Event: "I Am The Highway - A Tribute To Chris Cornell"

“I Am The Highway . A Tribute To Chris Cornell”
January 16 2019

Update: Live Stream

Update: Setlist (42 songs)

The Melvins -
Kicking Machine | With Your Heart Not Your Hands | Leech Heart Of Honey | Spoonman
Rita Wilson - The Promise
Nikka Costa & Alain Johannes - Disappearing One
Chris Stapleton - The Keeper
Foo Fighters - No Attention | Girl U Want | Earache My Eye | Everlong (Dave Grohl solo)
Josh Homme - Rusty Cage
Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, & Stone Gossard - Seasons
Miley Cyrus - As Hope And Promise Fade
Audioslave (Tom Morello & Brad Wilk) - Cochise (feat. Perry Ferrell) | Be Yourself (feat. Juliette Lewis) | Set It Off (feat. Chris Chaney, Sam Harris, and Tim Mcilrath) | Like A Stone (feat. Brandi Carlile) | Show Me How To Live (feat. Robert Trujillo and Dave Grohl)
Toni Cornell & Ziggy Marley - Redemption Song
Metallica - All Your Lies | For Whom The Bell Tolls | Master Of Puppets | Head Injury
Ryan Adams - Dead Wishes, Fell On Black Days
Temple Of The Dog - Preaching The End Of The World (feat. Nikka Costa) | Can’t Change Me (feat. Alain Johannes), Hunted Down (feat. William DuVall, Jerry Cantrell, and Josh Freese) | All Night Thing (feat. Fiona Apple, Brendan O’Brien, and Matt Chamberlain) | Reach Down (feat. Miguel, Nikka Costa, and Brendan O’Brien) | Say Hello 2 Heaven (feat. Miley Cyrus) | Hunger Strike (feat. Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, and Brendan O’Brien)
Soundgarden - Rusty Cage (feat. Taylor Momsen) | Flower (feat. Marcus Durant) | Outshined (feat. Marcus Durant and Stone Gossard) | Drawing Flies (feat. Taylor Momsen, Buzz Osbourne, Matt Demeritt, and Tracy Wanamae) | Loud Love (feat. Taylor Momsen, Tom Morello and Wayne Kramer) | I Awake (feat. Taylor Hawkins and Buzz Osbourne) | The Day I Tried To Live (feat. Taylor Hawkins and Buzz Osbourne) | Black Hole Sun (feat. Brandi Carlile, Peter Frampton, Tim Hanseroth, and Phil Hanseroth)

Update: Videos (currently adding all of the missing videos…they’ll pop up as they upload)
Use the YouTube menu at the top left to drop-down and choose a video

Update: Photos

Original (pre-show) post:

It’s difficult to say now what we’ll be able to come away with…
We hope to be able to record parts of the show, and post clips on this page tomorrow [over]night.

If we can, we will try to also live-stream on our Twitter feed at Twitter.com/iJeffgarden (note the username is iJeffgarden and not Jeffgarden on twitter)

If we have to choose 1, while the live stream is cool, it also lowers the quality of the video in order to broadcast it easier, so we would forgo that in favor of videos that we would post after the show. If we can do both, we will (try).

In any case, whatever we do end up with will pop up on this post, and our What’s Mine Is Ours page

‘I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell’ will take place on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at The Forum in Los Angeles. The event will feature performances from the members of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave, plus Foo Fighters, Metallica, Ryan Adams and many more. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 16 at 10am pt at: http://bit.ly/IAmTheHighway. Proceeds will benefit EBMRF.
— ChrisCornell.com 11.13.2018

Additional artists have been added to I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at The Forum in Los Angeles. Fiona Apple, Brandi Carlile, Josh Homme, Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine, Ziggy Marley, Miguel, Taylor Momsen, Chris Stapleton and other special guests will join the star-studded concert event.

Posted by Matt Cameron to Instagram stories. Uploaded by AlternativeNation.net on 2019-01-09.

Matt Cameron on Instagram

Taylor Momsen on Instagram

Brad Wilk on Instagram

"Chris Cornell" Career Retrospective - Photos & Unboxing

We received our own copy of the Chris Cornell box set, but our “Soundgarden Room” project isn’t quite ready, so we wanted to share the photos and posts from our friend and fellow Chris Cornell fan account OriginalFire from Twitter
The following are their posts and photos:

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Pre-Order: "Unfinished Plan: The Path Of Alain Johannes" DVD


Trailer, featuring Chris Cornell, Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron, and Kim Thayil

New ChrisCornell.com Feature Lets You Save Concert Set Lists As Playlists In Spotify & Apple Music

Go to live.ChrisCornell.com and click the Find Your Show button. Search shows by City to see the setlist, and add the setlist as a Playlist by connecting your Spotify or Apple Music account on the page. The playlist will automatically appear in your account.

Cover songs seem to add the original artist’s version to the playlist.

