Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil has slammed accusations the band's reunion is a "cash grab", insisting the rockers don't need the extra money.

The grunge godfathers went their separate ways in 1997 but reunited in 2009 to work on fresh material and released a new album, King Animal, in November (12).

The reunion has drawn media speculation that the band was merely reforming to make more money and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan recently took aim at the band, stating they were just having "one more round at the till".

Now, Thayil has spoken out to defend the rockers' reunion and hit back at Corgan's claims.

He tells The Phoenix, "How is it a cash grab? Since when is there money in making records anymore? I mean, playing Lollapalooza (festival) was a one-day payday, but... since when do we need money?

"There's a lot of other bands; Alice In Chains came back a few years before us, Smashing Pumpkins - I guess that's not really Smashing Pumpkins, it's just a Billy Corgan solo project with a bunch of new guys, right? But there were a lot of bands that became active again... I don't know what it is; maybe when we were broke up (sic) we were all younger and everyone grew up and realised there's sort of a lull as far as interesting popular music - in my opinion."