Metal Evolution (2011) s01e07 Episode Script


Sam Dunn: Back when we did
'Metal: A Headbanger's Journey'
we created this gigantic 24
sub-genre family tree of Metal,
we included grunge so we
kind of committed ourselves
to this idea that Grunge is part
of the story of Heavy Metal.
But not everyone sees it that
way, people connect it also
to the story of punk or garage
rock or of alternative music,
and so I've come to Seattle
the home of Grunge to meet
with people and find out if
really Grunge does belong
in the evolution
of Heavy Metal.
Back in the early 90's
growing up in Victoria, Canada
just a 2-hour boat ride from
Seattle grunge was huge,
and whether you were a punk,
skater or a metal head
we all agreed metal was a
part of the sound of grunge,
but I've always wanted
to know if the Seattle
grunge musicians themselves
saw their music
as a part of the history
of heavy metal.
Sam: What in your opinion
does grunge have to do
with heavy metal music?
Mark Arm: Umm, I dunno, a lot
of it is heavy. (laughs)
Sam: Is Grunge metal?
Kim Warnick: (Laughs) Well
people think it is, and I guess
it might be a little bit but
I don't really believe it is.
Brendan O'Brien: Some of the
music was pointedly aggressive
and I guess some of that would
be considered you know metal,
but I you know don't think any
of us thought of it in that way.
Steve Albini: The heavy metal
tradition always had a kind
of emphasis on
virtuosity or on vulgar
musical tendencies.
There was always a kind of
flamboyance, almost a camp
element to heavy metal and
the grunge bands were all
much more straight forward
in their presentation.
There wasn't a fireworks show,
there wasn't a wall of Marshall
amplifiers, there wasn't a
massive drum kit, and in a lot
of cases the musicianship was
not necessarily, rudimentary is
the wrong way to put it, it
was functional musicianship.
Sam: Why do you think that
sometimes Grunge hasn't
been included in
the story of metal?
Jeff Gilbert: I think it
was probably in grunge's
best interest that it wasn't
associated with heavy metal
because heavy metal came
with connotations,
goofy ones at that. You know
fashion not thrashin'.
Kim Thayil: What was considered
metal then was this
kind of hair farmer
spandex music for
the future house
wives of America.
Sam: Even though you were heavy
you werent' what people
Kim: Those bands sounded
like The Partridge Family
with fuzzy guitars that's
what they sounded like.
We didn't sound like that,
we didn't look like that.
Michael Azerrad: You had
Poison and Warrant and
bands like that defining
pretty much what
metal was at least in the
popular imagination.
When grunge broke through
you had metal's pension
for the big and the overblown
and the macho particularly the
hair metal bands there was
just no place for that.
Melissa Auf Der Maur: The
attitude was so ridiculous
over the top, and so decadent
and indulgent and dumbass,
like it was jock
mixed with metal and
that's not okay for
intelligent people.
Steve: All that hairspray
music was just a total
(beep) joke to us, that
was music for (beep).
It's clear that grunge
musicians were totally opposed
to the sonic and visual
excesses of glam and
this seems to explain why
these musicians distanced
themselves from heavy metal
back in the early 90's.
But I'm wondering if
grunge's connection to
heavy metal might
lie elsewhere.
Sam: To what extent was what you
were doing metal do you think?
Hiro Yamamoto: Ohh I don't know
(laughs) I mean it was dark
and there was kind
of an edge to it,
I don't know if you would
call it like heavy metal.
Grunge was definitely more of
a punk rock kind of attitude,
although I mean you could say
Metallica is kind of a punk rock
kind of attitude too so that's
what kind of makes it similar,
I mean it was heavy music, loud
guitars, real blatantly powerful
drums, real kicking, screaming,
posturing on stage,
that was what made
it more metal.
Sam: What do you make of
the argument that grunge IS
actually part of metal?
Brian Slagel: I completely
agree, sounded like metal to me,
I liked it and a lot of metal
people I knew liked it too.
Sam: What metal bands were
you influenced by when you
were growing up?
Kurt Danielson: Iron Maiden and
the first Van Halen record,
I remember it came
out the same year as
"Never Mind The Bollocks" and
I had both of those records.
