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'Hippy' name was blessing, says Cornell

Soundgarden surprised early audiences with heavy sound

Chris Cornell says other bands and music fans used to laugh at Soundgarden's name – mistaking them for hippies.

The Seattle icon recalls members of The Screaming Trees turning up to a Soundgarden gig in the 1980s to poke fun, only to be blown away by the band's energy and heavy sound.

And he adds that the name – which led people to assume they would be a psychedelic outfit – ended up serving them well.

Cornell tells WTF: We would open up for a band that was kind of heavy, like say we played a show with Husker Du one time. If you didn't know who Soundgarden was, you would think we were some sort of green on red kind of neo-psychedelic, alternative REM thing.

“And then we would come out and be Soundgarden and they would go 'holy fuck. So people would love us because of that.

“I think the guys from The Screaming Trees had that experience with us. They actually came to our show to laugh at us, because of the name Soundgarden I guess.

“I got that a lot.. 'I thought you guys were gonna be this psychedelic thing'. And they would like us more than they otherwise would have because they were pleasantly surprised.”

Soundgarden recently released a deluxe edition of seminal album Superunknown, and later announced plans to give Badmotorfinger a similar reissue.

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