Soundgarden member Kim Thayil discussed Nirvana’s nickname for him on The Talkhouse Music Podcast:
“That’s funny, Ben [Shepherd] and his buddies, some of his friends in Nirvana would check us out back in the day when we were playing our first few shows. After the show, Ben and I think Chad [Channing] who was the original drummer for Nirvana, Chris [Cornell], and some guys from the Melvins, Ben goes up and says: ‘We took a vote and decided that Soundgarden is our favorite Seattle band!’ and then our friend goes, ‘We took another vote and decided you’re the ZigZag!’ This was sometime around our third or fourth gig.”
In other Thayil news, the Soundgarden guitarist discussed the group influencing other Seattle bands back earlier this year in a Soundwave interview. Thayil first discussed how Soundgarden’s use of Drop-D influenced other bands.
“I think we certainly popularized it locally in Seattle, and probably the influence Seattle had, it probably extended nationally, and ultimately internationally with that genre of music. I think it became popular because these bands and that style of music became popular because these bands and that style of music became popular. You have huge artists like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden doing it, then Smashing Pumpkins, and on and on, it makes sense.”
“Pearl Jam was a giant band that never did that. They may have written a song in Drop D tuning here or there, but that is not what they are known for. Pearl Jam was probably the only band from Seattle, that tradition, with our esteem. Green River, Mother Love Bone, and Pearl Jam, that tradition with Jeff Ament and Stone’s bands. They’re the only ones that didn’t really take or borrow from us. They had their own vision, and thing about what they were doing.”
“Green River split into Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone, then eventually Pearl Jam. Those guys had their own vision of what they were doing. But those other bands, we were pretty damn popular. We were probably the biggest band in Seattle for awhile there, and many of our friends ended up borrowing, and sounding, more like us.”
He added, “I think Drop-D was very friendly and convenient for Nirvana and Alice In Chains and some other bands around the country. When we started doing weird tunings like C-G-C-G-G-E, I think they decided that wasn’t for them.”