So long as it was loud there
was a lot of heavy guitar,
it was worthy of turning
up the volume and annoying
my parents with it.
Sam: The sense I'm getting when
I talk to people in Seattle
is the same, that in an
early stage a lot of them
were influenced by
a lot of metal
Buzz Osbourne: Absolutely, no
question to that.
I know that Jeff from Pearl
Jam was really into Venom
and Hellhammer and
all that stuff.
I mean that stuff was really
easy to like you know;
it was good you know, I
still like that stuff.
Mark: For me there are some
bands that are like considered
metal that are near and dear to
my heart like Black Sabbath
first and foremost and
Blue Cheer and Motorhead,
there's none of the super
technical things that veers
on the part of metal that
I don't really like.
Jeff: All the grunge guys
literally came from a
heavy metal background,
drinking beer and listening
to Van Halen in
your car stereo.
Everybody had that same starting
point, where it separated off
was when the grunge guys
discovered and ran with punk and
the metal guys just
stayed right where they are.
Jack Endino: It seemed to me
like it was taking up from a
place where metal and heavy rock
left off in 1976 and was now
sort of going back there
and picking up the pieces and
throwing some punk rock
influence in and starting over.
I thought this is a continuation
of seventies heavy rock with
some punk ethos thrown in here
and a healthy respect for noise.
While grunge musicians
detested glam metal, they were
deeply influenced by the British
and American metal bands of the
sixties and the seventies and
so grunge's connection to the
history of metal is becoming
more clear to me but what I
still don't understand is, what
exactly is the sound of grunge
and why did Seattle
become the home to this music?
Throughout the series
I've learned that many metal
sub-genres are born in
cities that shaped the sound and
attitude of music, from
early metal in Birmingham
in the late '60s to Bay
area thrash in the '80s.
So I'm curious to find out
how the city of Seattle
may have influenced
Grunge music.
Sam: I'm curious to know if you
feel that there was anything
in terms of the character or the
culture or the music history
of Seattle that allowed for
this scene to develop?
Kurt Danielson: Well there's
always been interesting
music coming out of
Seattle. If you look back,
Hendrix came from Seattle,
Quincy Jones is from the
The Sonics' the garage band from
the '60s that still exists.
Jack Endino: In the '60s
you had bands like
The Sonics and The Wailers.
They were club bands, they
played dances, they played clubs
and they made records that
are still influential now.
You had this garage influence
on Seattle grunge and
you had this '70s hard
rock influence on
Seattle grunge all
being mixed together.
Michael Azerrad: You know
Seattle is a real bastion a real
haven for hard rock and
metal. Metal Church came
from around there, Queensryche,
Heart came from there.
Sam: Why Seattle?
Was there something here
that provided a back drop?
Jeff Gilbert: The
weather, the economy,
the lack of good paying jobs.
There's not a whole lot to do
up here if you're just like
watching paint dry and uh
mopping up rain water
that seeps into every single
basement in Seattle.
Buzz Osbourne: It's
very wet in Seattle
so it's like living
inside of a shell fish.
That's the best way
of describing it.
Dale Crover: There's a lot of
underage drinking going on.
Buzz: Over-age drinking too.
Michael: Seattle did have this
blue-collar tradition of
people making planes and
cutting down trees,
slicing them up and shipping
them off somewhere.
That appealed to a hard rock
metal friendly audience
but Seattle is also a university
town and in the '80s
there started to be a white
collar thing happening,
it became a yuppie city as well
so you had these 2 aspects of
Seattle, you had hard rocking
metal people and then you had
those kinda college kids who
were into punk rock and more
underground music and that's
how grunge really happened.
It's such a small town and you
have these 2 opposite strains
of music and they
just came together.
Mark Arm: Seattle was an
outpost at the time,
a lot of bands did not bother
touring Seattle so we just
did stuff to please
ourselves and our friends.
Shows were like parties, it
wasn't like there was a
barrier really between
the crowd and the band.
Kurt: It was as if we were
paying more attention to our
friends' bands, we were
influenced more by Green River,
what Soundgarden was doing or
what The Melvins were doing or
Malfunkshun was doing as
opposed to the bigger
commercial successes
from elsewhere.
