April 10 [10:00 EST] -- As we first reported early yesterday afternoon, seminal Seattle grunge rockers Soundgarden have called it quits.
The breakup was marked only by a terse statement from the group's label, A&M Records, which read, "After twelve years, the members of Soundgarden have amicably and mutually decided to disband to pursue other interests. There is no word at this time on any of the member's future plans."
Singer Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayill, bassist Ben Shepherd, and drummer Matt Cameron are now expected to pursue solo undertakings.
During a career that spanned more than a dozen years, the band put its thick-as-a-brick sound [Live in Houston, TX '92, 3.MB QuickTime] on five full-length albums, sold more than 20 million copies of them, captured two Grammy Awards, and became the first act to grace Lollapalooza's main stage twice (in 1992 and 1996).
Named after an outdoor sculpture in Seattle,
Soundgarden debuted in 1987 with an EP on the local Sub Pop label called "Screaming Life." A major label debut album, "Louder Than Love," followed in 1989.
Wearing its affinity for Black Sabbath on its collective sleeve, the band specialized in a thick, dark sound that oozed from stereo speakers like road tar and quickly found its share of fans. The band's next album, 1991's "Badmotorfinger," proved to be a commercial breakthrough as the track "Outshined" [Live in Houston, Texas '92, 1.5MB QuickTime] garnered decent radio play and spawned a "Buzz Clip" video on MTV.
The enormous success of Nirvana's "Nevermind" that same year focused attention on Seattle, and soon Soundgarden found themselves touring with Guns N' Roses and the Lollapalooza festival (as part of the now-infamous 1992 line-up that also featured Ministry, The
Soundgarden's third major label album, "Superunknown," topped the "Billboard" pop chart, and earned the band two Grammy awards for best rock performance ("Black Hole Sun") and a best metal statuette ("Spoonman").
The band's final album was last summer's "Down On The Upside," which it supported by once again joining the Lollapalooza tour, this time with Metallica, Rancid, Screaming Trees, and the Ramones among others.
Soundgarden lives on in the Seattle rock scene documentary "Hype," but as a functioning unit, the band played its final gig on February 9 in Honolulu, Hawaii.