Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil said he and bandmates Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron wanted to complete the album they’d been working on before Chris Cornell’s death in 2017, but that they were being denied access to the master recording files.

After the singer took his own life at the age of 52, the surviving trio wanted to add to vocal tracks Cornell recorded for the follow-up to 2012’s King Animal; but the project has stalled in a development that’s left them bewildered.

“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,” Thayil told MusicRadar in a new interview. “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.”

He noted that they'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 among various parties as to what that would entail and how that works, and who that would benefit.”

Thayil added there was a “psychedelic element” to the unheard material. “There was more of a grooving, I’d say a little bit more, not ballad-y, but more guitar arpeggiations," he said. "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.”

Still, he appeared hopeful that the issue would be resolved. “Once Matt, Ben and myself get a hold of those songs and finish putting down our parts," he said, "the songs will very likely become heavier, darker and maybe a bit trippier.”


Soundgarden Albums Ranked

More From Ultimate Classic Rock