Soundgarden's Kim Thayil has hit back at the grunge label, arguing that the term was not embraced by bands in the 1990s and was a “marketing thing”.
In a recent interview with Pete Thorne, the guitarist looked back at the Seattle music scene of the late '80s and early '90s.
“We knew this [sound] It wasn't necessarily what was going on in other scenes or other cities,” Theil recalls, adding that he and his fellow musicians were very aware of what was happening musically in other parts of the country. said. “People were very true and loyal to the punk rock ethos, but Seattle was doing something different. We were very aware of that.”
Still, the guitarist insisted that the Seattle Sound's now-famous label was not the term he or his contemporaries used.
“We didn't think it was grunge,” Theil explained. “It later became a marketing thing.”
read more: Where did the word “grunge” come from?
Theil pointed out that bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains were all lumped together during the grunge revolution, but each band developed their own unique style.
“As time went on, the bands became more distinct,” he explained. “But I think we all came from a similar place in the beginning. We were all at the same shows and seeing the same bands.”
“No one was listening to hair metal”
The rise of grunge is often thought to have killed off the bombastic rock style of the '80s. Tile admitted that while Soundgarden and other Seattle artists were clearly going in a different direction than Sunset Strip artists, it wasn't a conscious choice.
“None of us listened to hair metal,” the guitarist explained. “It wasn't because we didn't like it. We couldn't watch MTV. I don't think we had television either. Chris [Cornell] and hiro [Yamamoto] There was no TV. And when we had TV, it was just on the air. You know how you could see Soundgarden videos on TV? They were on tour. If you're lucky, your hotel will have ESPN and MTV on the air. That means you'll know all the Mariners' scores and if you're lucky you might even catch one of his on a friend's video. But until about 1995, we didn't have a TV at home. ”
Since MTV couldn't expose them to hair metal acts, Tail and other Seattle rockers simply evolved their sound in different ways. Still, there was one group from the '80s that caught the guitarist's attention.
“Motley Crue” was It was a band we knew,” Theil admitted. too fast for love, we were fully aware of that. They were one of those bands that fit right into the punk rock cannon. ”
How grunge musicians felt about the word “grunge”
Gallery credit: Lauryn Schaffner