Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell Gives Opinion on Being Labeled ‘Grunge’


Soundgarden frontman says ‘grunge’ wasn’t always a term he welcomed

Grunge has come to define bands from the late-‘80s / early ‘90s Seattle rock scene bringing distorted guitars, laid-back, dirty-sounding vocals and a raw passion. Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam– those bands are at the heart of the genesis of “grunge.”

Soundgarden are also a significant part of the grunge moniker, and frontman Chris Cornell says, at first, it was a tad offensive to have that stamp across his band’s forehead. “At the time it was [offensive],” Cornell told the Associated Press. “Not because of the actual name. It came from an organic place. But I didn’t feel that Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and Nirvana never sounded much like each other.

“I feel we were all indie rock bands that were part of an evolution. Soundgarden was influential in bringing indie rock into a more commercially prominent environment. … These days, I don’t mind because it makes it easier to communicate in soundbites.”

Cornell also commented on the friendship between Seattle bands in the ‘90s. “… I think it was competitive there, but maybe like a grown up version,” he explained. “You wanted to one up your buddies but they were still your buddies and if they came up with something that was great, you recognized it and you would use that as kind of a motivator. … Sometimes was tension and sometimes like talking behind each other’s backs, but that also was you were talking about a bunch of young guys that play rock music.” Soundgarden are on target to release their new full-length in spring of 2012. Let the countdown begin!