Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Soundgarden responds to Chris Cornell widow’s lawsuit over unreleased recordings

Soundgarden have filed a legal response to a lawsuit brought by Chris Cornell’s widow over a series of unreleased recordings made by the rocker before his death in 2017.

Vicky Cornell filed a suit in a Florida court in December claiming the Seattle band is withholding royalties from her in an effort to gain access to vocal tracks for seven songs the singer recorded in his personal studio in Florida.

In a February 4 court motion filed by the group, according to Rolling Stone, Soundgarden denied withholding royalties and rebuffed Vicky’s claim that she is the sole owner of several recordings Cornell worked on before his passing.

Soundgarden claim the unreleased recordings stem from writing and recording sessions that date back as far as 2015, and referenced a series of interviews and band communications in their filing that confirm this information – including some from Vicky herself – and that Cornell recorded much of this material in Seattle and New York City and while touring, and not in Florida as per Vicky’s court filing.

Soundgarden also rebuffed Vicky’s claim that it’s purposely withholding money from her, with the motion stating that no one in the band is being paid at the moment, and won’t until “the Partnership, by vote of the Remaining Partners, formally elects to make such a distribution.”

“We don’t have possession of our own creative work,” said Soundgarden in a statement.

You can read the full court filing at rollingstone.com.

Marty Singer, attorney for Vicky Cornell and the Estate of Chris Cornell, issued a statement in response to Soundgarden’s claims.

“We obviously disagree with the band’s blatant mischaracterization of events, and stand by the truthful facts set forth in our complaint,” said Singer. “It is disappointing that Chris’ former band members have now sought to taint his legacy by making numerous false allegations, and that they continue to withhold substantial monies from his widow and minor children (despite using those same funds to pay for their own legal fees).

"The issue in this case is not who wrote the songs but rather who owns the specific recordings made solely by Chris while he resided in Florida. We are very confident that the Court will vindicate the rights of Chris’ Estate, and that the case will properly remain in Florida, where Chris resided and recorded the songs that are now the lawful property of his Estate.”

Chris Cornell won a posthumous Grammy Award for his self-titled 2018 compilation at the 2020 music industry event.

The team that put together the collection – which presents material from Cornell’s extensive career as a solo artist and work with Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog and Audioslave – was honored in the Best Recording Package category, highlighting the work of Barry Ament, Jeff Ament, Jeff Fura and Joe Spix.

Soundgarden were recently among the nominees under consideration for entry into the 2020 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame; the Seattle band failed to garner sufficient support to be inducted on their first nomination.

See also:

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell wins posthumous Grammy Award
The Doobie Brothers and T. Rex among 2020 Rock Hall inductees
Judas Priest and Soundgarden among top Rock Hall fan votes
Chris Cornell’s widow sues Soundgarden over unreleased recordings
Search Soundgarden at hennemusic