It was always a bit odd what happened to Soundgarden. Three albums into their life and they weren’t getting too far, and then all of a sudden themselves and Seattle contemporaries Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam were the talk of the world. In 1994, their album Superunknown debuted at number one in the USA, and they bagged Grammys for their massive hits Black Hole Sun and Spoonman.
The less heavy follow-up Down on the Upside came in 1996. It didn’t match the success of the previous album but still spawned huge hits with Pretty Noose, Burden in My Hand and Blow Up the Outside World. After all that hard work, they’d finally made the big time. So what did they do? They split up.
Singer Chris Cornell went off to form Audioslave and do different solo projects. Drummer Matt Cameron had his Wellwater Conspiracy before becoming a member of Pearl Jam. Lead guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto were doing there bits and bobs too, but Soundgarden seemed dead and gone until 2012, when Cornell suddenly sprang a message on the website that “the 12-year break is over and school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!”
They are indeed. The four reunited for a tour of the US and Canada, then went down under to do Australia, and are now heading for Europe, where Spain has the honour of their first European gig since October 1996. Frightening to think this, but that was sixteen years ago! Time flies…
Let’s hope they’re not too worn out by that stage. Cornell did once say, when the band was at their height, that touring “gets tedious, because it becomes repetitious. You feel like fans have paid their money and they expect you to come out and play them your songs like the first time you ever played them.” But that was a long time ago. Let’s hope Sonisphere isn’t too much of a chore for the boys, because a lot of people are going to be very pleased indeed to welcome them back.
As for new material, there’s been no announcement yet, but judging by the insinuations made by members of the band in interviews, it’s a very likely prospect.
Did you know: To announce their comeback concert in Seattle, they used the anagrammatic pseudonym Nudedragons.
1. Searching With My Good Eye Closed
3. Hands All Over
4. Jesus Christ Pose
6. Blow Up the Outside World
7. Fell on Black Days
9. Hunted Down
10. Ty Cobb
11. Loud Love
12. My Wave
13. The Day I Tried to Live
14. Black Hole Sun
15. Rusty Cage
16. 4th of July
17. Burden in My Hand
18. Slaves & Bulldozers