Kim Thayil Recalls How Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament Inspired Chris Cornell

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Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil gave an interview to Guitar World in which he addressed how Pearl Jam guitarist Jeff Ament inspired Chris Cornell.

Soundgarden released their third album ‘Badmotorfinger’ back on October 8, 1991, the same day as the iconic Seattle grunge band Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind.’ Following the release, the band achieved national acclaim, and the album brought them considerable commercial success.

Back in those days, Chris Cornell recorded an album with the future members of Pearl Jam while still in Soundgarden. The collaboration was named Temple Of The Dog, and they released their self-titled album in 1991. Moreover, Temple Of The Dog collaborated with Eddie Vedder for the album’s hit single ‘Hunger Strike.’ Shortly afterward, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard went on to form Pearl Jam with Vedder and Mike Cready.

In an interview on Guitar World, Kim Thayil talked about Chris Cornell’s former Temple Of The Dog bandmate and Pearl Jam guitarist Jeff Ament’s influence on the singer. He claimed that Soundgarden tuned every string to all E’s in the song’ Mind Riot’ from their ‘Badmotorfinger’ album after Jeff Ament suggested this to Cornell.

According to Kim Thayil, Cornell came up with this idea after his conversation with Jeff Ament. He then said he thinks it possibly happened during the Temple Of The Dog period, and Ament gave Cornell this idea by asking him whether it would be crazy to tune the guitar to all E’s.

Guitar World’s Joe Bosso asked Kim Thayil during the interview:

“What about the song’ Mind Riot,’ on which you tuned each guitar string to an E?”

Kim Thayil then responded:

“Chris came up with that. I think that was from a conversation he had with Jeff Ament, possibly during the Temple Of The Dog period. I think Jeff jokingly said, ‘Could you imagine tuning the guitar to all E’s? Wouldn’t that be crazy? That’d be dumb.’

And Chris thought, ‘What would happen if you did that?’ So he tried it and wrote a song with that. It’s hilarious in that one case, how a musician might think it’d be a crazy and goofy thing to do, but a member of Soundgarden thinks, ‘Hell yeah, let’s do that.’ Of course, Chris could get a song out of a weird tuning like that.”

You can listen to ‘Mind Riot’ below.