SOUNDGARDEN is among the nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2020. It is the first nomination for SOUNDGARDEN, which will be represented by its final lineup of Matt Cameron, Chris Cornell, Ben Shepherd and Kim Thayil, along with original bassist Hiro Yamamoto.
To be eligible for this year's ballot, each nominee's first single or album had to be released in 1994 or earlier. SOUNDGARDEN has been eligible since 2013.
With PEARL JAM and fellow Seattle icons NIRVANA both having been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, it would only make sense that SOUNDGARDEN get recognized as well.
"When I was first told, I wasn't sure which end is up because of the jet lag," Thayill told Billboard. "Then I took some time and wrapped my head around it, and I felt good. I thought this is important, especially for the legacy of SOUNDGARDEN, and for Chris's legacy. It's really important now to understand this from the perspective of the fans and to understand SOUNDGARDEN as both a current enterprise as well as a posthumous exercise."
Asked if the Rock Hall nomination is a bit bittersweet because Cornell is not alive to participate, Thayil said: "It is very bittersweet. He would be pleased with it. That's certainly different from where we were maybe in the '80s and early '90s, but I know from Chris attending one or two [induction ceremonies] and inducting HEART that he saw the significance of it and saw how important it was to the fans and to the bands being inducted, and he said, 'Yes, this is very important and it's cool,' so he would be very excited."
Just a few weeks before his death, Cornell seemed ambivalent about the idea of being inducted into the Rock Hall.
"To be honest, it doesn't really make any difference to me," he told Den Of Geek, although he himself inducted HEART and admitted he was "really proud" of bandmate Matt Cameron, who was inducted as a member of PEARL JAM. "I'm not trying to be negative about it. The one thing about inducting HEART was that I was actually really moved by their fans, and the fans were the people in the cheap seats that were screaming, and they were outside saying hi every time you'd come and go over the course of the two days. That was when it made sense to me, that it matters to the fans, and if it matters to the fans, then I think it matters. But they deserve ownership of it."