When grunge rockers Soundgarden reunited in 2010, the band seemed to be the latest in a long line of '90s groups getting back together for lucrative tours. The real surprise came late last year when Soundgarden released a new album, "King Animal," that most fans agree can stand proudly alongside the music from its heyday.
amNewYork spoke with guitarist Kim Thayil.
Why reunite? We never actually decided to get back together. We just started working together again to deal with business issues. From there, opportunities arose, and offers to perform live.
Why make a new album? The defining aspect of our band since we got together in 1984 is writing songs and playing and jamming together. Writing songs is the most interesting aspect of being in a band for us.
Were you worried about living up to your past?
I was a little worried. Ultimately, the important thing was that the band liked it. Everything else will take care of itself.
Do you think about the band's legacy? We wouldn't want to do anything that would spoil our legacy. Growing up, we had a lot of bands we were fans of that disbanded, then reunited, going off in different directions and ultimately disappointing us. We know what that's like as fans and we're self-conscious about it.
Do you think Soundgarden will continue? We'll be as active as we can be, given our other commitments. Soundgarden will continue.
If you go: Soundgarden is at Hammerstein Ballroom Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m., 311 W. 34th St., 212-279-7740, $70.