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Kim Thayil: New Soundgarden Album “Stalled” Over Chris Cornell Demos

Soundgarden were working on a new album at the time of Chris Cornell’s death in 2017, but surviving members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, and Ben Shepherd have been struggling to complete it in his absence. In a new interview with MusicRadar, Soundgarden guitarist Thayil offered some new insight into the state of that unfinished album.

“It was demos,” said Thayil, “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.”

Thayil went on to reveal that the band doesn’t actually have access to Cornell’s demo recordings, despite having requested them.

“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,” the guitarist explained. “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.”

“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,” continued Thayil. “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.”

Though brand new music from Soundgarden might not be coming soon, Thayil noted that the band is working on an “anniversary package” for their second album, Louder Than Love, which was released in September 1989. “There’s some other live material that hasn’t been put out as a standalone release,” he noted.

Soundgarden’s Live From the Artists Den box set is out July 26, complete with Blu-Ray concert footage and special edition vinyl.