Mike Devlin of TimesColonist.com recently conducted an interview with SOUNDGARDEN/ex-AUDIOSLAVE singer Chris Cornell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On the songs that he is performing during his solo acoustic Songbook tour, the first solo outing of its kind in the performer's remarkable 25-year career:
Cornell: "I don't want to sound like a crazy person that can't figure out what they want to do. But I always want it to be open. It's fun to try to figure out different songs that I can interpret acoustically and see if they'll work or not. Some of them do and some of them don't. But it's fun to experiment with that and be surprised by the songs that seem to work that I wouldn't expect."
On how the process of stripping SOUNDGARDEN songs down to their acoustic essence for his solo tour while writing and recording new material with his Seattle bandmates has been beneficial for him from a songwriting standpoint:
Cornell: "From the very beginning of SOUNDGARDEN, we all had a similar attitude, without ever discussing it. Any time we wrote a song, it was as though we were approaching songwriting from a new angle every single time. If something sounded a little like we were repeating it, or we were repeating a sensibility that had already been covered on a song, we would always steer away from it."
"With SOUNDGARDEN making a new record, it feels like the right time to do it [embark on a solo acoustic tour], and keep those worlds in their own authentic worlds. If I'm writing a song that SOUNDGARDEN can play, it goes to SOUNDGARDEN — always. That's the way it is. I'm super-excited to play music with those guys, and I always have been."
On how being on stage alone each night, with the barest of instrumentation for support, has its own rewards:
Cornell: "In the environment of an acoustic show, there becomes a kind of living-room quality to the atmosphere. It feels like a safety net. As much as playing by yourself on an acoustic instrument can make you feel vulnerable, the audience is so supportive that at some point I can do a song I don't really know and the audience doesn't care. They are excited to see that process happen."
Read the entire interview from TimesColonist.com.