Jeff: Soundgarden would
play down at the Vogue,
Alice in Chains over
at the Off Ramp.
It was very exciting cause'
every night there was
somebody cool playing in a dumpy
dive where beer and urine
mixed like a feeder
creek across the floor.
Michael: Something really key
happened in the Seattle scene
in 1984 which was that Black
Flag came up and toured the
Album 'My War'. Black Flag comes
into town playing this slowed
down heavy music obviously
influenced by Black Sabbath,
that turned everyone's head
around because all of a sudden
you could be really slow and
heavy, that just really sent
shock waves through
the whole community.
That really was the
beginning of grunge right there.
Jack: You know The Melvins need
to be mentioned in all this.
The Melvins started
in the northwest,
they were a big influence on
Nirvana, they were a big
influence on all of us because
The Melvins used to play
amazing shows, were basically,
they'd mix metal and punk and
weird art rock just
mashing it together.
Dale: I think it definitely has
the elements of metal in it.
We always took our favourite
parts of heavy metal
and put it in our music.
Buzz: What we are doing is
what Captain Beefheart
would be doing if he
played heavy metal.
Michael: Buzz Osbourne was one
of the first to discover this
drop D tuning where you take
the E string and tune it to a
D instead and that gives it a
heavy d-tuned kind of sound,
that contributed greatly to the
heaviness of grunge and he
taught it to Kim Thayil
of Soundgarden and a lot
of other musicians picked
up on it from there.
As early as the mid
'80smusicians in the
withtheirownunique twist.
And the first company to
recognize this new sound was
the local independent
label 'Sub Pop Records'.
So what did Sub Pop see
in this new heavy style?
Sam: Being at Sub Pop, something
tells me this is irony.
Sam: What was it that you
and Bruce saw in the bands
that were coming up?
Presumably I guess
there was no one there
to sort of harness this.
Jonathan Poneman: There was
nobody there to harness it
per say, we didn't really
approach things that way,
it was more just trying to
document what was going on.
Michael: When I hear the word
grunge I just think of,
you know the genius of the
Sub Pop hype machine,
they turned this scene into an
obscure like tertiary market
of the United States
with you know,
a handful of bands playing
to twelve of their friends
and turned it into this
cultural phenomenon
that kind of resonates
to this day
and it really started with
that one word "grunge".
Sam: Do you think they saw Sub
Pop as being part of metal or
do you think they positioned it
as being something different?
Jeff: They positioned
themselves as far away
from metal as you can get. Loud
guitars but not metal guitars.
Kurt: If it so happened
that it served their needs
to slam some hair metal bands,
why not because definitely
that's what we weren't doing.
Jack: I think there was a niche
basically the mainstream
record industry had painted
itself into a corner with
terrible music and there was
a need for music with some
honesty and some integrity
and some emotion and just
kind of a little bit, a little
trace of originality to it.
Music made by people
with you know
real personalities
and real characters.
I'm starting to get a clear
understanding of the sound
of grunge and it's connection
to the story of metal
but still no one seems to
agree on which grunge bands
can be classified as metal
especially the genre's
two biggest bands,
Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
So what's their association
with heavy metal music?
Jonathan: When I first met
Kurt Cobain he was definitely
well versed and
immersed in metal.
Jeff: Do I call Nirvana
a grunge band, nope,
a pop band, nope, metal
band, nope, all the above.
Kurt: Kurt as a songwriter went
through different phases
and I think in the beginning
he was going through a period
where he was writing stuff that
had a pretty heavy feel to it,
he could absorb influences
from all around,
everything he saw,
heard, experienced,
he would regurgitate in
his own unique way.
There wasn't much technique;
there was a lot of
just raw emotion.
Sam: What about their
sound, their look,
their performance, their
lyrics are not metal?
Deena Weinstein: Nirvana's
not metal in many ways
or at least clashes with
what so much of metal was.
For example Cobain had this pain
in his voice that metal doesn't
have and it goes along with
their themes of, I'm hurting.