Try Out The New Feature Here

Soundgarden fan Taylor Pearn meets Kim Thayil on the MC50 tour in Glasgow

Long time fan Taylor Pearn [Facebook] had a chance to catch Kim Thayil on the #KiMC50 tour in Glasgow. Taylor recaps the meet up in this audio clip below:

Article: Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil Talks About Putting Together That Massive Chris Cornell Box Set [Vulture]

Article: Vulture
Author: Stuart Berman
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When a band is mourning the loss of a key member, the recuperation process can take several different forms: commemorative books, memorial concerts, reality-TV recruitment drives. For the friends and family of the late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, it’s spurred a yearlong effort to distill a wildly eclectic three-decade career into a cohesive, comprehensive portrait of one of rock’s most versatile voices.

The resulting 64-track, four-disc box set, titled simply Chris Cornell, is the first collection to encompass all facets of the singer’s free-ranging discography: Soundgarden’s golden grunge greats, Audioslave’s alt-rock hits, and highlights from a solo catalog that zigzagged between campfire serenades, James Bond themes, and Steve Aoki remixes. (There’s also a trove of live performances, covers, and unreleased tracks.) Overseeing curation of the Soundgarden selections was guitarist Kim Thayil, who, following the band’s 2009 reunion, has served as the band’s de facto archivist, spearheading a series of reissues and compilations that have helped establish Soundgarden’s presence in the digital age and regenerate their fan base.

True to the band’s original mission of demystifying and punking up ’70s-style hard rock, Thayil has traditionally kept the lowest profile of any Soundgarden member outside the band, and understandably, he’s been especially covert since Cornell’s death. But he’s recently reemerged to play the Fred “Sonic” Smith foil to Brother Wayne Kramer in a recombinant 50th-anniversary version of Detroit proto-punk legends the MC5 (dubbed MC50), whose current European tour happens to coincide with this week’s release of Chris Cornell. Prior to kicking out some jams in Paris, Thayil spoke to Vulture over a shaky cell-phone connection to talk about life after Chris.

How’s it feel being on this MC50 tour? I imagine it must be a therapeutic experience for you …
I suppose. It could be a lot of things …

How did this opportunity come about?
Wayne Kramer called me a year ago, and asked if I’d be interested in jamming and playing with them, and going on tour for a year. And I said, “of course,” because they’re my favorite band.

Has playing with the MC5 given you any fresh perspective on how a band can soldier on without its original front man?
No, this is just an opportunity to celebrate 50 years of Kick Out the Jams, that’s what it is. I don’t think it translates to any perspective on Soundgarden; it’s a separate thing.

You recently played Detroit — what was that like? 
It was a triumphant homecoming for Wayne, certainly … we did three really fun shows.

But I imagine it was also very bittersweet experience for you.
Nothing I’m going to share with your audience.

So what has this last year and a half looked like for you? Did you feel like you had to stay busy to keep your mind occupied, or was it a more meditative experience?
A bit of both, I suppose. Eat, drink, shit, walk the dog, like everybody else. Drinking …

How does it feel to be revisiting Chris’s work now through this retrospective? 
This started over a year ago, so most of the revisiting went on the summer before this past one, when we came up with the general track list. Most of what I tended to [on the box set] was Soundgarden’s work, so I don’t have to listen to any of it; I can just look at the titles and reference it by memory just fine.

Any fan could conceivably put together a playlist of Soundgarden favorites. What perspective on Chris’s work were you hoping to show through your selections?
I guess I’m doing some of the work for them, I suppose. I can direct them to the … I don’t want to use the term “evolution,” because it gets misused, but to the growth and transformation of Chris’s talents, either as a songwriter and singer. There’s a chronological organization; it’s also organized by the various projects he was involved with.

Is there a song on this collection you were especially keen to include that’s really meaningful to you?
Yeah, I prefer the Soundgarden songs, thank you — as opposed to two-dimensional versions of it. [Laughs.]

When you read testimonials about Chris in the early days, a lot of people say he was a natural-born rock star from the very beginning. But Chris also said that, as a teen, he was more of a New Wave fan than a Led Zeppelin fan, and that he envisioned Soundgarden as a weird post-punk band. What did you make of Chris when you first met him? What drew you into his orbit? 
I think it was the way we connected musically. When we jammed together, we immediately started writing songs — it came pretty easy to us, and I think the interest in the material we were coming up with was enthusiastic and mutually appreciated. We liked the uniqueness and creativity we were sharing. We were coming up with progressive elements, and we liked to focus on emotive things and use chaotic elements — that’s what the band was about. We didn’t like traditional song-structure arrangements. We weren’t interested. Otherwise, I’d go do something else. I’d be a dishwasher.

At what point did you realize this guy in your band wasn’t just a talented singer, but actually one of the greatest voices of our generation?
I don’t know when that point was. It’s really easy to take that talent for granted when you’re around it every day, I suppose.

Soundgarden were all about subverting the hard-rock clichés of the day and stripping it down to just the raw power. But people came to see Chris as this golden-god front man — how comfortable do you think he was in that role?
I don’t know … I think there were probably times where he was not comfortable with it; there were probably other times when he tried to accept it, but he didn’t necessarily reap any rewards from that kind of title, other than critical accolades. It wasn’t like he indulged in that kind of recognition.

From my outside perspective as a fan growing up in the ’90s, it seemed like Soundgarden were the cool big-brother band in the Seattle scene that had their shit together, whereas Nirvana and Pearl Jam seemed a lot less comfortable in the spotlight. What was the feeling on the inside?
I don’t think we were particularly comfortable in the spotlight, either. I think that feeling was generally shared among the Seattle bands.

