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Dave Grohl Remembers First Time Hearing Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’

Dave Grohl Soundgarden Superunknown Video Influence

Be still our beating ’90s heart. Above, you can watch Dave Grohl talk about hearing Soundgarden’s Superunknown for the first time, ahead of the groundbreaking 1994 album’s release. He and Krist Novoselic were in Seattle’s Robert Lang Studios with Nirvana — “the last time we ever recorded together” — when producer Adam Casper asked, “Hey do you guys want to hear the stuff we just recorded for the new Soundgarden record?”

We’ll let Dave tell it:

“He played ‘Black Hole Sun’ and I remember thinking, ‘Holy shit, this… will be enormously huge. Because to me it was that perfect meeting of the Beatles and Black Sabbath, which is I think what we put in our Nirvana bio… But I don’t think that had ever successfully been paired until that record, and in particular that song. It was so much more melodically sophisticated than anything any of the other bands in Seattle were doing.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of that single and the album. In honor of the occasion, Soundgarden recently performed all of Superunknown at a SXSW event. They’re also plotting a deluxe reissue of the thing for June 3 — we heard the freshly unearthed “Black Hole Sun” demo earlier this month. Later in the summer, of course, the band will tour with Nine Inch Nails and Death Grips.

Grohl, who reunited his remaining Nirvana brethren for the guest-packed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance, had more kind things to say about his old band’s northwestern peers: 

“They were the first band to get out, the first to break, the first to do the major-label thing within the underground scene. It only made sense they were the first band to write a song like ‘Black Hole Sun.’ … That record really just raised the bar for everyone. Sonically, it was way beyond anything anybody had done in our scene. Melodically, again, just so much more sophisticated than anything we felt we were capable of doing.”

Watch the entire clip above.