On June 28, Todd Hancock of the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada radio station 99.3 The Fox conducted an interview with guitarist Kim Thayil of reunited grunge legends SOUNDGARDEN. You can now listen to the chat at this location.
Thayil spoke recently with Stereogum about the progress of SOUNDGARDEN's new CD, its first since 1996's "Down On The Upside" and since reuniting last year. Thayil revealed, "We're kind of doing it in stages. We have about 14 songs in various stages of completion. Previously, we'd just block out a bunch of time and go and track everything at once, but we can't really do that right now. Matt [Cameron, drums] has commitments to PEARL JAM, Chris [Corenll, vocals] has a solo tour happening and SOUNDGARDEN is touring in July. So we do the studio thing around those other engagements, which actually is turning out to be a lot better for us."
Thayil continued, "We can work at our own pace and take things one step at a time. We're really enjoying it. We don't have a record company or management pressuring us to hurry up, so we can really savor the process this time."
As for what the new material sounds like, Thayil hinted, "The vibe of the songs is definitely very heavy. We've always tried to explore how to make this really heavy, aggressive music without sounding like a bunch of knuckle-dragging meatheads. I think these songs are kind of exploring that idea. Ways of emoting aggression and anger and hostility in ways that feel new."
Cornell told The Pulse Of Radio that SOUNDGARDEN's songwriting style has always made the band unique and hard to imitate. "It's made us a very eclectic band musically, and a band that's really hard to distill," he said. "We were never an easy band to mimic. There's a lot of bands influenced by us, but I don't think you could sit down and point to three or four bands over the history of the last 20 years that really just tried to cop what we did and then came out. 'Cause it wasn't possible."
SOUNDGARDEN will launch its North American tour on July 2 in Toronto, with fall dates a possibility as well.