Back in February, the reunited Soundgarden made the news again thanks to their plans to record a new album. It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything new from the band, but guitarist Kim Thayil recently spoke to Stereogum to report on the progress of the record. We’ve pulled a few excerpts from the conversation that you may find interesting.
Speaking about the future of Soundgarden, Kim makes the band’s motive clear from the get-go: “Our interest is in being a vital band. We want to write songs and record them. We’re still like kids in a candy shop when it comes to writing songs and hearing them recorded.”
When asked about the state of recording and progress on these new songs, Thayil sang the praises of drummer Matt Cameron, who now splits his time with another iconic troupe of grunge survivors – Pearl Jam (who he’s been with since 1998): “Once again Matt is really the person who seems to be driving us forward with all this. He’s very enthusiastic and eager, which really motivates all of us. We’re all really excited. Being creative is far more satisfying than just playing the old songs. It’s been very natural. We just started jamming and it very gradually and naturally progressed.”
This is a pleasant surprise, in contrast to Kim’s previous comments, where it seemed that Matt’s gig with Pearl Jam was actually holding Soundgarden down.
He further commented on the status of the recording sessions: “We’re recording. 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 has commitments to Pearl Jam, Chris 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. It takes the pressure off in some ways. It’s not like, OK you’ve got three weeks and everything needs to get done in those three weeks. We can work at our own pace right night 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.”
Finally, when asked about what the new album might actually sound like, he answered: “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. The new songs sound really heavy. I’ll just say that.”
While we wait for Soundgarden to roll out some new material, enjoy these pro-shot videos from last year’s Lollapalooza:
Searching With My Good Eye Closed / Let Me Drown / Face Pollution:
Fell On Black Days
The band begins their US tour on July 2nd, with The Mars Volta as the opening act for several gigs.