SOUNDGARDEN Guitarist On New Album: ‘The Vibe Of The Songs Is Definitely Very Heavy’

T. Cole Rachel of Stereogum recently spoke to guitarist Kim Thayil of reunited grunge legends SOUNDGARDEN about the progress of the recording sessions for the band’s first studio album since 1996’s “Down On The Upside”.

“We’re recording,” Thayil said. “We’re kind of doing it in stages. We have about 14 songs in various stages of completion. Previously, we’d just block out a bunch of time and go and track everything at once, but we can’t really do that right now. Matt [Cameron, drums] has commitments to PEARL JAM, Chris [Cornell, vocals] has a solo tour happening and SOUNDGARDEN is touring in July. So we do the studio thing around those other engagements, which actually is turning out to be a lot better for us. It takes the pressure off in some ways. It’s not like, OK you’ve got three weeks and everything needs to get done in those three weeks. We can work at our own pace right night and take things one step at a time. We’re really enjoying it. We don’t have a record company or management pressuring us to hurry up, so we can really savor the process this time.”

Regarding the musical direction of SOUNDGARDEN‘s new material, Thayil said, “The vibe of the songs is definitely very heavy. We’ve always tried to explore how to make this really heavy, aggressive music without sounding like a bunch of knuckle-dragging meatheads. I think these songs are kind of exploring that idea. Ways of emoting aggression and anger and hostility in ways that feel new. You know, we never were really chipper guys. We were never the party band, or even a particularly social band. We were always really just hard workers and a kind of musician’s band. That’s what we wanted to be that. We wanted to play for an audience that reminded us of ourselves back when we were young, I always liked the idea that our fans were that guy or girl who collected records and wanted to start a band of their own and play good music. I always imagined we were the band that made the party end. Like, ok guys it’s time to leave now, someone just put on ‘Superunknown’! I always felt like we made music that was good for driving, good for listening to really loud. Wait, does that answer your question at all? The new songs sound really heavy. I’ll just say that.”

Read the entire interview at Stereogum.

Professionally filmed video footage of SOUNDGARDEN performing the song “Fell On Black Days” during the band’s August 8, 2010 headlining performance on the third day of the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago’s Grant Park can be viewed below.