Soundgarden Guitarist On Why Pearl Jam Deserved Rock Hall of Fame Induction Before Nirvana


Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil revealed why he thinks Pearl Jam should have gone in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before Nirvana in a new Billboard article.

“I would imagine if you had to think of all the bands that came out of Seattle, out of our scene, the first band I would think of would be Pearl Jam, and the next one I would’ve said should be Nirvana,” Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil tells Billboard. “Now, of course, rock ‘n’ roll journalists have a different perspective; they put Nirvana in first because of the cultural impact. But I’d put Pearl Jam on top of that list. They’re certainly one of the hugest bands in the world, most successful bands, very influential. And obviously Pearl Jam has the greater body of work and greater longevity.”

He also discussed Soundgarden’s Hall of Fame chances.

“I almost never think about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Thayil says. “It wasn’t part of my experience growing up. There wasn’t one, so I didn’t think of the bands that I loved in terms of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And it’s an odd thing, because it doesn’t measure some quantifiable attribute of, say, a baseball hall of fame or a basketball hall of fame.”

  • Brett Wilson

    If anything, the fucking Melvins should be recognized as the inventors and Kings of Grunge, the sound that put Seattle on the map. Kurt idolized Soundgarden as a local Seattle band before he even recorded at Subpop, in that case, Soundgarden themselves deserve recognition before Nirvana. In any case, EV and Pearl Jam are poseurs and always will be. Fuck them. And fuck their idiotic fans, too. And as long as everything is being fucked, fuck the R&RHOF and the lame assholes who are a part of it.

    • grefsenkollen

      A fan of the Melvins

  • Raj

    Sorry Kim but the greater body or work and longevity is a moot point. Kurt Cobain was the best songwriter of his generation, he didn’t have to be a great guitar player or singer but his songwriting ability is what made him the cream of the crop. Pearl Jam can go on for 20 or even 40 more years like the Stones but unlike the Beatles, the Stones could never do what they did. It’s quality over quantity. I’m not diminishing anything PJ has done but to me Nirvana trumps PJ. I know I’ll hear it from the PJ faithful on this site! Cobain was writing masterpieces like Sappy and In Bloom before even Bleach was ready and before the single ‘About a Girl’ was written about Cobain’s songwriting prowess on showcase.

    • Hwang Sunghyeop

      Nirvana body work. Usually you can hear Nirvana’s point in usual albums even PJ and SG. SG made drop D but Nirvana made it more popular. Same reason.

  • Hwang Sunghyeop

    Disappointing. After Kurt was dead, some people say it very easily. Did they really think their rising movement would be happen without Nirvana? Tool and now Soundgarden?

  • Dean01

    Look, Kurt wrote good songs but if you take into consideration the lyrics and music together, Sound Garden and Pearl Jam were far better. Chris Cornell is hands down the best voice of the scene. Another thing, I hear all these people say Kurt was the greatest song writer of his generation but WTF? have you really listened to those songs? To each his or her own and I respect Nirvana for the impact they made but the greatest song writer? Maybe read those lyrics and tell me that after

    • astrocreep7

      Layne Staley had the best voice hands down for me.

      • dakotablue

        you speak the truth, astro.

    • nomad

      I agree. I like Nirvana’s music A LOT, but Kurt’s songs never evolved. While the production quality changed over the course of Nirvana’s three albums, the songs themselves were of similar structure and chords. I didn’t think Kurt’s lyric writing was very good either.

      • Raj

        I thought on In Utero Kurt took a big leap, Nirvana’s base was power chords so I don’t think Kurt wanted to delve away from that. On In Utero he let the other band members have more input and for a guy who claimed he could not name a chord started using jazz chords like B7 and E7 told me he wanted to expand things more. Lyrics are really subjective, the Beatles basically spun the word love a 1000 different ways.

    • Hwang Sunghyeop

      man, correct. at least those bands goes evolutionary musically far away. just say Nirvana had enough reason to be first one.

    • Raj

      Good songs he did the impossible who can write pop songs covered over punk music, basically no one that. Loud distorted guitars with pop sensibilities is a near impossibility. Soundgarden used a ton of weird tunings and it’s Ben Shepard who owns Cornell, He’s the John Paul Jones of the 90s. Eddie Vedder not a chance, again it’s Stone and Mike who own Eddie. In Nirvana it was Kurt doing it all right from the get go.

      • nomad

        I’d make the argument that Pixies wrote pop songs covered over punk music and they were around before Nirvana. I believe KC said they were an influence. Also, why the hell aren’t Pixies in the RRHOF? Because it’s a stupid organization!

        • dakotablue

          and Meat Puppets.

  • larry cornwater

    I was gonna say…. didn’t Nirvana get in first because they released their first album 2 years before Pearl Jam did?

  • Brad

    This is my opinion so sorry pearl jam fans,but every album pearl jam has made I have had to skip songs to hear the decent ones vs Nirvana I can play the whole album and hear every song from each album on the radio everyday and it’s been that way before Kurt even died so there you go!that’s why Nirvana are above all you washed up 90’s Seattle bands that get worse by the years

  • dakotablue

    Both the Chains and Soundgarden should have made the Hall ahead of Pearl Jam imo. Enough of the popularity contest BS.