In a recent interview, Ad-Rock and Mike D talked about how putting together their new Beastie Boys book made it feel like they had their band back, because Adam Yauch was coming alive through the stories being told. Do you get a similar feeling from undertaking archival projects like this?
This particular one, not so much. Other collections we’ve made — Telephantasm, the Echo of Miles collection, the 20th anniversary of Superunknown, the 25th anniversary of Badmotorfinger, the Sub Pop reissue of Ultramega OK— all of those already gave me a perspective on the body of work Soundgarden has. All those things allowed me to reexplore that material, as well as bonus and unreleased material. So, at this point: no.

What are you most proud of when you look back at the catalogue?
I just like the body of work in its entirety. It’s a lot of material. Echo of Mileshad 50 recordings that weren’t on any album — that’s like another four albums right there!

Is there anything left in the vaults?
There is some unreleased Chris solo work, which are nice little gems. And there is material from the Sub Pop period that has never been released.

In interviews, you seem to bounce back and forth between soldiering on or just laying things to rest. What’s your feeling today? 
As long as I have ideas I want to share and people I want to play them with, I’ll do that.

You’re the one member of Soundgarden who’s never joined another band or side project …
Yeah, because Soundgarden was my band! So why would I be a member of another band?

But do you have any designs on doing a solo project of some kind?
Soundgarden was my project!

Is there a specific memory of Chris you have that captures a side to him fans may not have heard in the music? 
He was a playful guy, with a pretty good sense of humor. He was fun to horse around with. He was pretty knowledgeable about gastronomy, too.

Videos: "Concert Matrix Reloaded" Posts Rare Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, and Audioslave Shows

Just Added:
Soundgarden @ Poughkeepsie, NY
January 25th 1990

Original Post:

YouTube channel Concert Matrix Reloaded posts tons of rare Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, and Audioslave videos, including some full show bootlegs that have not been previously posted.

Watch/Download the YouTube videos below in [mostly] chronological order. We will also be incorporating the clips and shows into our Toy Box and Shows pages.

Temple of the Dog
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium - San Francisco, CA 11.11.2016

Sleep Country Amphitheater - Ridgefield, WA 08.29.2014

Guitar Center Sessions - 2014

Jones Beach - Wantagh, NY 07.09.2011
We were at this show and have photos posted here

Fiddler’s Green - Lollapalooza - Greenwood Village, CO 08.13.2003

Chris Cornell
The Paramount - Seattle, WA 02.07.2000

Chris Cornell performs “Can’t Change Me” on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1999

”Searching With My Good Eye Closed” - MUCH Music 1992

Temple of the Dog
Irvine Meadows - Irvine, CA 09.13.1992

Hippodrome de Vincennes | France 06.06.1992

Trocadero | Philadelphia, PA 05.10.1992
Download First Version | Download Second Version

The Warfield | San Francisco, CA 04.19.1992
Download This YouTube Video
Download Video We Had From This Show

Capitol Theater - Olympia, WA 09.1991

Philipshalle Düsseldorf - 04.16.1990

Vallerano - Bologna, Italy 06.08.1989

Club Lingerie - Los Angeles, CA 02.11.1988

"I Am The Highway" Chris Cornell Tribute Concert Announced | Featuring Soundgarden + Audioslave Members, Metallica, & Foo Fighters


Members of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave.

Foo Fighters, Metallica, and Ryan Adams

and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and special guests

Los Angeles Forum | January 16, 2019

Tickets Go On Sale This Friday, November 16th At THIS LINK

(Proceeds Will Benefit EBMRF)

Music Video: Chris Cornell - When Bad Does Good

For me this video represents my dad and all the art he created throughout his life and what his music meant then and what it means now
— Christopher Cornell

Music Video Directed By Kevin Kerslake

A new music video for Chris Cornell’s “When Bad Does Good” featuring Chris Cornell Jr. will be released this Friday, November 16th. We will post the video here once it is out on VEVO.

RollingStone: Kim Thayil on New Chris Cornell Box: ‘The Main Thing Is to Represent His Versatility’

Kim Thayil on New Chris Cornell Box: ‘The Main Thing Is to Represent His Versatility’

With the release of a new career-spanning Cornell box set, the Soundgarden guitarist explains how the track list came together and shares memories of his late friend

Article: RollingStone.com
Photo: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

“There’s a lot of things about Chris [Cornell] that people don’t know,” Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil tells Rolling Stone. “He didn’t bring a lot of baggage. Meaning, he didn’t carry a lot of things or materials or relationships within his life. He was a little bit independent of that. He traveled lightly.”

It’s late October, and Thayil is slumped on a black leather couch in the green room of the Metro club in Chicago, gamely sharing memories of his longtime friend and bandmate. He’s just come offstage after running through a tight soundcheck with the MC50, Wayne Kramer’s all-star MC5 tribute band, ahead of a barnburner of a show a few hours from now. Almost 29 years ago to the day, he was in this exact same room along with Cornell, drummer Matt Cameron and bassist Hiro Yamamoto while Soundgarden were touring in support of their album Louder Than Love.

