Soundgarden: 'People Used to Mistake Us for Hippies'

"If you didn't know who Soundgarden was, you would think we were some sort of green on red kind of neo-psychedelic, alternative R.E.M. thing," says the frontman.

Soundgarden: 'People Used to Mistake Us for Hippies'
15
In a new interview with WTF, Chris Cornell has revealed that people used to go to Soundgarden shows to laugh at them, because they thought they were a hippie band:

"We would open up for a band that was kind of heavy, like say we played a show with Husker Du one time. If you didn't know who Soundgarden was, you would think we were some sort of green on red kind of neo-psychedelic, alternative R.E.M. thing."

As Cornell notes (via Classic Rock), the misleading name was a blessing for the band, as it allowed them to blow people away with their heaviness:

"And then we would come out and be Soundgarden and they would go 'holy f--k. So people would love us because of that.

"I think the guys from the Screaming Trees had that experience with us. They actually came to our show to laugh at us, because of the name Soundgarden I guess.

"I got that a lot... 'I thought you guys were gonna be this psychedelic thing'. And they would like us more than they otherwise would have because they were pleasantly surprised."

Soundgarden is set to release a deluxe reissue of "Badmotorfinger" in the near future. The deluxe treatment was recently given to the band's "Superunknown" album.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    javdoc
    Funny. Almost as funny as all the elderly Jewish ladies showing up at Meshuggah shows, thinking it's some kind of Adirondack revival....
    entropicxdisson
    well Soundgarden did get lumped in with Stoner Rock for a while, but most Stoner Rock fans I know are not the Grateful Dead/Phish hippie stereotype, but I guess everything that isn't fast and three chords is hippie music to punks.
    rafey
    That would've been so badass to see at that time.. the long hair, the name, it's the perfect setup to listen to their music. A completely pure listening experience!
    Bollockser
    For psychedelia, Pearl Jam should have given out jars of pearl jam at their shows. Or maybe get a free jar of pearl jam when you join the Pearl Jam fan club. Could you please pass the pearl jam?