“I’d like to remind all the perfectionist guitar nerds to listen to Jimmy Page’s solo on In the Evening. It sounds like the guitar is falling down the stairs… It’s brilliant”: Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil dissects his “dangerous” approach to guitar playing

Kim Thayil
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Few musicians could say they shaped the ’90s quite like Kim Thayil. The Soundgarden co-founder laid the foundations for what would become known as the “Seattle sound” and later get referred to as grunge or alternative rock, paving the way for a whole movement of world-conquering noise that included the likes of Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. 

Typically seen with a black Guild S-100 electric in his hands, and on occasion its S-300 sibling, his approach to guitar has been an incredibly multifaceted one, with an easily identifiable personality to his riffs and leads that ranged from the fast and furious to the doomy and esoteric. In that regard, he was and very much still is the full package and, by proxy, an inspiration to many. 

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).