Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron became the band's full-time drummer in 1986, while bassist Ben Shepherd became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990.
Soundgarden's origins can be found in a band called The Shemps, which performed around Seattle in the early 1980s, and featured bassist Hiro Yamamoto and drummer and singer Chris Cornell. Following Yamamoto's departure, the band recruited guitarist Kim Thayil as its new bassist. Thayil had moved to Seattle from Park Forest, Illinois, with Yamamoto and Bruce Pavitt, who would later start the independent record label Sub Pop. Cornell and Yamamoto stayed in contact, and after The Shemps broke up, Cornell and Yamamoto started jamming together, and were eventually joined by Thayil.