Soundgarden digs into rarities vault for Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path
Soundgarden is widely recognized one of the most influential bands in rock music history. The Grammy-winning, multi-platinum selling Seattle grunge pioneers helped forge a musical transformation that inspired a generation by redefining alternative and hard rock. Now hard on the heels of the 20th anniversary deluxe re-release of its chart-topping, five-times-platinum 1994 album, Superunknown, Soundgarden's latest release is a 3-CD rarities collection titled, Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path. The box set on Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) includes seven unreleased tracks and a new original recording, 'Storm,' which was recorded in May with producer Jack Endino.
The new collection was curated and hand-selected by guitarist Kim Thayil. It is the first time an official Soundgarden release has included more than 26 years of rarities that have appeared as B-sides, album bonus tracks, EPs, soundtracks, compilations, and live recordings. The package features three separate thematic discs designed by Josh Graham in a clear plastic slipcase with three separate mini-jackets, each sporting its own unique art, a booklet, and inserts that allow fans to personalize their own graphic layout.
“As album sets go, this one has been fun to collect and compile over the decades,” says Thayil in a news release posted on SoundGardenWorld.com. “I personally may have referenced this project a number of times over the years, going back almost twenty of them to the mid-nineties.” The separate titled discs begin with “Originals,” which contains Soundgarden-written B-sides in addition to ‘Storm’ and another unreleased song, ‘Kristi.’
The disc labeled “Covers” offers a “stellar showcase of songs” written by bands that Soundgarden members have loved and admired, from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to The Doors, Ramones, and DEVO. The third CD is “Oddities,” a mix a instrumentals, remixes, and demos including Steve Fisk’s unreleased ‘The Telephantasm (Resurrection Remix),’ ‘Twin Tower’ penned by Matt Cameron, and ‘Night Surf,’ an instrumental performed by bassist Ben Shepherd.
Thayil says it wasn’t easy to find a home for many of the tracks, but he and his bandmates knew they wanted a physical pressing. “You tangibly have it in your hands. If you want to put it in your car or on your bookshelf, there it is. That’s been the goal,” Thayil tells Artist Direct. “Convincing the record company of that was a little more work. Even convincing our band’s management of that over the years has been tough.” He admits that for the B-sides, listeners have to think like a fan—not a collector—but a hardcore fan of a band.
“If you’re a really strong or crazy fan, you’ve got everything,” explains Thayil. “For people who are more casual fans, have other things to do, or have a number of bands they may like, this package is certainly for them because it’s likely they don’t have all of these collected together,” calling the project a “compilation of non-album tracks.” Soundgarden completed a co-headlining North American summer tour with Nine Inch Nails August. The band kicks off 2015 tour dates at Soundwave in Australia (Feb. 21, 28) and the Westfest Festival in New Zealand (March 3).
Watch the hypnotic official music video for ‘Storm,’ a featured new track off Soundgarden’s rarities box set titled, Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Soundgarden grew out of a Seattle band called The Shemps, an early ‘80s combo that featured bassist Hiro Yamamoto and drummer and singer Chris Cornell. Guitarist Kim Thayil as the band’s new bassist following the departure of Yamamoto.
* Cornell stayed in contact with Yamamoto and the two started jamming together after The Shemps broke up, eventually adding Thayil back into the mix as a guitarist. The trio formally launched Soundgarden in 1984, taking their name from the “A Sound Garden” wind-channeling pipe sculpture located on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration campus in Seattle.
* Soundgarden became one of the seminal bands in the creation of grunge rock, a form of alternative rock that developed in Seattle during the early 1990s, and made popular by other Seattle contemporaries including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains. It was also one of several grunge bands signed to the Sub Pop record label.
* Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label, inking a deal with A&M Records in 1988. The group didn’t achieve mainstream commercial success until the release of 1994’s Superunknown, which debuted atop the Billboard 200 and yielded the Grammy Award-winning singles ‘Black Hole Sun’ and ‘Spoonman.’
* In 1997, Soundgarden band broke up due to internal strife and disputes over creative direction. The band reunited in 2010 and sixth studio album, King Animal was released two years later, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard 200.
* Soundgarden has sold more than 10.5 million records in the U.S. alone, and approximately 22.5 million worldwide. The group has earned eight Grammy nominations, winning in 1995 for Best Metal Performance (‘Spoonman’) and Best Hard Rock Performance (‘Black Hole Sun’).