Soundgarden are doing the media rounds to promote their retrospective, “Telephantasm,” which came out last month.
The new disc includes the previously unreleased “Black Rain,” which was recorded during the 1991 “Badmotorfinger” sessions. “Telephantasm” was packaged with the initial 1 million shipments of the Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock video game - the first time a music album has been simultaneously released and bundled with a video game launch.
"A new generation of rock fans are discovering 30-year-old bands via a game like Guitar Hero," said Cornell. "It's like trying to get a larger picture of what we do, musically, out there to a younger generation."
“The mythology of a rock star is larger than ever, at a time when the music industry can't create them anymore,” Cornell added. “What appealed to me is that Soundgarden -- rhythmically and as a guitar-based band -- is pretty unusual, and it seemed like the music would be something that would work really well in the context of one of these games.”
"We were sort of talking about re-releasing our catalog and updating our whole system of how we communicate with our fans, because the band started pre-internet, pre-cell phone, pre-pre-pre-everything," said Cameron.
By including the retrospective in the Guitar Hero package, Soundgarden basically shipped platinum. “It's a new thing,” says Thayil, “so I haven't really wrapped my head around that entirely, because that's not the way I've thought of record sales.”
“Other groups might look at this as a means to put out a record,” added Matt. “Or a partnership,” figures Cornell. “Like, if you buy a Prius, you get the new R.E.M. record, and it'll be in the CD player.”
The Seattle band made its live return in April of this year with a fan club show in their hometown (they were billed as “nudedragons” – an anagram for Soundgarden), followed by another fan club show in Chicago in August, just days before they headlined Lollapalooza there. Fans want to know if more ‘spot’ dates are planned, or maybe even a full tour? “Yeah, maybe more spot dates, certainly. It was a lot of fun,” said Thayil. “Yeah, it was fun,” added Cornell. “It didn't really feel like there was that long of a break between playing 12 years ago and now.”
Soundgarden – Black Rain (2010)
Soundgarden – Fell On Black Days (1994)
Chris Cornell – Black Hole Sun
"Stripped Raw and Real" – June 9, 2006