Behind The Lens: Exclusive Interview with Paul Lorkowski

In anticipation of the looming month of May, we wanted to do something special for our photography post since we know the coming days bring about a whirlwind of emotions and feelings. We reached out to Paul Lorkowski, who has taken some memorable photographs of Soundgarden, to see if he would be willing to answer some questions and give us a bit of an exclusive.

He graciously did just so, and also hopped on a call and candidly chatted about some of his favorite memories and experiences while on the road with the boys. One thing was apparent right away: Paul wasn’t just a photographer on tour with the band; he is genuinely friends with the guys and values them as people, as well as artists. That’s what made this interview much more personal for us, and hopefully to all of our readers.

Most fans will recognize his work immediately but will be surprised to find that he hasn’t always necessarily considered himself a photographer per se, though he is clearly extremely talented. It’s likely that his knowledge of Soundgarden and the intricacies of their music that also enabled him to capture such stunning moments on stage.

Since the topic of the band and Chris are understandably still very difficult for him to open up about, we are truly grateful that he trusted us with this interview in order for fans to get to know a little bit more about the man who has taken so many incredible stage and candid snaps of our favorite people.


Lea: I really appreciate you talking to us because I’ve always wanted to interview someone who, you know, was on the road with them, but I hate bugging them because I know they’re getting spammed by fans and tagged in everything possible on social media, so I was trying to be low-key, but this is awesome, thank you.

 

Paul: Of course! So, I know you asked about this previously, about what I was doing before, and how this whole thing like kind of came to me.  I grew up 10 minutes outside of Seattle, and right out of high school I joined the Air Force.  I just retired after 24 years of active duty, so I was on serving the military the whole time that I was with the band. I would just take leave and vacation to go on tour, so the military was my whole life.  

 

But of course, being around in the 90s I grew up with all of these bands, especially Soundgarden, and I continued to follow Chris’s solo career, you know and Pearl Jam and ...Chains, you know that whole thing was right in my wheelhouse.

 

In 2009, I met Chris. I did some side-gigs for him, and we just hit it off. A couple weeks later, he flew to Seattle, and he asked me to pick him up at the airport - I did that - and after that, we became friends and...so, when I picked him up at the airport, it was for the first Soundgarden reunion show, and after that it just took off.

 

Lea:  So, you were a photographer before, when did you...

Paul: I was not a photographer; I’ve always been into the arts.  I’m not an artist by any means, but at some point when the band started getting back together, and they were jamming, it seemed like...I always thought that in their past, there wasn’t this archive, so I felt that they weren’t represented as well as they could have been. So because I had the access, I just kind of like - obviously with their permissions - just took it upon myself to start taking pictures, just so they had it.

 

Lea: As fans, we thank you for that, because that’s been one of the biggest frustrations ever.  All these like very extra in-depth documentaries on Pearl Jam, Nirvana...there’s a decent amount of Alice in Chains stuff out there, but somehow Soundgarden has habitually flown under the radar. I think Banger Films was starting a documentary, but then I think it was 2015 still that they decided to shelve it, so we were like “oh my god when are we finally going to get something?” so yeah, we thank you for your work.

 

Paul: Yeah, for me it was just like, one I thought I had the eye for it, and then two, I thought somebody just needs to be doing this.  I wasn’t doing it for myself, at all.  It’s not like I was doing it to get a job, I was already essentially Chris’s assistant, but I was doing it for them, not for me.

 

Lea:  That’s fascinating, I really hadn’t thought that because your pictures are so professional and you really do have the eye, so I thought “ok, I need to find out where he started his photography career so I can make a timeline” but yeah, I had no idea!

 

Have you worked with a professional camera before, or was it like you just picked it up and learned the logistics of it pretty quickly?

 

Paul: Yeah, I just picked it up, learned…but there was a learning curve at the beginning, and I still don’t have extensive equipment that I use or anything.  It just kind of generally works out.

 

I think I was able to capture stuff, and this goes back to being a fan, is like I know the music, and I know the setlist, so I know when Chris is going to throw his arms in the air, or when Kim is going to move his hips ha ha.  I know the show, so I was able to put myself in positions to capture these moments.

 

Where somebody else - especially just doing the first 3 songs - might not get those moments. Just understanding the show, and the flow just let me get into those positions.

 

Lea: I think that’s a big reason why your photos, to me, personally stand out.  You know how to catch that moment.

