Guitarist Kim Thayil has announced that Soundgarden are about 14 songs into the recording of their new album.  The band shocked fans when they got back together in early 2010, over a decade after an unfriendly split. (That’s a euphemism, right?)

The reunited grunge-rockers have proceeded to tour; issue their first live album, ‘Live on I-5’; and release a platinum-selling compilation, ‘Telephantasm.’ Still, what fans really salivated for was an album of all-original tracks. And now, according to an interview with Stereogum.com, they’re going to get it. Soon.

“We’re recording. We’re kind of doing it in stages.” he said. “Previously, we’d just block out a bunch of time and go and track everything at once, but we can’t really do that right now. Matt [Cameron, drummer] has commitments to Pearl Jam, Chris [Cornell, frontman] has a solo tour happening, and Soundgarden is touring in July. So we do the studio thing around those other engagements, which actually is turning out to be a lot better for us. It takes the pressure off in some ways.”

As for the new songs, they’re “definitely very heavy.”

“We’ve always tried to explore how to make this really heavy, aggressive music without sounding like a bunch of knuckle-dragging meatheads,” Thayil said. “I think these songs are kind of exploring that idea. Ways of emoting aggression and anger and hostility in ways that feel new."

When it comes to Soundgarden’s surprising reunion, Thayil was as shocked as anyone.

"I thought it was done, mostly because that was my sentiment about the whole thing. I just wasn’t interested. My interests had just moved on to different things, as I think it had with Chris and Matt and Ben" he said.

"Still, we were all always gonna be connected in some way, you know? I still exchanged messages with them on occasion, but I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it was over with."

Watch Soundgarden Perform '4th of July' at Lollapalooza 2010