Classic Rock News

What do Soundgarden & Rage Against the Machine have to do to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

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Courtesy of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

While their contemporaries NirvanaPearl JamRed Hot Chili PeppersRadiohead and Nine Inch Nails are already in, Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine still haven’t been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This could finally be their year, though, as both the “Black Hole Sun” and the “Killing in the Name” rockers are among the 2023 nominees to be inducted.

Speaking with ABC Audio, Jason Hanley, Rock Hall’s vice president of education and visitor engagement, says, “Clearly, both of those bands are very, very deserving of the honor.”

In making Soundgarden’s case, Hanley says Chris Cornell and company “did do something different” from the rest of the bands of the ’90s grunge scene.

“They had a different rock sound that was maybe a little more rooted in heavy metal than some of the others,” he says.

Rage, meanwhile, was not only “impactful” with their political activism, but also with their “innovative” music.

Tom Morello‘s guitar playing alone could get them inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” Hanley laughs. “Not to mention the great lyrics and the presentation of it, that mixed hip-hop style and rock.”

Soundgarden is a second-time Rock Hall nominee, while Rage has been on the ballot four times previously, the most for any artist among this year’s potential inductees.

“I think maybe the issue is these bands often keep ending up on the ballot with a lot of other new names that keep coming out,” Hanley says.

Indeed, eight of the 2023 nominees are on the ballot for the first time, including The White StripesJoy Division and New OrderWillie Nelson and Missy Elliott. Meanwhile, artists including Iron Maiden and Kate Bush are among returning nominees.

The 2023 Rock Hall inductees will be announced in May.

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