The Soundgarden co-founder and guitarist Kim Thayil turns 59

He’s one of the Grunge Rock movement best known faces and talented musicians, credited as a pioneer of the original Seattle sound

The Soundgarden co-founder and guitarist Kim Thayil turns 59

He’s one of the Grunge Rock movement best known faces and talented musicians, credited as a pioneer of the original Seattle sound. The Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, born in Seattle, Washington on September 4, 1960, was brought up in Chicago, Illinois, by his parents who emigrated from Kerala in India to the United States. Thayil met future members of Soundgarden while in High School, and soon after the band was formed during the late 1980’s, they released a debut EP “Screaming Life” in 1987, which caused a fuzz among the Seattle music scene and Rock scene overall and released their debut album “Ultramega OK” in 1990. His guitar work in Soundgarden, which was typically characterized by heavy riffing, influenced several bands at the time, becoming an identity of Seattle’s Grunge sound. Thayil was also the writer and co-writter of several Soundgarden songs, specially their early hits, including “Nothing To Say”, “Flower”, “Hands All Over” and “Jesus Christ Pose” which is included in their best selling album “Badmotorfinger” released in 1991.



Fronted by Chris Cornell, Soundgarden became the first Grunge band from Seattle to be signed by a major label, A&M records. As the Alternative Rock scene broke into mainstream during the early 1990’s, Soundgarden were one of the hottest bands around, opening for Guns N’Roses in their famous 1991 “Illusion” tour and leading their own successful world tour. Alongside with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, they became the ambassadors of the Seattle Grunge scene with songs and albums climbing the music charts around the world, leading them to win two Grammy awards. In 1997, as the Grunge Rock wave was slowly drifting away from the mainstream music preferences, Soundgarden disbanded, after the release of their last album “Down on the Upside” in 1996. The band would get together again in 2010, touring and releasing new songs, but tragedy stroke in 2017 when frontman Chris Cornell omitted suicide, putting a definitive end to Soundgarden. Kim Thayil, currently, as he always did, participates in several music projects, most notably he was recruited by Wayne Kramer, of the 1960’s proto-punk band MC5, to play guitar in the 50th anniversary of MC5’s debut album “Kick Out The Jams”.



Look back at the 1992 music video for “Jesus Christ Pose” by Soundgarden, co-written by Kim Thayil



Also watch Soundgarden music video for “Hands All Over”, written by Kim Thayil



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