The reason Thayil is opening up is because of a new four-disc, career-spanning box set simply titled Chris Cornell that the singer’s estate will issue on November 16th. Now available for preorder, the set features 88 songs that show off the full breadth of Cornell’s incredible musical life from his earliest beginnings with his iconic band Soundgarden to the one-off supergroup Temple of the Dog, his heady years with Audioslave in the early 2000s, and the whole span of an eclectic solo career that saw him writing James Bond theme songs and collaborating with hip-hop producer Timbaland. There’s also a bevy of unreleased live cuts, including a touching duet with his daughter Toni on Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” recorded at the Beacon Theater in New York.

As Thayil explains, the goal going in was to capture, “the breadth of his career, and the large spectrum of stylistic approaches to songwriting and the growth that was shown.” He added, “Obviously Chris isn’t there to put in his two cents, so we have to try to appraise what his feelings and sentiments will be. There are some cases where I remember distinctly that Chris didn’t like this song, or he didn’t like this record, or he didn’t like this particular version, so it’s like, ‘Let’s don’t use it.’”

Opening with “Hunted Down,” the very first Soundgarden single released by Sub Pop Records back in 1987, the collection winds through the many twists and turns Cornell took through his artistic life in a largely chronological format. You can listen in real time as his skills as a songwriter refine and develop. “The lyrics get a little bit more sophisticated, I think maybe a little more poetic,” Thayil notes of Cornell’s progression. “Maybe in the early days it was a lot of songs about dogs and the sun, you know?”

Though Cornell wrote most of Soundgarden’s lyrics — “It makes sense for the singer to write the lyrics, especially if you’ve got a great singer,” Thayil says — and a lion’s share of the songs, they were always a collaborative band. Even as Cornell became more confident in his own abilities as a songwriter and would compose fully realized demos on his own — his early, home-recorded version of “Black Hole Sun,” for instance, sounds shockingly similar to the final version on Superunknown — he typically left room for the other members of the band to add their own spin.

“He liked to be a completist, and be a complete author, but he left the solos and the color parts [open] ’cause he always knew that maybe there’s something that’s missing there,” Thayil says. “I would come up with something or [bassist] Ben [Shepherd] would come up with something or Hiro, or Matt.”

Just like anyone, Thayil has his favorite Cornell songs, like the Ultramega OK cut “Beyond the Wheel,” which sadly didn’t make it onto this set. “I think it’s pretty brilliant,” he says. “Psychedelic, heavy, a little sprinkle of evil.” He’s also very partial to “Rusty Cage,” which did make the cut. “There’s something about the guitar riff there that’s really imaginative, and the arrangement is not a verse, chorus, verse, chorus arrangement. It’s kind of like this A chorus and then this B section and it ends with this other entirely different riff.”

Beyond his songwriting, one of the most mesmerizing aspects of Cornell’s artistry was his ability to adapt his otherworldly voice to fit different moods on different songs. From the banshee wails on Audioslave’s barnburner “Cochise” to the subdued and sulky Singles-soundtrack solo cut “Seasons,” he knew exactly how to use his instrument to wring the most amount of emotion from a given piece. For instance, not many rock or metal singers are capable of pulling off something as gorgeous and understated as the rendition of Schubert’s immortal “Ave Maria” included on Chris Cornell. “I think the main thing is to represent his versatility,” Thayil says.

Cornell was also a natural at creating compelling re-interpretations of other people’s songs. There’s his husky take on Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Baby (Land of the New Rising Sun),” the simmering version of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” the soaring rendition of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” and of course Soundgarden’s inspired spin on the Black Sabbath classic “Into the Void,” where Cornell substituted Ozzy’s lines for a speech written by 19th-century Native American leader Sealth that fit the same meter.

For Thayil, a huge consideration when picking out the tracks for the box is how they might be viewed now given the nature of Cornell’s death. “One of my concerns was just making sure there weren’t any difficult lyric or themes. Just keep that off,” Thayil says. “There’s lyrics, or titles that may not be appropriate in this context. That might be difficult for friends, family.” That presumably meant that Superunknown cuts like “The Day I Tried to Live,” “Like Suicide” and Down on the Upside standout “Pretty Noose” were left out of the discussion entirely.

Because of the darker content of a lot of Cornell’s writing, many people got a sense of him as a brooding loner, but that’s not exactly the guy that Thayil remembers. “He was like a normal kid,” the guitarist says. “Very funny and very fucking goofy.”

Another consideration was to make sure that the contents of the comp stayed out of the way of some future projects that might eventually see release, including some new, unheard Soundgarden songs the band was refining at the time Chris died. “We were working on an album before everything came to a head, so we have some pretty strong demo material that we’re still trying to finish developing and accessing some of the recording material, to be able to flesh it out,” Thayil says.

If “When Bad Does Good,” the one unreleased studio song included on this set, is any indication, Cornell’s songwriting chops were only growing sharper as he grew older. You can thank Cornell’s friend Josh Brolin for the song’s inclusion here. The actor reminded Cornell’s widow Vicky of the song and his love for it after the singer had sent it to him to get his take on it. Written, recorded, produced and mixed by the singer himself, it again demonstrates the completist tendencies that Thayil alludes to. It’s a particularly powerful final statement from the singer-songwriter, with a clear message of hope.

