Soundgarden Hope To Complete Their Final Unreleased Songs With Chris Cornell’s Demos


While Chris Cornell‘s suicide in 2017 put an end to Soundgarden as an active band, the group’s surviving members have continued to celebrate the legacy of Cornell and their catalog over the years with live tributes, an impending live release and more.

Prior to Cornell‘s death, the band were actively working on what would have become the group’s seventh studio album. According to guitarist Kim Thayil, the band still hope to one day finish the material they had in the works for that effort using demo recordings Cornell was working on at the time.

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Speaking with Music Radar of where the band were at with new songs at the time of Cornell‘s passing, Thayil replied:

“It was demos, but the demo quality was pretty good, because both Chris and Matt had become very interested in their home recording technique, so they might demo a song, and then Ben and I would add our guitars or bass. Maybe Matt might play drums to a riff that Chris had recorded. And that would be recorded by one of our engineers or techs.

This is an interesting thing: our entire backline, our guitar techs and bass techs, are all also record producers and recording engineers, so we love that they want to go on the road with us, and we love the guys in the studio with us, but the only people who do both are Nate Yaccino, Josh Evans and Dave French. Those guys have worked with us in the studio and onstage, and that’s a great family to have, to be involved in all aspects of a band’s career. So that will help us.

So they come and record parts that we overdub on the demos. Right now, that’s all kind of stalled. We tried to get this going two years ago, but we’re not in possession of any of the demos that Chris was working on with them. We have copies of them, but what we need are the files, so that we’d be able to overdub and finish the record. We are not in possession of those.”

When asked what it would take for the band to get possession of Cornell‘s files, Thayil added:

“We don’t know. We’ve asked nicely, we’ve suggested that this will benefit all parties, if the band could just have these files, and we could finish the songs we were working on.

But there seems to be some confusion amongst various parties as to what that would entail and how that works, and who that would benefit. And it’s been tiring, you know. And we can’t move on until some future date when someone realizes the value of allowing the creative partners to have access to the material.”

It is presumed that the files are in the possession of the Chris Cornell Estate, which was formed after his death to handle business interests related to his works. In regards to how the guitar playing sounded on those demos, Thayil replied:

“Interestingly, there’s a psychedelic element, and there was more of a grooving, I’d say a little bit more, not ballad-y, but more guitar arpeggiations, like what you might hear on ‘Fell On Black Days‘.

And then we had maybe a couple of sad songs, and a couple of heavy songs that in general feel were – where we were at in the writing process – kind of mixed like ‘King Animal‘, but a little bit less of the heavy stuff. But it was still interesting, still quirky stuff.

Once Matt, Ben and myself get a hold of those songs and finish putting down our parts, the songs will very likely become heavier, darker and maybe a bit trippier.”

In the same chat, Thayil also spoke of the band’s continuing work on a “Louder Than Love” anniversary release and more, you read up on that Music Radar. A February 17th, 2013 show the band played at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA will be released this Friday, July 26th, as ‘Soundgarden: Live From The Artist’s Den‘ on Blu-ray, DVD, etc. formats.

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