Soundgarden Mates Revive Hater
Former Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd has put the finishing touches on archival tapes that will constitute the second album from Hater, a side project with former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron thFormer Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd has put the finishing touches on archival tapes that will constitute the second album from Hater, a side project with former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron that released its first album for A&M in 1993. The 12-track new set, dubbed "The 2nd," will be issued April 26 via Burn Burn Burn Records.
"I'd always go, 'someday I'll finish mixing it,'" Shepherd tells Billboard.com of the material, which was recorded between the Soundgarden albums "Superunknown" (1994) and "Down on the Upside" (1996). "I tried three or four times with different people and tried to keep people interested, band-wise, but it just didn't work."
Two songs from the sessions, "An Unkind" and "Dusty," were seized upon by Soundgarden and wound up appearing on "Down on the Upside," but plenty of intriguing material was left over for "The 2nd."
Beyond Shepherd and Cameron, the upcoming set features guest spots by Monster Magnet/Wellwater Conspiracy principal John McBain, Mark Lanegan Band bassist Alan Davis, Red Dress drummer Greg Keplinger, Devilhead's Brian Wood and Ministry/R.E.M. drummer Bill Rieflin.
Highlights include the garage rocker "Between Two Fires," the acoustic guitar-driven "All Good," the dirty riffing "Zombie Hand," and the hyperactive "Downpour at Mt. Angel," sung by Wood.
Asked what Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell and guitarist Kim Thayil thought of Hater at the time, Shepherd says proudly, "They liked it. They thought it was cool we were doing it. It is kind of Kim's fault the first one came out. I wanted it to come out on vinyl and not say who was on it. I wanted it to be a connoisseur's cassette that was passed around, but Kim was totally pro-Hater. That's totally flattering, you know?"
But even after all this time, Shepherd is still not completely satisfied with the finished product. "What I wanted us to turn into was an acoustic guitar punk-rock band with drums," he admits. "One of the ideas I had over the past 10 years was to take all the guitars off and put strings on, but leave the guitar solos. I still want to experiment with that. Now that's gotten totally posh, but 10 years ago people would have laughed at me."
Shepherd says a record-release show in Seattle is "90%" confirmed, but that additional performances have not yet been discussed. "I'm so unorganized," he says. "Matt's recording with Pearl Jam right now, so his schedule will be completely out of hand pretty soon. I have to call McBain. I think he lives in San Francisco now. Alan is down with it. We'll figure out some kind of concoction."