Soundgarden’s Final Album with Chris Cornell Is Being Held Hostage

Guitarist Kim Thayil reveals the truth behind the record the band was making at the time of Cornell’s death.

Chris Cornell’s vocal tracks for a Soundgarden album the singer was working on are being held hostage. Guitarist Kim Thayil talked about the situation in a recent interview with Eddie Trunk on his SiriusXM show, Trunk Nation. Trunk asked Thayil about the status of the band’s album, and if there was something in particular keeping them from finishing it.

“There shouldn’t be,” Thayil responded somewhat agitatedly, “other than the fact that we don’t have those files.”

While the guitarist has refused to elaborate on the people in possession of the vocal tracks, he made it sound like the hurdle will eventually be cleared, and the record should ultimately see the light of day. “It would be ridiculous if it didn’t,” he continued. “But you know, these are difficult things. Partnerships and property.”

Thayil was more forthcoming when questioned about the band moving forward with a different singer, using Alice In Chains’ successful reinvention with William DuVall serving as the frontman in the wake of original vocalist Layne Staley’s death as an example.

“Reasonably, you got a big part missing, so I think in terms of the Soundgarden catalog, that’s going to be active as best as it can be,” he explained. “In terms of unreleased recordings, live materials, I’m still going to attend to that. That’s my gig. I love that. Let’s make records. Given the commitments the other band members have and given our sentiments over Chris, I do not see us reconfiguring a tour—or anything—without him… This is really complicated. I’ve known Chris since I was a kid, basically. You want to honor the work … Is it best to regard it with dignity and let it rest? Do you want to honor it by celebrating the work and music he’s done? Now I understand people are complicated and life is a bag of tricks. I don’t know. I think we reached a conclusion we thought was correct.”

When it comes to curating and overseeing the band’s catalog, Thayil said fans can look forward to a thirtieth anniversary box set for Soundgarden’s 1989 full length, Louder Than Love; the only caveat being that it won’t arrive until sometime next year.

Watch the clip from the Eddie Trunk interview below.

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