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Matt Cameron

Matt Cameron had been a part of 'Seattle Sound' until its eventual demise in mid-1990s. His tasteful and inventive playing has turned many heads, including those of many bands that would help pave Cameron's interesting history. After playing in the Buddy Rich memorial benefit concert, Cameron was seen as not only a powerful, yet graceful rock drummer, but also a player with obvious competencies in jazz drumming. His playing was quite well received by the Buddy Rich big band, as well as most of the audience at the concert. Cameron continues to dazzle and satisfy his fans, while at the same time making new ones.

Cameron's musical career pretty much started out when with a vocal part on the song "Puberty Love," which was on the soundtrack for Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Then he moved to Seattle in the early 1980s. He played briefly in a band called Feedback, then in 1985, he joined Skin Yard. Daniel House (future owner of C/Z Records) and Jack Endino, who were the original members, were soon joined by Cameron, who thought up the name. Later that year, singer Ben McMillan joined the fold and the original full lineup was created. The band played their first show in June of 1985, in which they were the warm-up act in a U-Men show. The band continued to record their first album in the remaining part 1985 and 1986. It was released on C/Z records in January of 1987, but Cameron had left the band prior to the record's release.
Also around this time, Soundgarden (named after a sculpture in Seattle's Sandpoint) was in need of a new drummer when their original drummer, Scott Sundquist, left to pursue a normal family life. Following the remaining members' (Chris Cornell, Hiro Yamamoto, Kim Thayil) search, they enlisted Cameron into their band in June of 1986.

Soon after Cameron's joining Soundgarden, the band began recording their first ever recording, Screaming Life, which was released as an EP on Subpop records in 1987. Their second studio effort, Fopp, was relased in 1988, also on Subpop records. The next logical step for the band was to record a full length LP. In 1988, the band released Ultramega OK on SST, which was nominated for a Grammy Award.

After the release and nomination of Ultramega OK, the band signed with A&M records, to which they would remain faithfull until the breakup. The band recorded and released in Louder Than Love in 1989. Hiro Yamamoto left the band before the tour began, so they got Jason Everman to fill in for the time being. After the tour, the band decided that Everman wasn't right for the band, so they enlisted Ben Shepherd, who was present at the previous auditions, but didn't know the material.

Not long after the end of their first tour, Mother Love Bone's singer Andrew Wood passed away and sadness descended upon the band. Chris Cornell wrote two songs, Say Hello 2 Heaven and Reach Down in tirbute to Wood. Some other friends of Wood, Stone Gossard (guitar) and Jeff Ament (bass), who had played with him in Mother Love Bone, also thought a tribute was in order. So, along with Cameron on drums and Mike McCready on guitar, they recorded Temple Of The Dog, and released it on A&M records in 1990.

Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready were also forming a new band around this time, known to many as Mookie Blaylock. The three were in search of a drummer and a singer, so to record a demo tape, they requested the help of Cameron to record a bunch of songs. Most of the songs on those tapes appeared on Pearl Jam's early albums, or later surfaced as b-sides. Also during this mass of jamming and collaborating, Cameron found time to play on a record by the Tone Dogs, a small
jazz group.

After the grieving from Wood's death had finished, the band go to work on their next record, Badmotorfinger. It was recorded and released in 1991 and sold one million copies, rendering it platinum.

To support their latest release, the band went on tour. They toured Europe and the United States, then headed back home for their next tour. But it was not just any tour, it was Lollapalooza.

In 1992, the band members took a break from Soundgarden and indulged in their own seperate projects. Cameron, along with Ben Shepherd, former Monster Magnet guitarist John Paul McBain, Andrew Wood's brother Kevin, and John Waterman, recorded Hater. Hater was a laid-back, low-key album that was released on A&M records in late 1993. That album featured Cameron's first olo vocal performance on the track "Sad McBain." The band played a few shows in and around Seattle, but kept it fairly quiet other than that.

In the last bits of 1993, the band once again hit the studio to record Superunknown, which was released in the spring of 1994 and enjoyed much success. They also toured all over Australia, Europe, and, of course, North America. This long-winded tour lasted almost a full year, and ended in the late fall of 1994.

After the tour came a well-deserved break, which included recording many singles and finally an album with Wellwater Conspiracy (Declaration Of Conformity) with John McBain, Matt Cameron, and Ben Shepherd. During this period, Matt also recorded 4 songs on Eleven's Thunk, after Jack Irons left the band. Not long after their break, the band record Down On The Upside, and released the first single during the early part of 1996. In mid-May, the band released their album and did very well. A small tour followed the release, which lasted from September to December and ended in their home town, Seattle.

In early 1997, the band toured briefly in New Zealand and Australia before annoucing the breakup on April 7, 1997. The members decided to go their own ways and focus on their other projects.

For Cameron, his music career was no where near finished. He immediately started to get calls from bands ranging from The Indigo Girls to The Smashing Pumpkins. But, Cameron decided to take it easy for a while and lay low. Then, in the summer of 1998, Eddie Vedder (singer of Pearl Jam), asked him if he'd be interested on going on tour with the band. The original drummer, Jack Irons, had to bail out because of serious, health-related problems. Cameron didn't have anything planned, so he joined Pearl Jam on their US tour and made his first appearance with the band on The Late Show with David Letterman, and played "Wishlist."

The band toured extensively and eventually released a live album, Live On Two Legs, in late 1998. Not long after the release of that album, Cameron went to work with John McBain, along with a handful of other guest musicians to work on the new Wellwater Conspiracy album, Brotherhod Of Electric: Operational Directive(s), which was released on Time Bomb records in early 1999. The album features Cameron playing drums, guitar, bass, keyboard and singing. Pearl Jam's annual holiday single was re-issued for the public to support Kosovar refugees in the mid-spring of 1999 and that album featured Cameron's drumming on both tracks.

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