Chris Cornell on Soundgarden’s Reunion: ‘It’s a New Experience’
Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell describes the vibe in the recording studio where the reunited band have been at work on a new album as a “new experience” musically, one that “definitely has it's own environment."
Speaking with Vulture, Cornell said that when the band members first started hanging out again a couple of years ago, they naturally fell into a nostalgia mode, which Cornell says is a given when you're in the room with “three other people you have that kind of history with.” Inevitably, he says, they started to talk about “different moments" from "different parts of our career.”
By the time the band made it to the idea of recording an album together, everything felt “new” and he says that it “doesn't feel like we're reliving our past.” The songwriting process for the new material found Cornell very conscious of the fact that he was writing material that needed to represent the group properly. Collaboratively, every member of the band has brought “music to the table” and Cornell says that within that material were some “very elaborate ideas.”
Reflecting on the band's past work, Cornell says that their “Achilles heel” as a group was being “too eclectic” and “too adventurous” from album to album, making it hard to “define us musically, for any period, really.” He feels that the new material is rewarding, because of the “vitality” that is present and the “strong enthusiasm” for the songs.
The reunion has fulfilled in Cornell a “longing for getting back into Soundgarden rehearsals and playing loud, aggressive, amplified music.” And as Pearl Jam mark their 20th anniversary while Nirvana's 'Nevermind' turns 20 years old, Cornell says that he and Soundgarden were “lucky to be part of something that made such a huge impact."
“If you can get past 20 years and still somehow have some relevance, there’s a sense to me that it’ll always be relevant on some level,” he says of Soundgarden's lasting legacy.