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Soundgarden Guitarist Renews Smashing Pumpkins Feud

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

What’s better: a band that functions as a creative democracy, or one that serves as a brand name for one guy calling all the creative shots? We know how Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil would answer that question.

Speaking with the Dallas Observer, Thayil traced the roots of his group’s ongoing success to the fact that its music is driven by consensus. “We were aware that the strong fan base remained,” he recalled, looking back on the mood in the band leading up to the recording of 2012’s ‘King Animal’ reunion album. “We feel confident that if the four of us all like an album, it’s going to do well.”

That isn’t the way everyone does it, however — and Thayil went on to take what seems to be a veiled dig at Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. “We don’t have one member who is deciding the composition of an album. You should know who I am talking about, but I am not going to name names.” He didn’t have to; as Classic Rock Magazine notes, there are years of bad blood between Soundgarden and Corgan, stemming from Corgan’s assertion that Soundgarden only reunited for the money.

“We have four guys who write songs here,” continued Thayil. “We have four guys contributing material without someone calling bulls— on it. You follow me? There are many bands out there that are led by one guy who does all the writing? He might have some religious epiphany or some psychedelic experience and he will write all this material that can very easily suck. And the rest of his band feels like they have to play it. That is not Soundgarden. Consequently, we have never made a record that sucked.”

Even with four guys writing, fans shouldn’t look for a new album from the band anytime soon. “We can’t have another album in the works because we are so busy touring,” Thayil explained. “We are supporting ‘King Animal.’ When we are done touring and when [drummer] Matt Cameron is done working with Pearl Jam, we will sit down and get something done. That should be in 2015.”

Next: 20 Years Ago: Soundgarden Release 'Superunknown'

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