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Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil Recalls Attempt at Supergroup With Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic

Kim Thayil / Krist Novoselic
Michael Buckner / Jason Kempin, Getty Images

After grunge legends Soundgarden chose call it quits in 1997, the band members who helped bring the group to worldwide prosperity all ventured out into various musical projects. Vocalist Chris Cornell and drummer Matt Cameron continued their massive careers after the breakup, but guitarist Kim Thayil chose to keep a low profile. However, Thayil reveals that he had started a supergroup with Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and other prominent musicians.

Following the disintegration of Soundgarden, Cornell found massive success with Audioslave, which combined the singer’s talent with the instrumental section of Rage Against the Machine. Drummer Matt Cameron also remained in the limelight after the breakup, going on to man the drums for Pearl Jam. Cameron also joined forces with bassist Ben Shepherd to form Wellwater Conspiracy and Hater, but where was Kim Thayil during this period?

In a recent interview with Spinner, Thayil revealed that he had no desire to become neither a “hired gun,” nor a member of a “B-grade Soundgarden.” “I declined participation in a lot of projects and collaborations,” reveals Thayil. “I didn’t want to be part of someone else’s band or part of a collaborative effort that wasn’t something I started … I avoided playing in another heavy rock band. Which, if I’d pursued that, would have been a B-grade Soundgarden. I was perfectly comfortable denying the expected ambition of a successful pop culture participant.”

Thayil lent his talents to Dave Grohl‘s Probot project during Soundgarden’s hiatus, and worked with doom legends Sunn 0))) on their 2006 split with Japanese metal band Boris. In addition to these works, Thayil jammed with Krist Novoselic from Nirvana, Bubba Dupree from Void and Alfredo Hernandez from Queens of the Stone Age. “We were jamming on and off for a couple years but there was no singer,” says Thayil. “A lot of instrumental stuff and beer drinking.”

Kim Thayil is now back with Soundgarden, who just released ‘King Animal,’ their first album in 16 years.

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