearing "Black Hole Sun" for the first time, and it's been stuck in my head for the past 12 years. That was what I soon discovered about them—they write a damn good, honest hook. They aren't a "flashy" or "technical" band. They're one that just writes what they feel and hear, lets the music speak for itself and have, in Chris Cornell, one of the most astounding singers in modern rock music. I fucking LOVE his voice, and seeing them live in Australia and Donington were two experiences I won't soon forget. Gawd Bless 'em!
Rob Ulrich of Mindset Evolution
Rob Ulrich: Soundgarden is one of those bands who just didn't fit, but fit perfectly. You have this killer guitarist in Kim Thayil that, to me, seemed so experimental and different. He wasn't sitting on punk power chords, but he also wasn't over-doing the whole guitar solo thing either—which I think kind of became an earmark of the grunge era. Then these amazing atmospheric, penetrating vocals and captivating lyrics from Chris Cornell, who is very like a man out of time in his style. He wasn't grunge, he wasn't 80's, but he was something in-between and altogether unique. They are an acquired taste, which once acquired, you don't mind not being able to ever quite get out of your mouth [Laughs].I think of Soundgarden, and I tell myself that everyone has this same image pop in their heads. You know, that whole melting ice-cream and lunatic smile motif of the "Black Hole Sun" video. That creeped me out and forever locked the name Soungarden into my musical vernacular. I first heard of Soundgarden in the early '90s alongside Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice In Chains. I remember ordering Badmotorfinger from some catalog they used to send in the mail all the time where you would buy 10 CDs for like $5 and then be part of a club of sorts. Can't recall the name, but I bought it and everything else grunge I could find in there. It's hard to say exactly what they mean to me. I'll put it like this. I write on acoustic guitar all the time, and it's largely in part to the way "Burden in My Hand" hit me. I remember having my Guitar World magazine open to "Fell on Black Days" "Black Hole Sun", "Blow up the Outside World", "Pretty Noose", and "Burden in My Hand" creating acoustic versions of them and trying (to no avail) to hit those Chris Cornell notes. They were definitely part of my tutorial on how to be a song-writer early on in my career. My favorite Soundgarden record is Down on the Upside. I was always listening to what Soundgarden was doing, but that record for me was when what they were doing, clicked completely with what I was feeling.
Have you heard King Animal?
See what Metallica, Iron Maiden, Mastodon, Gojira, and More have to say about Soundgarden here!
See our review of King Animal here!
See our top 25 Soundgarden Songs of All-Time Feature here!
See our feature on "Why Soundgarden Will Save Rock N' Roll with King Animal" here!