Michael: This idea that you
could be manly and sensitive
and introspective and even
tortured was a fairly new
thing in the nineties because
in hard rock and metal
you're suppose to be you
know king of the world and
ruler of all known
planets. (laughs)
Eddie Vedder is solidly in
that introspective angst
ridden front man mold that a lot
of the grunge front men were in.
Sam: What was your
sense with Pearl Jam,
what makes them metal, what
doesn't make them metal?
Brendan O'Brien:
You know honestly
I never thought of them
as remotely metal.
Eddie reminded me more of
Paul Rodgers than any
metal singer or even Ian
Gillan from Deep Purple.
I never thought of them as
a metal band, you know,
I just felt again, classic rock
is a great word for that.
Spencer Proffer: The
Eddie Vedder songwriting
within Pearl Jam is
really good songwriting,
it's just dressed up with
tough playing so I don't
see that as metal, I don't think
metal is generally synonymous
with good songwriting. It's
synonymous with a lot of
playing and a lot of noise and
a lot of, you know rebellious,
you know screw the man
attitude and I think
grunge is a little
more intelligent.
I'm discovering that there
is some strong opposition
to including grunge in
the story of metal,
some people even feel that
grunge is the furthest thing
from metal so I'm beginning to
wonder if I was wrong to put
grunge in the heavy
metal family tree.
Do any of the Seattle grunge
bands see themselves
as part of the history
of metal music?
Given that not all
grunge bands identified as
heavy metal back
in the nineties.
My exploration into grunge's
connection to metal is proving
to be far more challenging
than I initially realized.
But if there's one
Seattle band that surely
belongs in this story,
it's Soundgarden.
A band that to my ears has
an undeniable metallic sound.
Sam: Where were your influences
coming from in those early days
in terms of bands
that you admired
or sounds that you
were attracted to?
Kim Thayil: I almost have
to compartmentalize
these different styles, with
it Soundgarden's often been
appraised or evaluated, there
was certainly heavy music
that I grown up with, stuff that
might be traditionally called
metal that ultimately was not as
satisfying as some of the music
that came about in the late
seventies that we called punk.
Same time I still liked my
Hendrix, still like listening to
Cream and Aerosmith, Kiss and
Nugent. Those bands still
have some sentimental
nostalgic weight with me.
Sam: What were you
hearing in their music,
did you see them
as a metal band?
Susan Silver: You know, I
guess the classic that has been
written about them throughout
the time, Sabbath and Zeppelin
and the meld of, it was
hypnotizing, it was so heavy,
so melodic, plodenly
melodic and complex.
Melissa Auf Der Maur: Definitely
Soundgarden is the most metal
inspired of all of them because
there was a little element of
grandiosity, people who were
daring to sort of talk about
big mythological
things within a cool,
we're hanging out at the
coffee shop. (laughs)
Jeff Gilbert: You put on
Black Sabbath and you listen
to Soundgarden's early riffs
and they're remarkably similar.
Kurt Danielson: Chris' vocal
range is really immense
and so I always noticed a
definite infinity between
his vocals and Robert
Plant's for example.
Kim Thayil: People have always
drawn these comparisons to us
and Zeppelin and Sabbath.
Sometimes I can hear it
generally I don't but
believe it or not
although I was pretty well
acquainted with Zeppelin
and Sabbath I wasn't really
oriented towards those bands.
Even though Soundgarden
was influenced by classic
metal bands, they clearly didn't
self identify as a metal band
during the early years of their
career but once Soundgarden
signed with a major label
and started working with
established metal producer
Terry Date, on their album
'Louder than Love' their
sound started to shift.
Terry Date: That was a
lot of fun, that was,
we did it in Seattle, it
was a major label record
but there was no
interference from anybody,
we were able to do
whatever we wanted to do
until the record was recorded.
We didn't have to follow any
rules, we just did what
we felt was the best
and really I was following the
bands lead all the way through.
Hiro: Terry's background was way
more metal so like the guitars
were more shimmery and a little
higher end and heavier sounding.
I mean it had that kind of
guitar sound that goes with
Kim: The sound of the
record is sonically bigger
and wider than any previous
record we'd done before.