 

Was there a specific stop on the tour that stood out, for better or worse?

 

Paul: When we got to Memphis, Chris got out of the car, and I was waiting for him, and I had sent him all the pictures from the night before, and he was like “You are becoming an amazing photographer.”  And then that night I took that photo that’s on the outside of the MoPop.

 

Australia was great.  When you’re a tight-knit group like we were, that was super fun.

 

There was a show in Lake Tahoe, and it just didn’t seem like it was going to work for me, but then the crowd removed all the folding chairs, and they just rocked out, and it was amazing.

 

Lea: That’s awesome! That’s one of the things I really liked about Soundgarden shows. There was just kind of this understanding amongst the fans like we were all there, we kind of all had that same love for the band.  The festival shows were a little different, but specific Soundgarden shows you felt that closeness with the other fans.

 

So, I know that a lot of photographers that worked with the band didn’t necessarily listen to the band before they started working together, especially in the early days, so it’s cool to talk to a photographer that actually was into the band, even when they first started out.

 

Do you have any specific favorite songs from any of the bands or Chris’s solo career?

 

Paul: Oh yeah I mean, obviously I really liked the older, heavy stuff.  I mean I like it all, but I mean on tour, I like to hear “Incessant Mace” or “Beyond The Wheel,” you know the heavy stuff.   And I also love when Chris is able to put the guitar down and free himself up a little bit to move around on stage and stuff like that.

 

With Chris’s solo stuff, if you remember the Sweden acoustic set, he did before he ever did Songbook shows…

Lea: One of my favorites!

Paul: When I heard that I was like “This is what he is meant to do. This guy can do this forever. This is what he should be doing”.  I loved Euphoria Mourning and all that, but the acoustic stuff was something that was just right in his wheelhouse.

 

Lea: I can’t even count on my fingers how many Songbook shows, or solo shows I’ve seen live, because I went to a lot of them.  We’re pretty lucky because I know there are a lot of recordings of his Songbook tours.  I think we might be able to hold out for a Songbook 2.0 eventually because there are a lot of decent quality recordings out there.

 

I know you were friends with Chris, and we want to respect your privacy, and to keep your moments with him as yours, but if you did have a favorite memory or a favorite moment with him on the road that we can share with the fans, that would be cool to hear

 

Paul:  Well one, I want to say, seeing other bands and their crews, the one thing I would want everyone to know, is that this band - the 4 band members - and the crew, it’s not like a band/crew thing, it’s like a family thing. The crew is really tight, and so that part to me was very special.

 

Whether we were going out after a show, or just the bus rides, the laughing, and the talking, and the joking, it was like any other group of friends just talking trash and joking around; it was like that every day.

 

And that was every member of the crew.

 

And then Chris, he brought me out on stage in New Zealand on my birthday, and that was awesome.  We had an apartment just outside of Seattle, so instead of staying at a hotel, we would stay there.  Growing up in Seattle, and then being able to sit with a guy like Chris that was so down to earth and normal, and just listen to him…

 

We would just sit outside on the deck and watch the traffic on the 405, and he would just tell stories about being a kid and growing up, we would talk about our kids, and so those are the things I look back on.

 

Lea: He always had that banter at his live shows.  His acoustic shows especially. That was probably every fans’ favorite thing where he would just ad lib and talk about random stuff.  It was just completely natural repartee with us, and I feel like that’s why a lot of people feel connected to him because he had that - he could just relate, like you said, he was very down to earth.  I can just see that you two in your own moment just shooting the shit would be amazing.

 

Paul: Yeah, yeah totally.

 

Lea: The other thing I was going to ask you, I know a lot of people are very curious about you.  You take such great pictures, and then recently you were posting some of the newer stuff. Do you have any future projects that you might be doing or do you have any ideas to do anything special with your photos like a book, a coffee table book, or anything like that?

Paul: Well anything I would do, would be in coordination with the band and family.  I would never do something like that on my own, just out of respect to them.  I don’t have anything in the works.  

 

Obviously, the Tuscaloosa picture was the inspiration for the statue outside MoPop,  and the Memphis picture is the one that’s on the outside of MoPop, and so that was cool for me.  Just kind of bitter-sweet, but at least it wasn’t just somebody random. 

 

Project wise, there’s nothing big.  I believe I might have some photos or so hopefully that.


