Reprinted without permission from KERRANG!, March 16, 1996


Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil has admitted that his own life-and-death struggle has inspired one song on the band's forthcoming album.

Speaking exclusively to K! from Seattle, Thayil revealed that the lyrics for 'Never the Machine Forever' were based on his own personal experiences. "I wrote the lyrics for it" he says. "it's about a life-and-death match between an individual and a less specifically defined entity. And, yes, it's based on personal experience."

The enigmatic guitarist also revealed that the Seattle quartet's fifth studio album - which is due for a late May release - will see them experimenting still further with their sound.

"Some songs are a little bit softer and more introspective than before, and there's a whole bunch of songs that are really fast." he explains. "There's less of the big thick guitar, mid-tempo slow grunge songs. In fact I don't think that there are any of those. And there's some weird things in there too - well, Ben Shepherd (Bass) has done a lot more writing than usual this time around."

The as-yet-untitled album was recorded as Pearl Jam guitarists Stone Gossards' Studio Litho in Seattle. Among the tracks set to appear on the set are 'Never The Machine Forever', 'Hot Rod Death Toll', 'Boot Camp', 'Blow Up The Outside World' and 'Devil King Of Children'.

"How weird have we gone?" ponders Thayil. "Well, it's weird for us rather than weird in the absolute sense - although maybe a couple of songs are strange. There's some mandolin on the record, and there's one song that's almost ambient. There's less of that Soundgarden stamp, but there's still a distinct Soundgarden sound. Basically everything's more vocal-orientated, less riffy, but still with plenty of heavy guitar everywhere."

Soundgarden will release a new as-yet-unconfirmed single through A&M on May 6. A World tour is expected to follow the album.