Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil responded to Billy Corgan’s accusations of Soundgarden’s reunion being a cash grab in a new interview with The Phoenix:
“There’s a lot of other bands; Alice in Chains came back a few years before us, Smashing Pumpkins -– I guess that’s not really Smashing Pumpkins, it’s just a Billy Corgan solo project with a bunch of new guys, right? But there were a lot of bands that became active again, Pavement became active again,” Thayil says. “I don’t know what it is; maybe when we were broke up we were all younger and everyone grew up and realized there’s sort of a lull as far as interesting popular music -– in my opinion.”
“When we started touring and we put out [compilation album] Telephantasm, there were some reviews that said, ‘Oh, well Soundgarden is obviously doing a cash grab.’ I thought, ‘Cash grab? How is it a cash grab? Since when is there money in making records anymore [laughs]?’ I mean, playing Lollapalooza was a one-day payday but… and by the way, since when do we need the money? We’re not like the Afghan Whigs or Pavement, we had a fairly successful career,” Thayil says before getting further heated. “Matt Cameron played in Pearl Jam for god’s sake! What the hell does he need to spend another, you know, 20 hours a week dedicated to writing and rehearsing Soundgarden songs and tending to Soundgarden business? He’s doing just fine thank you.
“I think for Matt it’s really just a labor of love and it’s a great creative outlet for him. He wanted to see [bassist] Ben [Shepherd] and I playing again and Chris and writing new Soundgarden songs. I don’t think Chris needs the money, it seems like he did pretty well with Audioslave and his solo career. When people said ‘cash grab’ I said, ‘Huh?’ I’ve been semi-retired. I didn’t need the money; I guess if I needed to I could’ve started a band and toured a whole bunch.”