Guitarist Kim Thayil of reunited grunge legends SOUNDGARDEN spoke to Hannah Levin of SeattleWeekly.com about the progress of the band's new CD, its first since 1996's "Down On The Upside" and since reuniting last year.
When asked what the timeline on the new record is, Thayil replied, "There's no timeline, except that our target roughly is early 2012. We are focused on this tour and these shows and we have a few dates in October, but in the interim, we'll do some studio work. We have a few more guitars to do and some vocals. And some of the songs are still being arranged. We want to make sure it's absolutely the most satisfying for us, and put the best foot forward that we can put. I would assume our fans will also get into it then."
Regarding whether SOUNDGARDEN's approach to writing together has changed, Thayil said, "It's actually not much different, because we really didn't have a set way we wrote in the past. The only thing that might have been consistent is a band member being a complete author meaning words and music which Chris [Cornell, vocals/guitar] did a lot of. But even if Chris writes a complete song, or Ben [Shepherd, bass] writes a complete song . . . sometimes we wrote a song as a jam. All the different combinations were always there; there was never a set thing like 'Jagger/Richards,' you know?"
On the topic of why SOUNDGARDEN chose to get back together, Thayil said, "I have nooooo idea. I ask myself that question. I think it's one of those things that just fell back into our laps. We initially were attending to shared properties, both financial and legal, and from mainly there we realized there was an absence of online presence in terms of a web site or Facebook . . . we kind of had neglected our merchandise over the last decade. Our catalog had been neglected. I was constantly meeting people who now had junior-high-aged kids who had learned instruments and learned [to play via SOUNDGARDEN]. We agreed to start a web site and have Ten Club handle it Tim Bierman who handles PEARL JAM's stuff. So it started from that. Then Internet gossip led to promoters inquiring about our status and offering us shows and pretty good billings that we considered. So we got into a room together and jammed and enjoyed each other's company. Eventually we decided to start playing live and to release [greatest-hits and rarities compilation] 'Telephantasm' and the live record ['Live on I-5']. Putting out an unreleased SOUNDGARDEN song was a thrill for us, and we started thinking about going back into the studio again. Every time we got together to rehearse, it was good."