Soundgarden couldn’t believe album title luck
Lucky strike: Soundgarden
Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil says he couldn’t believe his luck when he suggested the album title “King Animal” – and discovered it had never been used.
The band’s comeback record was released to acclaim last month. When it came to giving it a name, Thayil says they wanted to find something in keeping with previous titles.
He tells Hails And Horns: “I was coming up with titles that I thought fit with the graphics that the artist Josh Graham did, and a title that would fit with our catalogue.
“The titles we’ve had, like Badmotorfinger or Superunknown or Ultramega OK, there’s sort of a colourful hyperbole. I wanted to keep with that, but it’s hard to come up with great album titles. They don’t just fall in your lap all the time.
“Of the many titles that we were working with, ‘King Animal’ was the one I liked the best. I sent off a few emails – Chris sent an email back saying, ‘I love it!’ Matt said the same thing and management loved it. The more we thought about it, the more we loved the title.
“The amazing thing was, we Googled it and it hadn’t been used. No title, no album, no song, no book. We thought, ‘You’re kidding me – King Animal?’ It seems so obvious and so cool!.
“We wouldn’t have used it if some other band had an album with that title. We like the fact that our albums titles are original.”
Soundgarden’s reunion came about almost by accident, following a meeting to discuss the status of their back-catalogue and online presence. Thayil recently said there might have been more forethought on the part of drummer Matt Cameron.
But on the topic of how long they’ll remain together, the guitarist says: “Just like I explain when people asked why we broke up: ‘Not much is written in stone.’
“I used to ask, ‘What’s the longest you ever had a girlfriend or boyfriend?’ Or, ‘What’s the longest you’ve ever had a job?’ Soundgarden was together for 13 years. At that point I’d never been with a girl that long, or had any other job that long.
“But yes, for the foreseeable future. It’s always going if it’s going.”