Kim Thayil from Soundgarden Did Not Like Early Nirvana

Kurt by Wes Candela. Kim by Frank Schwichtenberg via Wikipedia
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Rick Beato is dropping some interview gems this week. First, he had a super revealing, intimate conversation with Maynard James Keenan. Now, he’s sat down with grunge legends Kim Thayil of Soundgarden – and frequent Sunn O))) collaborator-, Krist Novoselic of Nirvana and legendary grunge and “Seattle Sound” producer Jack Endino.

The trio and Beato discuss a wide array of themes and topics throughout their close to two hours together, so there’s of course a wealth of interesting tidbits for super nerds like us that are children/products of the 1990’s.

Right out of the gate, we were a bit taken aback by Kim’s response when Rick asked him what he thought of Nirvana the first time he heard them. The grunge nerds in us expected nothing but praise. Kim, however, wasn’t terribly impressed. Here’s our transcription of what he had to say:

“I went to visit Jack [Endino], and he played me this cassette of this band that he had just recorded that he was really stoked on and speaking very highly of… so I sat in your bedroom [speaking to Endino] to listen to this cassette of this band you just recorded, Nirvana.”

When pressed about his first impression of the Nirvana demo, Kim says: 

“Honestly, I remember kind of debating it with Jack. The vocals struck me and Jack’s like ‘this is a great singer,’ and I was like ehh [shrugging] I wasn’t really into the songs, but this was pre-Bleach. This was like really early. At the time I was like, ‘ehhh’- he kept saying saying these guys are great, listen to the vocals. The vocals are great, but you know I’m a guitarist and even though we had a great singer in our band, I would focus on the riffs and the songs and no matter how often people told me that Chris [Cornell] was a great singer or people told me that Kurt [Cobain] was a great singer, it’s just like ‘oh but I’m not hearing any cool riffs’ [laughter].  But, Jack was REALLY stoked and was telling everyone he met about this great new band he met from Aberdeen called Nirvana. And then of course by the time they start recording with Sub Pop [Records], like wow, this is amazing. And I think I heard Bleach before it came out because I dropped by the Sub Pop offices and I thought, ‘this is insane!'”

Watch the full interview below:

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