I think on that record we really
tried to make things tight.
There's some fans that
thought perhaps "Loud Love"
was a little bit too clean,
some of our peers that kind of
came up to us playing punk
rock venues and clubs,
might have thought
it was a bit slick.
Sam: Were you happy with the
direction of the sound of
the band on that record?
Hiro: Well this is kind of when
I started like, you know,
we were becoming more,
definitely more metal.
To me it was, we were a punk
band, being on a major label
they want to be able to market
you so how are they going to
market you, they can market
you like Metallica and Megadeth.
They had a marketing
system for that kind of stuff.
Punk rock they
didn't really have.
I'm realizing that
although grunge bands like
Soundgarden were fans of metal
music, they were definitely
coming from a more
punk inspired ethos.
Sam: But the one grunge
band that I swear must have
identified as being metal is
Alice In Chains because in the
early nineties they played
the Clash Of The Titans tour
with Megadeth and
Anthrax and Slayer.
Dave Mustaine: We needed
to have somebody who was
connected but a little bit
detached, removed but integrated
and I feel that Alice In Chains
was the right band to do this
because they have their
own musicality and melody
which people can relate to.
They're kind of like the
Grateful Dead of speed metal.
David Ellefson: Plus we found
out Alice In Chains used to be
a glam band so we needed to
make fun of them on this tour,
put them in their place.
Sam: In the eighties the popular
sound in rock and metal music
was what was coming out
of L.A. and the whole
glam metal thing, I mean,
were you influenced by that?
Sean Kinney: I think the
main influence out of that
was Guns N' Roses. Yah.
Because they were more real,
there was a little danger.
Sam: Were you guys copying
a bit of the look of the
Guns N' Roses vibe?
Sean: I tucked my pants in
my cowboy boots for a minute.
Oh yah oh yah,
There's a photo like that.
At first Alice In Chains
were more of a L.A. brand
of glam metal but very
quickly they evolved
into something else.
I think they were the band in
Seattle that was known best
for combining heavy metal
with some grunge stuff.
Jeff: Alice In Chains is
the missing link
between traditional
metal and grunge.
What they did is they
just made a hybrid out
of what Soundgarden and
Pearl Jam and the Melvins
and Nirvana were doing and
found that middle ground.
Jerry Cantrell: Metal is a
big part of our upbringing like
probably most rock guys, you
know what I mean, there's some
great metal bands that we grew
up on and that's certainly,
certainly a part of our sound
but I don't think we ever
Sean Kinney: We're
way more aluminum.
Jerry Cantrell: Yah. (laughs)
Sean Kinney: You know.
We were on Clash Of The Titans,
we were opening up for Slayer,
Megadeth and Anthrax.
We're kind of one of those bands
that has a luxury of being able
to play and we would
play with anybody.
Jerry Cantrell:
Play with anybody.
We didn't care who we played
with, there was some bands
that wouldn't have done that
but we didn't give a (beep).
Sean: We just wanted to play,
you know, so we did that and we,
you know, that's a rough crowd,
can't say people didn't
throw (beep) at us, they
did but we would
just throw it right
back, you know.
Scott Ian: Those dudes got
pelted with more (beep)
than I ever seen a
band get pelted.
People were just throwing
their beers, buying more beer
and then throwing it
at Alice In Chains
and never once did
they back down.
They (beep) took that (beep)
with middle fingers flying high
and you know when "Man In
The Box" started to break,
what a month or two after that
tour ended, everyone who
threw beer at them went out
and bought that record.
Sam: What was the first
indication to you that this
thing called grunge had
become something mainstream?
Mark Arm: The first thing
that happened was like
Alice In Chains record went gold
and then "Nevermind" came out
and then that was quickly
followed by Pearl Jam's "Ten".
You know once that happened it
was obvious it was mainstream
and then it went to this next
level thing where people from
local bands are on the
cover of Time Magazine,
Marc Jacobs doing grunge fashion
shows, you know like basically
taking flannel shirts and
putting holes in them and
selling them for a
couple hundred dollars.
Jerry Cantrell: When (beep)
like that started happening
it was just like whoa, really?