Though Soundgarden has already put out a ton of unreleased archival material in recent years, as on the 25th-anniversary box set for Badmotorfinger, the 20th-anniversary box set for Superunknown and B side collection Echo of Miles, there’s still some tantalizing material left in the vaults. That might include the fabled 15-song cassette tape that comprises the earliest recordings the band made, even before their debut recorded appearance on the Deep Sixcompilation in 1986, when Cornell was still on drums.

“In terms of audio quality, that’s all 4-track stuff that we did in our basement,” Thayil says of that particular set of songs. “It’d be like bootleg-quality type stuff. But I think fans would appreciate that. At some point we’ll do that. That’s three-piece stuff, me and Chris and Hiro.”

“He was a really good drummer,” Thayil notes of Cornell. “He’s not like Matt [Cameron] but he wrote great as a drummer. I think so much so that Hiro and I entertained the idea of getting another singer so that Chris continued to write with us on drums. But Chris really want to get up from behind the drum kit, so he brought in a friend of ours, Scott Sundquist, on drums. It freed him up, and he got to do all the singing.”

Though there really isn’t a future for Soundgarden without Cornell, Thayil remains in touch with both of his other ex-bandmates on a pretty regular basis. In fact, he recently joined Cameron with Pearl Jam onstage at Safeco Field in Seattle, and the drummer has also played several gigs this year with MC50. The trio also memorably reunited in early October for the unveiling of a bronze statue of Cornell just outside the Museum of Popular Culture in Seattle along with the singer’s wife and three children.

“I talk to Matt all the time. We text, we’ll go out to dinner together with family,” Thayil says. “Ben and I will text out of the blue. We have so many mutual friends in common that we tend to cross over and see each other.”

Whatever may become of the recordings Cornell left behind, Thayil is determined to remain involved to help oversee them. “I’m gonna do the stuff that I’ve always done which is basically oversee the catalog, and the whole band would participate in that to some degree,” he explains. “But a lot of the time it’s kind of been my focus and concern from day one.”

In the meantime, he’ll keep playing with the MC50. A few days from now, he’ll actually be back in Detroit, the same city where he performed his final gig with Cornell. “I know that on paper it seems like something that’d offer closure, but I doubt that’s gonna happen,” he says. “Poetic irony too, that, playing with the Motor City Five.”

RollingStone: "Tom Morello Teams With Portugal. The Man for ‘Every Step That I Take’ on ‘Kimmel’"

Tom Morello Teams With Portugal. The Man for ‘Every Step That I Take’ on ‘Kimmel’

Author: Daniel Kreps
Article: Rolling Stone

Tom Morello recruited Portugal. The Man and Whethan for a scintillating rendition of “Every Step That I Take,” a track off the guitarist’s new EDM-influenced LP The Atlas Underground, on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The rendition served as a showcase for Morello to unleash his six-string fireworks, with the guitarist dropping an astounding solo toward the latter half of the collaboration.

Morello previously revealed that “Every Step That I Take” was dedicated to his late Audioslave band mate Chris Cornell, and that he had partnered with the SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) organization. The Atlas Underground finds the Rage Against the Machine guitarist collaborating with artists like Marcus Mumford, Vic Mensa, Big Boi and GZA as well as EDM acts like Bassnectar, Knife Party and Steve Aoki.

“I wanted to make a record that was unapologetically a guitar album, but that had the sonic imprints of 2018,” Morello recently told Rolling Stone, adding of the album’s EDM influence. “What I heard in their music was very simpatico with the analog rock & roll music that I love best… It was the tension and release, it was the huge drops, it was the communal frenzy that they created, for me in the mosh pit, for them on the dancefloor.”

Morello also recently unveiled a lyric video for the track off The Atlas Underground, which was released Friday.

Seattle Times: "Kim Thayil Talks Soundgarden's Future, Playing With MC5"

Kim Thayil talks Soundgarden’s future, playing with rebooted MC5 — his ‘favorite band ever’

Author: Michael Rietmulder
Article: Seattle Times

Back in the mid-’70s, Kim Thayil was a Chicagoland teen listening to bands like Kiss and Aerosmith, and whichever other hair-flipping rock bands were featured in Creem and Circus magazines. Throughout the pages of those once-revered hard-rock chronicles, he discovered references to bands like the New York Dolls, the Stooges and MC5. It took several months, but the future Soundgarden guitarist eventually turned up a used copy of “High Time,” the last studio album from recalcitrant proto-punk greats MC5.

“I find this and it’s different,” Thayil says. “This is much wilder. This abandon in this music, it’s more dangerous. There’s elements of chaos and a little bit sinister. There’s a political component. The lyrics aren’t as vacuous as the rest of what would have been called heavy metal or hard rock then.”

It was a “significant point of passage” in Thayil’s musical education, and 40 years later the guitarist — who has similarly influenced another generation of musicians — finds himself playing with a reincarnated version of the Motor City Five to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its seminal “Kick Out the Jams” LP, playing the live album in its entirety. Aligned with the White Panther Party, the Detroit agitators — who received their fourth nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week — laid an unruly, politically charged blueprint in the late ’60s that would inform some of the earliest punk bands.

