Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Soundgarden guitarist comments on band’s future

Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil is sharing his thoughts on the Seattle band’s future as a new Chris Cornell compilation hits stores this week.

Due November 16, Thayil assisted in putting together the “Chris Cornell: An Artist’s Legacy” package, which presents tracks from the rocker’s extensive career and includes songs from Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog, Audioslave, and his work as a solo artist before his May 2017 death by hanging in a Detroit hotel room.

Thayil and his Soundgarden bandmates Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd reconnected last month in public for the unveiling of a life-size bronze statue of Cornell outside the Museum Of Pop Culture in Seattle, WA.

“It's not likely that we could ever do Soundgarden without a missing piece,” explains Thayil in a new interview with Billboard. “I'd like to do more with Matt in the future. I'd like to do something with Ben in the future. It's likely Matt and Ben and I will do something in the future -- it just probably won't be Soundgarden. I don't see the dignity in pursuing that course.”

Thayil, who has been overseeing the group’s ongoing reissue series, has come to terms with the Seattle band’s legacy.

“I'm completely satisfied, but it needs to be maintained,” says the rocker. “That's why I'm overseeing the catalog and the merchandise, and I've been doing that all along because it's important that the legacy is understood. There's an ever-expanding demographic of potential Soundgarden fans amidst a shrinking demographic of consumers, so it's important that they there are good ways for them to hear what we did.”

As for what’s ahead, Thayil adds: “Really, the ‘Screaming Life’ and ‘Sub Pop’ sessions. We recorded enough material for an album-plus, but we only released an EP initially (in 1987), and the moved on to doing the Fopp thing (in 1988) and had some new songs for that. So there were things that were recorded for (a full) album that weren't released because we had to compact it into a nice little EP, which is what Sub Pop was interested in doing 'cause in the early and mid-80s, EPs were punk rock albums and a great way to introduce new artists. So we have other material and Sub Pop is interested in putting it out, so we're gonna do that, with Jack Endino mixing.

“There's interest in putting out the ‘Live At The Paramount’ that was part of the ‘Badmotorfinger’ 25th anniversary, in the super deluxe version, as a standalone. We're coming up on the 30th anniversary of ‘Louder Than Love’, and the ‘Louder Than Live’ album was never released commercially, just as a promotional thing. I'm sure there'll be another greatest hits recording. And there are so many lives shows we recorded over the years that have interesting takes and covers.”

Soundgarden may even further explore the final music they were working on at the time of Cornell’s passing.

“We were working on an album,” reveals Thayil, “and there's material there that we demoed that we can flesh out when we can access some of the basic, multi(-track) recordings, sure. That's being discussed.”

Members of Soundgarden will appear at an all-star tribute concert for Cornell in January.

“I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell” will take place at The Forum in Los Angeles on Wednesday, January 16, and include performances by Metallica, Foo Fighters, and more.

Tickets for the Cornell tribute concert will go on sale this Friday, November 16 at 10am PT.

See also:

Metallica and Foo Fighters to perform at Chris Cornell tribute concert
Chris Cornell’s widow sues doctor over Soundgarden singer’s death
Chris Cornell unboxing video previews new collection
VIDEO: Chris Cornell statute unveiled in Seattle
Search Soundgarden at hennemusic