You're in the middle of it,
you're aware of it but I mean
when it started to get a little
silly and it wasn't from us
being any different than we
were, any of the bands,
it's just like, you're the fresh
new thing, you're the shiny new
thing, you know, you only
get to be that once.
an MTV News special report.
The body of Nirvana leader Kurt
Cobain was found in a house
in Seattle on Friday morning
dead of an apparently
self-inflicted shotgun
blast to the head.
As grunge bands were
going multi-platinum
and grunge culture was
exploding in the mainstream
the movement was dealt a
heavy blow in 1994 when
Nirvana lead singer Kurt
Cobain committed suicide
in his Seattle home. Experts
have long attributed the
death of grunge to
this tragic moment.
But what exactly was the impact
of Kurt's suicide on the
Seattle scene and the
evolution of grunge music?
Sam: Is it fair to say
Kurt's death killed grunge?
Jack: What was it
that it killed?
I mean when Kurt killed himself
I mean grunge in the sense of
some spontaneous self-generating
regional cultural phenomenon
had already run its course at
that point and all you had left
was a handful of commercial
business entities,
bands basically who were part
of the major label machine
continuing on with their
business plan into the '90s,
the original well spring had
dried up at that point long
Melissa: By the time
Lollapalooza 1995 and all these
labels are grunge, it was
pretty much done we had already
recognized that it had been
sold as a Coca-cola commodity.
Hiro: The whole idea of why
bands were bands was no longer
to play music and have fun it
was to get on a major label,
people were coming to Seattle
to have someone discover them
so definitely the whole
vibe of Seattle changed.
Announcer: This week Soundgarden
calls it a career;
we'll take a look back
at all 12 years of it.
Sam: What were the factors
that led to you guys
deciding to call it quits?
Kim: One is just being
around for 12 or 13 years.
To have 4 people be on
the same page for that
period of time is a
rare occurrence.
Sam: How did the
fans and media react?
Kim: I think people
were pretty bummed.
I remember a number of articles
turned up around the country,
some people thought it was a
loss and just another nail in
the coffin of Grunge if
that's the story line
they're following,
the label grunge that's
important to record companies
for marketing, we were never
even really quite sure that
grunge even came into
being, let alone became extinct.
By the mid '90s grunge
appeared to be dead;
Kurt was gone, Soundgarden had
broken up, Alice in Chains
had stopped making records and
Pearl Jam were on hiatus.
But this episode is about
grunge's place in the
evolution of metal music and
in the late '90s the sound
of grunge began to evolve into
something completely different.
Sam: We began to see
bands like Candlebox,
Creed in the mid to late '90s
Jack: I hated these bands.
Sam: But they bare the hallmarks
of grunge at some point.
Jack: They do but they were
so explicitly derivative
it drove me nuts every
time I heard them.
Kurt: These imposter bands
started popping out of the
woodwork, umm filling in the
void left by the original bands
which seemed vital and exciting,
at the end of the day it turns
out to be just as bland
as the Grateful Dead.
Sam: Did you like
any of that music?
Buzz: It meant nothing to me
Dale: Yeah, it just seemed
like imitation
Buzz: Absolutely pedestrian, to
me, it's like next you know
I might as well be listening
to a Madonna record.
Mark: Like what the (beep) is
And if those bands have grunge
influences and somehow
I'm responsible for
grunge, (beep) kill me.
Sam: Why do you feel that way?
Mark: Have you heard the
bands? (laughs)
Michael: All those 2nd
generation grunge bands
grew up on the first
generation bands
and you just naturally echo
the stuff you grew up on.
Maybe you put a new
little spin on it
which those bands I
don't think really did.
That's the problem, it's
just incredibly derivative
and made much more
radio friendly
Joe Weiderhorn: I think
the grunge light movement
came not from bands so much
as the record labels.
I think the record labels said
'Hmm, let's have more of that
let's find bands who we can
encourage to write songs that
have a little bit of angst
and a whole lot of melody
and create something
that's not challenging,
that's not confrontational
and that the mainstream
can just whole
heartedly embrace.
Sam: Do you see yourselves
as an evolution out of
what grunge bands
may have started
I mean what's your
sense on that?