For this anniversary run, founding guitarist/author Wayne Kramer hand-picked a lineup featuring Thayil, Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, Marcus Durant of Zen Guerrilla and Faith No More bassist Billy Gould (who replaced King X’s Doug Pinnick in July). Soundgarden and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron has joined the band, billed as MC50, for a dual-drum assault on select dates, including their Oct. 16 gig at the Showbox. L.A.’s Starcrawler and Olympia punk vets Fitz of Depression open.

Though he hadn’t heard from Kramer in a while, Thayil sat in on a few songs when an MC5 reunion tour (featuring Mudhoney’s Mark Arm filling in for the late Rob Tyner on vocals) hit Seattle more than a decade ago. Thayil contradicts himself a bit describing his decision to join the MC50 tour, calling it an “obvious no-brainer” but admitting it required some thought. After the death of his friend and Soundgarden mate Chris Cornell, Thayil wasn’t sure if he was ready to make a creative and emotional commitment to another group.

“I think if anyone else had called I would have declined,” Thayil says. “But because it was the MC5, which is my favorite band ever, and that opportunity was there, I had to say yes.”

Seattle fans got a taste of what the Thayil-Cameron connection can do with MC5’s incendiary material when Thayil joined Pearl Jam for a punchy “Kick Out the Jams” cover during the second of the band’s Home Shows in August. As much fun as they were clearly having on stage, Cornell was on everyone’s minds that night, with Pearl Jam covering his low-rumbling rarity “Missing” and Thayil sporting a T-shirt with the late singer’s visage. In many ways it was like “being with the Soundgarden family,” Thayil says, noting both bands share many of the same crew members.

“I couldn’t ask for a more special environment to play in Seattle, to play with my friends,” he says. “We had our family and friends there with us. The whole context was very warm and wonderful and loving.”

As for Soundgarden’s future, Thayil says more releases are in the works. Thayil is managing the band’s catalog, working with Sub Pop on possible compilations, live albums and other unreleased material, as well as discussing potential projects with A&M. While Thayil plans to continue making music with Cameron and bassist Ben Shepherd (among other friends), writing or touring under the Soundgarden banner again seems doubtful. “No, I don’t think that’s anything we’d give reasonable consideration to at this point,” Thayil says. “When I say ‘at this point,’ I mean perhaps ever [laughs].”

Pressed for more, he adds: “I don’t know really what kind of thing is possible or what we would consider in the future. It’s likely nothing. The four of us were that. There were four of us and now there’s three of us, so it’s just not likely that there’s much to be pursued other than the catalog work at this point.”

But for now, Thayil’s having a blast touring with MC50 and looking forward to playing a hometown show, which he says are always “a little bit nerve-wracking.” Like most everyone in the Seattle music scene, Thayil has fond memories of the Showbox, seeing and working countless shows there in the ’80s when he worked at KCMU. And of course, there was that infamous Soundgarden reunion in 2010, when the quartet performed together for the first time in 13 years.

“It kinda felt like I was the mayor of Seattle,” Thayil says of that night. “I had so many friends and family, guys in other bands hanging out. It was pretty crazy.”

Chris Cornell Statue Unveiling At MoPOP

Photo: Jenny Gruber Twitter | Tumblr

MC50 @ Milwaukee, WI 09.25.2018 #KiMC50

Jeffgarden disciple and Fox News addict Lea Marić was able to make it to last night’s MC5 show at the Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI (scroll for photos & video clips)


Now Streaming: Chris Cornell - When Bad Does Good

Stream the new Chris Cornell single now, and pre-order the box set


Apple Music | iTunes

Spotify | YouTube | Amazon | Google Play Music


Standing beside an open grave
Your fate decided, your life erased
Your final hour
Has come today
Lit by the fire of your temples burning

You are a child
And so was I
Now you’re a hunter
But I am a lion

And I will cut you down
Like I’ve done so many times

Sometimes bad can do some good,
Sometimes bad can do some good

And I heard you say that
Flesh sells by the pound

When blood is raining down
It cuts a deep river

And I’m diving

Now shine a light down
On to the earth
And shake this gold dust out
Out of the dirt

No saints beside me
And no prayers to guide me

Sometimes bad can do some good,
bad can do some good

Sometimes bad can do some good

(Rain down, heaven is falling)

I’ve chosen a side
And I will show no pity
And spare no lives
For those who try me
Let it be understood

Sometimes bad can do some good,
Sometimes bad can do some good


#tbt Chris Cornell's 2013 Reddit.com AMA (Ask Me Anything) Session

(Photo: Chris Cornell @ Las Vegas Hard Rock Grand Opening 10.15.2009, Jeffgarden.com)

Chris Cornell’s Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Session From 2013


Hey Chris, so what's your opinion on people using their smartphones to record video at concerts?
I’m fine with it

Which tour was better: your first official tour, where you first realized people were actually coming to see you guys, or your reunion tour
definitely the reunion tour

Will you acknowledge my existence ?

What is the one song that is personally the hardest for you to sing and why?
Every single song is different. Its not about range. Sometimes the highest ones are easy. The ones that are the hardest sometimes are the easiest because I focus on it so much. For example: The Day I Tried To Live.

is it hard to ride a Segway ?
Much easier than I thought. They should make a high performance one.

What's the first song you learned on guitar?
sunshine on my shoulders by John Denver http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrI_VXLUcFk

Have you or are you planning on seeing Jurassic Park 3D?
I actually think 3D is ruining cinema.

