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Soundgarden Were Working on New and Archival Projects Before Chris Cornell’s Death

Buda Mendes, Getty Images
Buda Mendes, Getty Images

It’s unclear how the remaining members of Soundgarden will proceed following the sudden and tragic death of frontman Chris Cornell‘s this week. But the band had been working on a new album as well as culling material from the vaults for an archival release.

As guitarist Kim Thayil told Billboard earlier this year, the members’ other commitments — including Cornell’s solo shows and drummer Matt Cameron‘s work with Pearl Jam — made it difficult for the to find time to write together. “It’s been a couple years of intermittent songwriting sessions,” he said. “We look for opportunities where all four of us are available and then we get together and we show each other what we’ve been working on, what we’ve been writing on our own and see if there’s anything that can be contributed from that sharing process. And then we like to jam and see if any ideas come out collaboratively that we can work on.”

Two years ago, Thayil said they hoped to have something out in 2016, potentially working again with producer Adam Kasper, who had helmed their post-reunion album King Animalas well as 1996’s Down on the Upside, the band’s final album before their hiatus. But he also noted, “No studio has been chosen and no songs are written yet. When we finish these shows in Australia we’ll spend a month or more working on it. It’s definitely going to happen.”

Following expanded and remastered releases of Badmotorfinger last year and Ultramega OK earlier this year, Thayil said there was plenty more in the vaults. “There are some we recorded with a previous drummer and they weren’t really up to our satisfaction. There’s stuff we haven’t released that we recorded with (producer) Jack Endino that were intended for Sub Pop release that didn’t happen. The Screaming Life EP was supposed to be a full-length album but Sub Pop wanted to do an EP, so there’s material that was recorded for that. We’ve been able to address many of the aspects from our catalog, both released and unreleased, and I think we will continue to do so.”

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