Mark Tremonti: I don't consider
us part of the grunge scene,
I think we were just kind of
a band that came out in the
middle of a music scene
that really didn't
have an identity at the time.
Scott Stapp: I think we
started something new.
I think grunge ended and
then we came out and
it was more of timeless classic
rock music kind of thing.
We believe that if that those
same people that may have hated
us dug deeper into our records
they'd end up buying it.
Sam: It seems as though
Layne Staley, Eddie Vedder
kind of set in motion a new
style of male rock vocal
I mean would you
agree with that?
Jack: I call it yarling.
Sam: The yarling?
Jack: We call it yarling
(imitates sound) that's
Mark: Before I heard the term
yarl my friends and I called it
underbite rock, it sounds
like the singer is singing
(imitates sound)
with an underbite.
Sam: You're not gonna
help me with the yarl?
Kim: I don't know how
to do it it's the yarl.
Oh all these eyes
looking at me for the yarl.
Buzz: (yarls) Try that.
Dale: Eee Ooh
Buzz: (fake yarl)
Michael: Eddie Vedder
concocted that way of singing
because it was his original
way of expressing himself.
It came from a really real place
and then it kind of got codified
and made into a formula and it
didn't even mean anything it was
just like you have to sing like
that cause' the signifies alt
rock soulfulness, and it kind
of just got repeated mindlessly.
Sam: How did you feel
about those Eddie Vedder
comparisons that
were being made?
Scott: That was a comparison
that the press was making.
I thought it was only
natural you know
I have a baritone voice.
I've heard Cornell,
I've heard Vedder, umm I've
heard Hootie and the Blowfish
Mark: My roots were metal so
the darker leaning stuff
like the earlier Soundgarden
stuff I was really into
early you know Alice
in Chains record.
It seemed like all the bands in
the grunge movement weren't very
alike, it's hard to pinpoint
what the grunge scene was
cause' Soundgarden and Mudhoney
and Screaming Trees are
very different bands and to
lump us in there as well
Scott: It wasn't something that
bothered us from a standpoint
of as we're getting thrown
away or just passed off as a
sound alike because we knew our
sound was totally different.
At the dawn of the 2000's,
the original grunge bands
were still absent from the
rock landscape and the only
trace of their sonic legacy
could be found in bands creating
a so-called post-grunge sound,
but then a band emerged that
turned post-grunge into a
stadium rock phenomenon.
(fans cheering)
Sam: Some people say they
are a post-grunge band
what do you think of that idea?
Fan: They need to
open up a live a little.
Friend: Grunge is a long time
Sam: Grunge is gone?
Fan: Grunge is gone.
Grunge is dead.
Sam: What do you
think about that?
Are they part of
the grunge history?
Fan: I don't think so they came
out in a mixed up kind of era
but I think they've
established themselves
as one of the best
bands around now.
Sam: What was that climate like
after the fall of grunge music,
what do you think grunge
did to the rock landscape?
Chad Kroeger: There is a
lack of identity there in
the late '90s, everyone was
kind of looking around like
'Now what are we supposed to
do?' Nobody knew what was going
on or what was cool,
or what to write
it's like there wasn't
even a scene almost.
Sam: Some of the interviews
you've done in the past
previous interviewers have
asked you about being
labeled post-grunge.
Chad. Right.
Sam: You didn't take very
kindly to that association,
I'm just curious as to why?
Chad: My thing always is
you know back in the day
anything that came out that
was rock and roll in the late
'90s was post grunge, I mean
anything that come out anytime
after grunge is going to be
called post-grunge right.
Ron Burman: I mean theres
definitely elements of other
bands there and it reminded me
of a lot of the bands from
Seattle personally but different
not exactly like any of those.
Nickleback felt like unlike
a lot of other bands
it didn't feel forced,
Nickleback actually sounded
like and felt like when you
saw them that's who they were.
They were influenced by all
these things and they were
100 percent that and they
weren't putting it on.
Michael: Maybe Nickleback's
attraction rests in the fact
that their audience is
probably unaware of that
first generation
of grunge bands.