What is your favorite song from Badmotorfinger?
Rusty Cage has the best mix.
Slaves and Bulldozers is definitely the most fun to play live.

Did your vocal style come naturally at first, or was it something you had to work at to refine when you began making music? And what was it like the first time you heard yourself recorded singing with a band, did you hear it and think you could someday helm a world-famous outfit like Soundgarden?
Singing to me was just about having fun. It’s always evolving.

What was it like performing Black Hole Sun with an orchestra at E3 a few years ago?ChrisCornellSG
hard because I couldn't see the conductor

[User since deleted account]
What is your first memory of music?
a children's record that included the song "she'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes" when I was two and a half.

Can you pleasepleaseplease sing Right Turn when you headline festivals in May with Alice in Chains?
Sorry, don’t know the song

Hey Chris, if you could be in any other band, who would you be in?
The Tubes


what do you like to eat for breakfast?
don’t eat breakfast

What are your favorite things to do on your day off ?
being with my family

What songs do your wife and kids like to hear you sing ?
The ones that are about them 

Can you please bring back Audioslave? Please???

Hey Chris. Over the years, Kim Thayil has mentioned a possible album of Soundgarden b-sides. Are you still going to put that out? Also, what are the chances of remastering Temple of the Dog?
for sure, don't know when, but its likely the next release we do.


Can you start playing Blind Dogs live ?
We did it at the PBS Artists Den performance at the Wiltern for the first time in 15 years. Our friend Ross Halfin asked us to do it.

Is Beast ever going to be released ?
yeah, It probably will be

[Question deleted, but obviously asking about dream collaboration]
Its a catch 22, because the ones I would want to collaborate the most with I would be too afraid to collaborate with. For example John Lennon, how would you sit in a room and collaborate with him? I'd feel unworthy. 

Over the years, what is the best venue you’ve played at ?
Sydney Opera House

What are your favourite sports teams? And to which music do you listen in your free time?
My son's favorite team is the Miami Heat and since he is the coolest person I know, I'm going with The Heat.


What is your favorite perfume/fragrance ?
lysol (and you can drink it)

Favorite super hero ?
incredible hulk, he’s just like my dad


Hey there Chris, do you have a favorite kind of guitar? Either electric or acoustic?
I mostly play acoustics when song writing.
When I plug in I play my [Gibson 335 Cornell Model] (http://cms.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/ES/Gibson-Custom/Chris-Cornell-ES-335.aspx)


You've been covered many times, by many different artists. Out of all those covers of your work, do you have a favorite or two that come to mind?

PS: I've done a cover of Preaching the End of the World myself. I'd be extremely gratified to know you heard it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs3IyJ2tRBo

PPS: Thanks for the decades of excellent music. You've been one of my favorite singer-songwriters for more than half my life.
billie jean http://youtu.be/c2MgwAJrfXo


Hi Chris, me and my friend are huge fans and we were wondering if you have a cat or like cats?
I like cats, I have a lamp made out of one

What album that you have worked on is your favourite?

Which side project did you find the most rewarding?

Finally, a local radio DJ claims you could sing the phonebook and still sound amazing. Would you be willing to try it? For science?
done it


Cats, dogs, or other ?
dogs or falcons


Hi Chris! Thank you so much for doing this AMA.

  1. What are some of your non-musical hobbies?
  2. What would you want to do if being a musician didn't pan out?

fuck, I don’t have any



Hey Chris…what’s your favorite Jeff Buckley Song ?
I love the cover he did of the Big Star song [Kangaroo] (http://youtu.be/KrprtydmcNk)


What is a Spoonman and what inspired that song ?
spoonman is a real guy that is a virtuoso spoon player and brilliant entertainer, as well as a super unique and great person. he's in the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0_zzCLLRvE

Any chance of another Temple Of The Dog album?

I was at the Soundgarden show in Hyde Park last year. It was an amazing gig. When it started to hammer down with rain in the middle of Black Hole Sun the whole thing jumped up several notches vibe-wise, and stayed there for the rest of the show. Did you notice that, and what was it about the bleak weather that added so much to the performance and atmosphere?

I missed my chance to see you on the Down On The Upside tour back when I was a teenager. I just couldn't make the gig. Figured I'd catch you the next time around. It took longer than I expected. So glad you're back together.

Will you and Eddie Vedder make some more music, please? I love both of your voices.

Hey Chris,

What do you do to warm up your voice before a performance?

soundcheck, sometimes vocal exercises, sometimes nothing. the best warm up for me is singing the songs. or a quality cigar.

How does it feel to be one of the only people Ringo Starr is following on twitter?! (Have you ever met him?)
Yes, I have met him. He is an inspiring individual.

[User account has since been deleted]
When is Soundgarden going to tour India? You have heaps of fans here!
I would love to tour India, we'll meditate on it

What is your favorite Beatles song ?
they’re all my favorites


[Question deleted but obviously referring to Matt Cameron]

He’s one of the best drummers/musicians ever


Billboard: Soundgarden's Kim Thayil Says MC5 Anniversary Tour Helped Him 'Come Out of the Fetal Position'

Article (Billboard)
9/5/2018 by Gary Graff
Photo: Marc Broussely/Redferns via Getty Images | Kim Thayil of Soundgarden performs on stage at Brixton Academy on Sept. 18, 2013 in London. 

