Hiro Yamamoto

Hiro Yamamoto (born April 13, 1961) is an American bassist who was a founding member of grunge band Soundgarden, along with Kim Thayil and Chris Cornell in 1984. He left the band in 1989, and two years later, he started the independent rock band Truly together with Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel and Robert Roth from The Storybook Krooks.


Yamamoto was the founding bassist of Soundgarden. He appears with the lineup of Cornell, Thayil, and drummer Scott Sundquist on the Deep Six compilation, and with the lineup of Cornell, Thayil, and drummer Matt Cameron on the EPs Screaming Life, Fopp, and Loudest Love, as well as on the albums Ultramega OK and Louder Than Love. His last gig with the band was in 1989 at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, after which they got into an argument and Yamamoto subsequently left. He was replaced on the bass by Jason Everman, formerly of Nirvana, for a brief period of time after which Ben Shepherd was tapped as the permanent replacement. After his departure, Yamamoto finished his master’s degree in Physical Chemistry at Western Washington University.

Like Cornell, Thayil, Cameron, and Shepherd, Yamamoto was active in songwriting for Soundgarden. While a member of Soundgarden, he wrote the following songs for the band:

  • “Tears to Forget” (Screaming Life) music (co-written)
  • “Kingdom of Come” (Fopp) credited to Soundgarden
  • “All Your Lies” (Ultramega OK) music (co-written)
  • “665” (Ultramega OK) music
  • “667” (Ultramega OK) music
  • “Circle of Power” (Ultramega OK) lyrics, vocals
  • “Nazi Driver” (Ultramega OK) music
  • “Power Trip” (Louder Than Love) music
  • “I Awake” (Louder Than Love) … music
  • “No Wrong No Right” (Louder Than Love) … music
  • “Heretic” (Loudest Love) … lyrics


In 1991, Yamamoto formed a three-piece indie band, Truly; the other members were former Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel and singer Robert Roth. Truly released two studio albums and a compilation of unreleased material before breaking up in 2000. The band reunited in 2008.


  • Screaming Life (EP)
  • Fopp (EP)
  • Ultramega OK
  • Louder Than Love
  • Loudest Love (EP)
  • Heart and Lungs (EP) – 1991
  • Fast Stories… from Kid Coma – 1995
  • Feeling You Up – 1997
  • Subject to Change: Artists for a Hate-Free America – 1997 compilation
  • Twilight Curtains – 2000
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