Speaking with Paul brought upon a familiar sense of comfort that we haven’t experienced in a while now that it’s been years since a show. That vibe you feel when you talk to someone who really understands that deep connection to Soundgarden’s music. We are tremendously appreciative of Paul’s openness and willingness to discuss some topics that are still very tender.

Paul was also generous enough to share some exclusive photos with our readers as he knows Soundgarden fans are always in search for the newest or never-before-seen snaps of the band.

© Paul Lorkowski Photography

© Paul Lorkowski Photography

© Paul Lorkowski Photography

© Paul Lorkowski Photography

Due to high demand, he has also begun to sell prints on his website, www.paullorkowski.com.

We look forward to hearing and seeing more from Paul now that we’ve gotten to know a little bit more about him and are eternally thankful that he took time out of his day to speak with some fellow fans and admirers of his work. From what we can tell, his photos from behind the scenes will be an instrumental part of keeping the legacy of this band alive.

Be sure to give him follow on social media to stay current on all his latest photo releases and updates.




Thank you Paul!

 

TBT: Soundgarden On The Cover Of Reflex Magazine December 1991

Reflex Magazine
December 1991 Issue
Thanks Martha [Twitter] (follow at your own risk)

RollingStone - "Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil: My Favorite Grunge Albums"

Rolling Stone magazine’s recent “50 Best Grunge Albums “ featured 5 Soundgarden albums, prompting them to reach out to Kim and ask for his personal favorites. Below is the magazine’s write-up of Soundgarden’s albums (plus a couple compilation and side-project records), followed by their follow-up with Kim.

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Soundgarden, ‘Screaming Life’ (1987)

A far cry from “Black Hole Sun,” Soundgarden’s first big release, Screaming Life, is knotty, trippy and sprawling. At the time, guitarist Kim Thayil didn’t riff so much as swirl his lines around the rhythms, bassist Hiro Yamomoto wrung uncharacteristically chiming notes from his instrument and Chris Cornell was a topless howling banshee. Opener, “Hunted Down,” which was also the band’s first single, rattles and lunges unpredictably, as Cornell sings about wearing a “permanent disguise”; “Tears to Forget” boasts harder-hitting rhythms than the version on the Deep Six comp; and “Hand of God” is like a twisted, stuttering heavy-metal funk song (something the band would attempt somewhat more seriously on their bizarre cover of the Ohio Players’ “Fopp,” off the Fopp EP, which Sub Pop has added to Screaming Life). “Prior to Screaming Life, we were kind of angular and jagged,” Thayil once told Rolling Stone. “We did a lot of psychedelic stuff built around the feedback and Hiro’s bass lines. Gradually, that psychedelia made it so I was pushed into doing solos. Then the riffs started getting heavier. You just see how the audience responded to what we were doing, and you flow with that. Our songs started getting a little bit slower and heavier.” The record was pure art-punk, and it showed just how malleable grunge could be. K.G.

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Soundgarden, ‘Louder Than Love’ (1989)

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Grunge’s major-label debut is a lumbering, lubricious, pistol-whipping blow to the head. Although songs like the revolutionary-minded “Gun,” orgy-themed “Full On Kevin’s Mom” and the tongue-in-cheek “Big Dumb Sex” (“I know what to do/I’m gonna fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck you” in full stereophonic glory) are decidedly not ready for primetime, the album climbed into the lower half of the Billboard 200 and proved to be influential, inspiring Metallica’s Kirk Hammett to write the riff for “Enter Sandman” (“I was trying to capture their attitude toward big, heavy riffs,” he said) and providing cover fodder for Guns N’ Roses, who interpolated “Big Dumb Sex” into T. Rex’s “Buick McCane.” Future Pantera producer Terry Date worked with the band and helped them play up their metal edge, but that obscured the irony of some of the songs, which were more “meta” than metal. “I’ve learned that parody only works if you’re ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic and that’s what you do,” Chris Cornell said in 1994 of GN’R’s appropriation of “Big Dumb Sex.” “If you listen to that song, and you don’t know the band, and you don’t know that we’re joking, then it is [like] Aerosmith.” The band would revamp its sound on its next record, 1991’s Badmotorfinger, following Cornell’s more traditionally rock-oriented Temple of the Dog side project and the departure of bassist and prolific songwriter Hiro Yamomoto, making the unwieldiness of Louder Than Love all the more impressive in hindsight. They couldn’t have taken this sound any farther. K.G.