They hear some of the trappings
of that music in Nickleback and
they respond to what's
great about it but umm
maybe they just don't know
like you know the good stuff.
Sam: Would there have been
a Nickleback without
an Alice in Chains
or a Pearl Jam
Mark: There probably
wouldn't have been
a Nickleback that sounds the
way they sound without those
other bands having success
because they were only emulating
what they think
would make them money.
Sam: Do you think it would
be uncomfortable for the
grunge bands to see
Nickleback as derivative
of what they were doing?
Jeff: No it's uh, Jerry Cantrell
from Alice in Chains is a
big Nickleback fan and has gone
on stage with them, he gets it.
Chad Kroeger: Mr. Jerry
Cantrell of Alice in Chains!
You have to come and see
Nickleback to get Nickleback
beyond what you hear on the
radio, and when you come and see
the band live the one thing
Jerry from Alice in Chains would
always say if he ever took
flack you know something like
'why are you hanging out with
those mainstream dudes?',
'well, you ever seen
them play live?',
'well no why would I go see'
'well maybe you should'.
If you are not a fan of our
music they probably wouldn't
know we've got songs like
"Burn it to the Ground" and
"Because of You" and "Side of
a Bullet" that we actually have
Dimebag from Pantera
playing guitar solo on,
there is that whole other
darker heavy side.
Their heavy songs are really
heavy, just slaying guitar
you know, and you can hear their
influences, you can hear the
Pantera and Metallica they
have those influences in there.
Jeff Gilbert: There's room
for them in this landscape,
they've gotten very good at what
they do and that's some big
rock guitar sound and that's
what I think was missing for a
long time that's the void
they're filling right now.
Ron: When you leave a Nickleback
show I think you feel like, wow
I went to this killer concert
and I got to rock out and hear
a lot of songs that I know and
love and it's a great time.
Its like a party every night
so everyone that's there
feels kind of special.
In the absence of the
original grunge bands in the
early 2000's, Nickleback filled
a void in the musical landscape
by creating a sound that was
palatable for young rock fans,
but today much to the surprise
of fans and the media
the old guard of grunge
are staging a comeback.
Sam: What do you make of the
fact that Soundgarden
and Alice In Chains are
reformed and back on tour
is there something that these
guys are filling again?
Melissa: There are some die-hard
fans that are dying to
see it again but also people
who discovered it afterwards
who hands down see that
that music is better
than most music made since.
Michael: Those bands were such a
jolt when you first heard them,
it was just a new wave
making hard rock music,
it was just something that
really appealed to your heart
and soul in a way that a lot of
hard rock had not before that.
It made a deep and lasting
impression on people,
people connected with those
bands pretty strongly.
Jerry Cantrell: We just kept
following what felt right
you know, it just grew from
a real organic place.
The sad reality you know
is we lost a lot of
really cool guys along the
There was definitely a lot of
price that was paid there and
it's one that you wish didn't
have to be paid but it was a
really magical thing to be a
part of, and whether or when
people started paying attention
to it and then stopped paying
attention to it it never
stopped being important to us.
Sam: What's the legacy
of grunge do you think?
Jerry: I still like the music,
I still like the people,
I still love our town and then
today to see the majority of
those guys making music, I
mean the Pearl Jam guys are
back together, Soundgarden just
did some shows,
we're doing our thing, Mudhoney
has played some gigs.
Sam: Are you still infusing the
spirit of those metal bands we
started talking about at the
beginning of the interview?
Mark: You know you try to
move forward after 22 years
but we still can't help but
to bring in like the Stooges
and Blue Cheer and MC5
and Black Sabbath.
Sam: Why is it a good
time for Soundgarden
to be back out there now?
Kim: It's because
we're available and
wanna play with each other.
I guess anytime that
we decided that we wanted
to do that would
be a good time.
It's just great to know that
there are fans out there that
think it's a good time
for them, that's perfect.
Sam: Is it a
nostalgic thing for fans?
Kim: Maybe, but not for us.
A lot of the motivation is
curiosity to see where
we're all at creatively
and creating new material.
I don't think we have any
ambitions to play the county
fair um casino circuit,
although we've heard
it's really lucrative.
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