Kim Thayil channeled the loss of Chris Cornell in his solo on the new Mastodon album

Kim Thayil of Soundgarden performs on stage at Sleep Country Amphitheater on August 29, 2014 in Ridgefield, Washington.
(Image credit: Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

Mastodon’s new album, Hushed and Grim, is a staggering achievement: every second of its 86:30 runtime is crammed with arena-shaking riffs, haunting clean passages and sky-scraping solos, courtesy of ever-bankable guitarists Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds – but there are a few special guests onboard, too, including Kim Thayil, who lends his unmistakable leads to ethereal ballad Had It All.

Now, in a new interview with Total Guitar, Kelliher has detailed Thayil’s involvement in the track, and how the Soundgarden guitarist dialed his playing into its themes of loss, which deal with the death of longtime Mastodon manager Nick John.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.