Kim Thayil acknowledges that he "wasn't sure" if he was ready to get out and play in public again when Wayne Kramer called him earlier this year to be part of MC50, his new band celebrating the 50th anniversary of the recording of the MC5's debut album. But as the group prepares to start a North American tour on Sept. 5 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Soundgarden guitarist says it's been just what the proverbial doctor ordered.

"(Kramer) asked if I wanted to play, and my jaw dropped," Thayil, who had been largely out of sight since Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell died by suicide last May in Detroit, tells Billboard. "I thought two things -- 'Am I ready to come out of the fetal position?' and then 'How could I be any more ready than this opportunity to play with what I consider to be my favorite band.'

"So I made myself ready. It was like, 'Fix your head. This is The One!' When I mentioned it to friends of mine they didn't hesitate; They said, 'Omigod, jeez, this is your dream. You should do this!' The timing was pretty good, I think. I was allowing myself to be ready."

Thayil has been an MC5 fan since he was a teenager and began reading references to the MC5 and the 1969 Kick Out the Jams album in periodicals and interviews with other artists he liked. "At some point I started getting into some heavier music than I was hearing on AM radio and kinda learned to switch the dial from AM to FM and find significantly heavier and trippier music than what I was hearing before, and it was right up my alley," Thayil recalls. "I think I really connected with the MC5 because there was so much to that music. Obviously a band like the MC5 has the influence and appeal across a number of genres -- the obvious ones like acid rock and heavy metal and, later, punk rock, but I would draw a line from the song 'Shakin' Street' to (Bruce) Springsteen's work. And there was the free jazz (the MC5) drew from. So there was a lot there."

The all-star MC50 played a few dates in Europe earlier in the summer, during which Thayil reunited with Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron. The group -- which also includes Zen Guerilla's Marcus Durant on vocals, Faith No More bassist Billy Gould, Fugazi's Brendan Canty on drums -- wraps the North American tour during late October with two shows in the MC5's home turf of Detroit (where the MC5 recorded Kick Out The Jams live during Halloween weekend of 1968), then returns to Europe during November. MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson, the only other surviving member of the band, may participate in some shows, but on an ad hoc basis.

For Thayil, the immersion has been not only a welcome return to music but a chance to learn even more about his favorite band. "It kind of appeals to the Soundgarden aesthetic," Thayil explains. "There's a combination of those same elements -- a progressive element but also a heavy rock thing and a loose, wild thing -- that I see in MC5. Some of the songs have some really curious, interesting parts, little time changes that can throw the drummers for a loop. Learning as Wayne showed us, there's a lot of stuff that wasn't as readily obvious as you would think by listening to the records, and that was kind of a surprise. And it was cool."

As for the future of MC50, Thayil says he's "getting that vibe" that the group could become a going concern and even make its own music. "I think everyone enjoys each other's company and makes each other laugh and has a similar sort of social and cultural sense about them," he notes. "It does tend to be an open-minded, progressive, forward-thinking group, which I think is probably appropriate for the MC5."

Thayil says that prior to getting the MC50 call he'd been "up and down, in and out" in the wake of Cornell's death. "Everything has improved day by day," he says. "Obviously there's still emotional shadows and ghosts. Like anything else it's something that improves with time." He says he, Cameron and bassist Ben Shepherd "still talk to each other frequently and text and call and check in on each other and see how we’re doing. I imagine we will do more things in the future, one of which will be Matt sitting in on a few more MC50 shows. I'm sure I'll do stuff with Ben as well." Thayil does, however, dismiss notions that anything was visibly amiss with Cornell during Soundgarden's May 17, 2017 concert at the Fillmore Detroit prior to his suicide.

"I thought the show was good," Thayil says. "I remember Chris had just gotten in (to town) and was a little tired and his voice was a little rough, but by about the fourth or fifth song it kicked in and then it was just, like, super amazing -- beautiful, clear and strong and, I thought, particularly emotive." Thayil adds that a moment of the show when Cornell was absent from the stage for a protracted period when the guitar he'd be playing was out of tune and a backup wasn't immediately ready. "He had to leave the stage, I remember, and he just kind of poked his head around and said, 'Go ahead, start without me,' at which point Ben started jamming on something and we all fell in until Chris was ready," Thayil says.

"People speculate, and they get causality in reverse," he adds. "I guess it's natural to try to fill in the blanks to explain a particular mystery," he adds. "I think it's natural to say that, 'We know something terrible happened, so we know there must have been some sort of problem. Let’s see what that problem might be. Well, come to think of it, the show was kind of messy....'"

Soundgarden has been in the midst of archival projects in recent years, with expanded editions of albums such as Badmotorfinger and Superunknown and others. No future releases have been planned yet, and Thayil says he, Cameron and Shepherd are still grappling with how they want to proceed.

"We often reference rock history and we've often commented on what other bands in similar situations have done," Thayil says, "not as a plan or anything but just commenting on how bands have handled situations like this and what bands seem to have been graceful and dignified in how they manage their future musical endeavors and how some maybe were clumsy and callous. We think about those things. We try not to go too deep into these conversations, but stuff comes up after a few beers."