Watch members of Anthrax, Alice in Chains and Mastodon cover Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage”

Sourcearchive, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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Anyone who’s ever picked up an instrument knows that sometimes there’s nothing more fun than just getting together with some friends and jamming out one of your favorite songs. And when some of the best musicians in metal come together to do the same, the results can be epic. Throughout the pandemic, Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante has been getting some heavy metal MVPs together to take on some classic rock, alternative and grunge songs—including Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon,” Mother Love Bone’s “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns,” Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” and U2’s “City of Blinding Lights”—and posting the videos to his YouTube channel. Today he’s dropped another new gem: A cover of Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage,” a highlight of their 1991 album Badmotorfinger, featuring Alice in Chains vocalist William Duvall, Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher, and Metal Allegiance bassist Mark Menghi. And it rocks about as hard as you imagine, even when everyone’s playing remotely via split screen—which has proven not to be that big of an obstacle, as it turns out.

Rusty Cage…first song off of Badmotorfinger and a Damn Good one at that! This song makes me wanna drive fast,” Benante says in a statement posted with the video, adding that he was a fan ever since Soundgarden released their Fopp EP. “I saw them numerous times from 1988-89 to playing festivals with them a few years ago. I always thought they had ‘it’: they were tight but loose, up and down, in and out of tune, heavy and soft, always unique.”

He adds, “Take the time to think what Good Music does to your soul.” Well said. There’s even a cameo appearance from Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil in the new jam session clip.

Watch the video below.


Words by Jeff Terich