Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were both on the lineup for Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit so naturally, despite the acoustic nature of the charity event, fans pondered whether Soundgarden's Chris Cornell would join Pearl Jam (who now features Soundgarden's drummer Matt Cameron as well) to play some tracks from the supergroup Temple of The Dog. Sure enough, Cornell came out during Pearl Jam's set and the ensemble rocked the single "Hunger Strike."
Although widely hailed as the greatest supergroup of the era, it's incorrect to label them as such: Pearl Jam actually released its hit debut album, Ten, four months after performing on Temple of The Dog with Cornell and Cameron. The Soundgarden vocalist had lived with Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood, and when the vocalist died of a drug overdose, Cornell teamed with his drummer and former Mother Love Bone members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, along with relative newcomer Eddie Vedder, to craft a tribute. The resulting album became an even bigger phenomenon after Pearl Jam struck it huge.
That was far from the last supergroup to spring forth from Pearl Jam. Here are five other groups that featured members of the group.
Mad Season is easily the second most noted "super" act to come out of the Seattle during the grunge era. Considering the drug issues that plagued the scene, it's not surprising that at least three of this band's members could relate to the struggles with addiction. Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready met bassist John Baker Saunders while in rehab and the pair teamed with Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin (the most sober member) back in Seattle. Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley rounded out the lineup with songwriting assistance from other Screaming Tree Mark Lanegan. The results are about as dark as you'd expect.
Wellwater Conspiracy is more accurately a Soundgarden side project although Cameron joined Pearl Jam full-time soon after releasing this band's debut album, Declaration of Conformity. He founded the more psychedelic rock band with John McBain and Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepard, although the latter would soon leave the group. With help from contributors including Josh Homme, Wellwater has released three albums while Cameron juggles his gig with Pearl Jam. Despite not releasing a new record since 2003, the band has never officially folded.
Guitarist Stone Gossard apparently needed a break from the spotlight after Pearl Jam's Ten blew up so he got together with Regan Hagar and Shawn Smith of Seattle rockers Satchel to form the band Shame. They quickly found out that "Shame" had already been taken as a band name so the group took the simple title Brad, named after Shame member Brad Wilson (apparently they spent a long time coming up with "Shame" and really didn't feel like thinking too hard after that). The group has actually been the most consistent of the Seattle supergroups, having released five albums with lengthy gaps in between over the last 21 years.
Ament had a similar thought process to Gossard's and decided to start a side project during 1992. He went to Tribe After Tribe, a band that had opened for Pearl Jam during its '92 tour, and drafted vocalist/guitarist Robbi Robb as well as drummer Richard Stuverud, whose band War Babies was on the brink of shutting down anyhow. The band's 1996 self-titled debut was one of the more interesting listens of the year, as the group combined its rock roots with that genre's fascination with Eastern elements, resulting in a culmination of the ideas Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath toyed with during the '70s.
By the time 1999 rolled around, McCready's second successful group, Mad Season, had officially called in quits following the death of Saunders, its bassist. He turned to the band Goodness for some new troops, picking up fellow guitarist Danny Newcomb, drummer Chris Friel and vocalist Carrie Akre. It helped that McCready, Friel, Newcomb and bassist Rick Friel had all been in the band Shadow during the '80s before grabbing the spotlight. The band got help from Seattle and Heart's own Nancy Wilson singing on "Riverwide" but its 2000 self-titled debut would be its last album of original work.