Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil has shared his reaction to the band’s nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, telling Billboard that the nod is very cool and a “pleasant surprise.”

The nomination is the second for the “Black Hole Sun” rockers, who were previously on the ballot in 2020.

“What was cool about [2020] was just the recognition of the acknowledgement,” Thayil says. “If you’re involved with your bandmates and fellow musicians in your peer group, you can sometimes get isolated from the general historical context of how the band has evolved and became part of the broader community of music and musicians.”

The guitarist adds, “I think that acknowledgement and that recognition was a reminder that, hey, the work that you did with your partners was part of a continuity and a history of music. That’s kind of cool.”

Though the nomination comes after the 2017 death of frontman Chris Cornell, the vocalist experienced what the Rock Hall meant for a band when he inducted Heart in 2013.

“[Cornell] lived the experience and said the enthusiasm of the fans was eye-opening for him, and understanding how important that was,” Thayil says.

“We always wanted to be the kind of band for our fans that we looked up to and inspired us,” he continues. “We wanted to be that kind of band [that] would make decisions with regard to that community that had supported us or that we had worked to build, and I think we did a great job of that.”

If Soundgarden is chosen for induction, it’ll be the second time drummer Matt Cameron is enshrined in the Rock Hall, following his entry in 2017 with Pearl Jam.

The Rock Hall inductees will be announced in May.

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