Kim Thayil names 11 guitar players who shaped his sound

Kim Thayil performing live
(Image credit: Dave Simpson/WireImage via Getty)

As a co-founding member of Soundgarden, Kim Thayil has written and performed some of the hardest and heaviest riffs of all time, spanning the drop-D swagger of Flower to the relentless grind and pterodactyl squeals of Jesus Christ Pose.

With his trusty Guild S-100 in hand, Thayil also played a major role in helping shape a style and approach to rock guitar that focused more on the importance of songwriting and the almighty riff with the arrival of the grunge movement in the early ‘90s.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Greg Prato

Greg is a contributing writer at Guitar World. He has written for other outlets over the years, and has been lucky to interview some of his favorite all-time guitarists and bassists: Tony Iommi, Ace Frehley, Adrian Belew, Andy Summers, East Bay Ray, Billy Corgan, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, Les Claypool, and Mike Watt, among others (and even took lessons from John Petrucci back in the summer of ’91!). He is the author of such books as Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, Shredders: The Oral History of Speed Guitar (And More) and Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story.