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Kim Thayil

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Biography

Kim Thayil (born September 4, 1960 in Seattle, Washington) is best known as the guitarist for Seattle, USA grunge band Soundgarden, which he founded with Chris Cornell and Hiro Yamamoto in 1984.

Thayil’s parents are from the south Indian state of Kerala. Born in Seattle in 1960, he grew up in the Chicago suburb of Park Forest, spending some time in India. Thayil is one of three Indian-Americans in the major rock, Grammy considered, music industry (the other two being Anand Bhatt and Tony Kanal). He met Hiro Yamamoto at Rich East High School in Park Forest. After graduation, they moved to Washington, where Thayil studied at the University of Washington.

They joined forces with Cornell, a roommate, to start Soundgarden in 1984. Soundgarden became the first of Seattle’s grunge bands to sign with a major label (A&M Records) and went on to release three platinum albums and win two Grammys. They disbanded in April 1997.

Since then, Thayil has played guitar for Pigeonhed, with the Presidents of the United States of America, played on Dave Grohl’s metal side-project PROBOT, and No WTO Combo with Jello Biafra and Krist Novoselic, and has also worked on other projects.

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