How Australian Music Influenced Seattle’s Grunge Rock Scene

“I haven’t read it yet, so I’m not sure how he’s raking me through the coals,” Arm said of his bandmate’s book.

“The attention that Seattle got started in fanzines, and every now and then it was in magazines like Turn or so. When Nirvana and Pearl Jam broke, it wasn’t just music magazines.

I don’t look back like it’s the time of my life, but I’m not a very nostalgic person.

mark arm

“All of a sudden it was mainstream news … and when [Pearl Jam singer] Eddie Vedder landed on the cover of Timeit was like, ‘Well, that’s weird.'”

In his memories mud rideTurner calls Seattle’s Metropolis venue “the place where the first seeds of grunge were planted” by bands like the U-Men, Malfunkshun, Deranged Diction and the first band he played in with Arm, Mr. Epp & the calculations

The Scientists' 1983 album Blood Red River had a significant impact on Mudhoney.

The Scientists’ 1983 album Blood Red River had a significant impact on Mudhoney.Credit:

He also references the Australian bands who later played a part in Mudhoney’s own fuzzy, psychedelic style, with an emphasis on keeping “the sound seedy and swampy”. It’s a strong formula that they’ve stuck to for 35 years.

“Mark and I were so excited to visit the birthplace of so many of our favorite bands,” says Turner of Mudhoney’s first Australian tour.

“The scientists had a profound impact on Mudhoney…we also tried to look like them.”

The Scientists were a Perth post-punk and later swamp rock band led by Kim Salmon, who later helped found Beasts of Bourbon.

“In my constant search for interesting music I discovered a lot of cool bands from Australia that I played for Mark… it started with the New Christs and then it was all about Feedtime and the Scientists (that was a big deal). ‘ says Turner.

On January 1, 1988, Matt Lukin, bassist and former member of the Melvins, first met gymnast, arm and drummer Dan Peters (who was briefly in Nirvana before Dave Grohl joined the band) for a rehearsal and the original Mudhoney Line-up was done.

A decade later, Australian bassist Guy Maddison – who played alongside Arm in Seattle-based Australian band Bloodloss – was recruited to replace the retired Lukin.

“I’ve played with Guy for a number of years and I thought he would be a great fit for the band,” said Arm.

Maddison recorded his sixth album with Mudhoney during the COVID pandemic and has since moved back to Melbourne.


“We’re figuring out how that’s going to work,” Arm said.

The band’s new album Plastic eternitywill be released in Australia a week before the start of Mudhoney’s Queensland tour on April 14th.

The group’s 14 shows across the country include six in Victoria, which still holds a special place in Turner’s heart after 35 years of touring around the world.

“It’s a bit like a home away from home,” he writes mud ride. “If I could move to Melbourne, I would do it immediately.”

More information on Mudhoney’s tour is available at

A cultural guide to going out and making love in the city. Sign up for our Culture Fix newsletter here. How Australian Music Influenced Seattle’s Grunge Rock Scene

Jaclyn Diaz

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