Seattle Growth Podcast Season 4.1: Grunge brings fame, sparks innovation

In its first three seasons, the Seattle Growth Podcast has examined many facets of the city’s unprecedented transformation—housing, healthcare, redevelopment, preservation, transportation, education, emergency services, public utilities, economic disparity, race and, most recently, sports.

In the SGP’s fourth season, host Jeff Shulman turns his attention to Seattle’s famed music scene: past, present and future.

Episode 4.1 revisits the 1990s—the heyday of Seattle music. The Seattle sound—known the world over as “Grunge”—became the soundtrack to the era. Seattle had produced many notable musical artists over the years, but never had such a cohort of bands hit so big. Nirvana. Pearl Jam. Soundgarden. Alice In Chains. MudhoneyThe Presidents of the United States of America. Foo Fighters. These and many more wielded tectonic influence not only on music, but also on popular culture.

What was it like to be a Seattle musician in an era where a band could catapult from playing Seattle’s Romper Room to selling millions of records? What was happening in Seattle that enabled local bands to blow up nationally and internationally?

Jason Finn, the drummer for the Grammy-nominated and triple-platinum-selling band The Presidents (and for earlier Seattle bands Love Battery, Skin Yard and the Fastbacks), offers his perspective on achieving global fame seemingly overnight.

And Daryl Ducharme, a Seattle tech worker, podcaster, entertainer and long-time music lover who worked at Guitar Center during the ’90s, provides a fan’s perspective on the era. He also credits the legendary music scene for spurring the culture of innovation that defines Seattle today. “There are a lot of smart, talented people here,” Ducharme tells Shulman. “And I really am of the belief that it’s because of the artists and entertainers we have here in Seattle. All that creative energy makes for smart tech people who are coming up with creative solutions because we think outside the box, we think creatively.”

Seattle artists Draze, Naomi Wachira and Porscha Shaw provide the episode’s musical intros.

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Jason Finn
Daryl Ducharme
Naomi Wachira
Porscha Shaw

The Seattle Growth Podcast is hosted and produced by Shulman, an associate professor of marketing and the Marion B. Ingersoll Professor at the UW Foster School of Business.

  • amigo wright

    U for got the Guy who coined the phrase “Grunge”. Mark Arm from Mudhoney. Which a New album com’n late this fall………