MTV NEWS, APRIL 14, 1997
transcribed by Michael Apple
Kurt Loder: I'm Kurt Loder, this is the Week In Rock. With the grunge period of the early 90s slowly fading into rock history, Soundgarden, the metal-edged Seattle band, call it quits this week after 12 years and one chart topping album. No reason was given, just a terse notice through the group's record company, who said the split was amicable and mutual. Here's a look back at the band that was.
("Loud Love" video clip, 1989)
KL (Voiceover): Formed in Seattle in 1985 (Shot of Seattle 3/1/92) Soundgarden was named after a piece of local pipe sculpture and set out to bring metal out of the sludgy 70s and maybe expand its audience too.
Chris: If there was a crossover, I'd say you go from a college crowd to an independent metal crowd or a metal crowd.
Kim: Yeah, the college students' little brothers and little sisters. (Headbangs and plays air guitar.)
(Concert clip, 10/2/89 at NYU "Flower)
KL: The band then cut its first EP for the fledgling local indie label Sub Pop in 1987. Moved to another indie label, SST, to release its first full album in 1988, then signed with a major, A&M, and spawned a hit with the album "Louder Than Love."
("Hands All Over" video clip, 1990)
KL: In 1989, original bassist Hiro Yamamoto left the band. He was replaced first by one-time Nirvana member Jason Everman, then, ultimately, in 1990 by Ben Shepherd.
("Outshined", Lollapalooza II, 1992)
KL: By 1992, Soundgarden put in the first of its two stints on the lollapalooza tour, hitting the road with such diverse acts as Ice Cube, Pearl Jam, and Ministry.
(Lollapalooza '96 interview)
Kim: A little bit petulant and bitchy about it, the first time. (Laughs)
Tabitha Soren: Why? (Laughs)
Kim: Um... You know, it's a little bit of the alternative lie, sort of thing. We enjoyed the bill...
Matt: Yeah, a lot.
Kim: We enjoyed playing with Pearl Jam, Ministry, Chilis and all those guys. That was something I liked best about it. Everything else was just... a little too... too many people.
TS: Too labelled?
Kim: Yeah, it was... it kind of was... You had to be there.
TS: So why did you go on Lollapalooza with you past experience.
(Lollapalooza '96, Kansas City, clip)
Kim (VO): Because we got to play with Metallica and the Ramones.
("Black Hole Sun", video clip, 1994)
KL (VO): Soundgarden's biggest hit came in 1994 with the album "Superunknown", which entered the Billboard chart at #1. The multiplatinum "Superunknown" brought Soundgarden two grammy awards, one for best hard rock performance for "Black Hole Sun" and one for best metal performance for "Spoonman."
("Spoonman", video clip, 1994)
(Interview, Chris in Seattle, 2/25/94)
Chris: You don't hear a lot of rock songs with, you know, spoons in them, so it was sort of an experiment and it turned out really, really great.
("Burden In My Hand", video clip, 1996)
KL (VO): In 1996, Soundgarden released what has turned out to be the group's last album, "Down On The Upside", which the band, for the first time, produced itself. It sold only 3 million copies worldwide.
(Interview, 1997 Grammy Awards)
John Norris: I know you guys toured pretty much during the fall, right? During... in the winter?
Chris: Um hmm. Yeah, we just got done actually.
JN: And, uh, any, are you jonesing to get back recording, or do you wanna just take time off for the moment?
Chris: Yeah, for the amount of time we spend not recording, it kind of seems stupid, because, you know, that's what bands do is make records... and people write songs, make records, and it seems we don't spend enough time doing that. SO hopefully, we'll be doing that real soon.
(Back In Mtv Headquarters)
KL: Soundgarden's members: Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, and Matt Cameron, haven't announced any future plans yet. The band played its last concert in Honolulu on Febryary 9th. You can see lots of Soundgarden concert footage, by the way, at mtv.com.
(The news continues with some other crap.)
(During the credits at the end of the show, they show a performance of "Outshined" at Lollapalooza II in 1992.)