Legendary band Soundgarden has just finished recording its follow-up album to Down on the Upside, which they released back in 1996. The new album, King Animal, hits the stores on November 13, 2012. They produced all the tracks in the studio, writing the first song as a single for the soundtrack of the movie, The Avengers.
Soundgarden was one of only a handful of bands from Seattle, back in the 1980s and early 1990s, that were responsible for starting the grunge style of rock and roll, also known as Alternative Rock. Original grunge bands, back in the day, include Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Mudhoney. The grunge scene is synonymous with Seattle, even today, and it remains a beloved genre for millions of fans around the globe.
Nirvana, also a breakout rock group from Seattle, drew worldwide attention about the same time as Soundgarden. Tragically, Nirvana was cut short in their prime with the 1994 death of lead singer, Kurt Cobain. Nirvana and Soundgarden made the grunge look — wearing old jeans with plaid flannel shirts, famous. Additionally, Gibson guitars are iconic symbols of rock and roll, and remain the favorite of Chris Cornell, lead singer and guitarist for Soundgarden.
That same year, 1994, Soundgarden released their album, Superunknown, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1995. From that album came two singles, Black Hole Sun and Spoonman, which both won Grammy Awards. Two years later, the Seattle grunge band put out their last album, Down on the Upside, before taking a 14-year hiatus from the music business. Unfortunately, their fans were dismayed when the band broke up, in 1997.
Fast-forwarding to 2010, the band reunited and toured Europe with the release of the movie, The Avengers. During the summer of 2012, Soundgarden released teaser videos and King Animal music clips for their patient fans, in anticipation of the full album release in November. However, how much longer Soundgarden will continue their current reunion tour remains unknown.
Some critics fear that Soundgarden will try to reinvent themselves, adding newer sounds like electronica to their music. Guitarist Kim Thayil rejected that notion, stating that the band remains the same heavy rock band, with a touch of weirdness, which they have always been. Another band member, drummer Matt Cameron says that they may be older but they have not changed their basic style, and after being apart for so many years, they still feel the old spark when they play together.
Consequently, grunge music is not a relic of the past; the alt-rock-grunge genre seems poised to make a comeback. Tourists in Seattle are amazed at the city’s many references to the grunge era; flannel shirts, grunge posters and concert fliers, as well as Gibson guitars for sale, are impossible to miss. Additionally, music lovers who visit Seattle can now visit the Experience Music Project (EMP) that houses many pop culture exhibits, a guitar museum and continuously rotates special music events. It runs an annual tribute to Nirvana and highlights the original Seattle bands that gave grunge music to an appreciative world.