SOUNDGARDEN Bassist Says He Almost Joined NIRVANA

According to The Pulse Of Radio, SOUNDGARDEN bassist Ben Shepherd told Denver Westword in a new interview that he almost became the lead guitarist for another iconic Seattle band: NIRVANA. Shepherd explained, "[Before I joined SOUNDGARDEN in 1990] I was supposed to play lead guitar for [NIRVANA] . . . The first time Kurt [Cobain, NIRVANA frontman] and I met, we were at a party in Olympia, and we were the two loners on the end of the couch, and there was a guitar there. I would always find a guitar at a party because I didn't like parties much. So I would find the guitar and space off by myself, you know? Kurt was the same way, so we wound up sharing a guitar that night, an acoustic that was there."

Although NIRVANA ended up staying a three-piece until Pat Smear joined some years later, Shepherd did sort of end up providing NIRVANA with an early drummer. He recalled, "Chad [Channing], my old friend, we were in a band together, and I was the singer for a band . . . When we played with this band a couple of years later, there was Krist [Novoselic, NIRVANA bassist] who said, 'Hey, Ben, dude, do you think your drummer would let us use his drum set?' 'I didn't know you were in a band, Krist, cool. Sure, man.' . . . So they did, and that's how they met Chad, and he ended up joining the band."

Channing was eventually replaced in NIRVANA by Dave Grohl, while Shepherd went on to become the bassist in SOUNDGARDEN.

SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that Seattle's musical legacy remains as strong as ever. "It's not one of those scenes that came and went," he said. "There's still bands that make music with just as much enthusiasm, with kind of the same purity. I feel like I still carry that with me, the inspiration that came then, and really everybody else that was part of it, that's still making music and still making records, which is most of them, I feel like they feel the same way too. I feel like the records are still vibrant, and the bands are still vibrant, and the music's still great."

SOUNDGARDEN, who reunited in 2010, just finished a North American tour and will next play Mexico City on Friday (May 31).

The quartet has been touring in support of "King Animal", its first album of new material since 1996.


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