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Soundgarden, ‘Ultramega OK’ (1988)

When Soundgarden recorded “All Your Lies” for the Deep Six comp in 1986, the track was a messy, herky-jerky guitar explosion, and Chris Cornell snarled on it like a cat in heat; he even gave it a little demon laugh. The band overhauled the tune for its first full-length, the Grammy-nominated Ultramega OK, released two years later, and turned it into a bulldozing punk-metal juggernaut with a faster tempo and more cutting vocal attack. “We were unclassifiable,” Cornell said shortly before his death, “but we were unselfconscious about songwriting so we weren’t manufacturing anything.” That carefree aggressive sensibility resounds on the album’s leering, Led Zeppy “Flower,” the lumbering “Incessant Mace,” the locomotive “Mood for Trouble” (which spins the riff from the Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin'” on its head) and concert showstopper “Beyond the Wheel,” on which Cornell stretches his vocal chords across three octaves, and guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamomoto make their instruments flutter. “I was trying to ratchet up the intensity,” Cornell told Rolling Stone of the latter song in a previously unpublished interview. “I remember thinking, ‘Is this going to seem like sort of a geek trick [showing] I could sing in three octaves?’ I was trying to avoid that. Ultimately it became one of those songs where it could never be a radio single, it was on an indie album, but it’s one that people always react to as though it were a hit song on the radio.” K.G.

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Various Artists, ‘Deep Six’ (1986)

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Leaf through the pages of the freshman class of Seattle grunge’s yearbook — a.k.a. the booklet that accompanied the 1986 multi-band compilation Deep Six — and you’ll see Melvins’ Buzz Osborne rolling his eyes back into his skull while digging his pick into his guitar; Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, shirtless and muscular, channeling Iggy Pop; and Malfunkshun’s Andy Wood mugging like a New York Doll. The comp is an invaluable document of where it all began. The record, which came out on the Seattle label C/Z, collects 14 ragers from Soundgarden, Melvins, Green River (which begot Pearl Jam and Mudhoney), Skin Yard (featuring guitarist turned producer Jack Endino), Malfunkshun (Mother Love Bone singer Andy Wood’s first band) and the U-Men. The recordings are crude and heavy — Deep Six’s highlights include Soundgarden’s Devo-ish “All Your Lies,” Melvins’ furious “Blessing the Operation” and Green River’s seething “10,000 Things” — but that raw vitality is part of its charm. This is basically an ultrasound of grunge in utero. When Melvins paid tribute to Chris Cornell earlier this year, they included Malfunkshun’s walloping “With Yo’ Heart (Not Yo’ Hands)” in the set, ostensibly as a nod to Wood’s influence over Cornell and the scene as a whole. “The Deep Six compilation was really important to us,” Green River drummer Alex Shumway recently told Rolling Stone. “It was the first time we went to a ‘real studio.’ It had this mind-blowing feel to it. And it’s like everybody on Deep Six has become famous or there’s a person in the band that has moved on in the industry.” K.G.

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‘Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’ (1992)

With Cameron Crowe writing and directing and Matt Dillon and Bridget Fonda leading the cast, the flanneled rom-com Singles symbolized grunge’s cultural-crossover moment. But starting with the fact that Crowe had begun working on it pre-Nevermind and that he had his own personal bond with Seattle (his then-wife, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, was a longtime resident), Singles was far from a crass cash-in. And its accompanying soundtrack, released several months in advance, was a note-perfect introduction to the scene by way of new, direct-to-Singles contributions from many of its leading lights. Some of those tracks — Pearl Jam’s ferocious “Breath” and “State of Love and Trust,” Screaming Trees’ burly “Nearly Lost You” and Alice in Chains’ Andrew Wood homage “Would?” — were peak grunge moments, and Chris Cornell’s acoustic “Seasons” captured the lesser-known psych-folk side of the scene. (Tracks by Jimi Hendrix and Ann and Nancy Wilson’s Lovemongers side project also reminded everyone that Seattle rock didn’t start with grunge, either.) Crowe, a fan of the way director Mike Nichols used Simon and Garfunkel songs in The Graduate, called the Singles soundtrack “like a little Graduate moment that happened. Singles felt like an opportunity to really fly into the arms of that feeling.” D.B.

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Soundgarden, ‘Superunknown’ (1994)

By 1994, grunge had taken over the radio, the festival world (Lollapalooza) and MTV, but where could it go from there, especially as an art form? Soundgarden knew: The band had to show it wasn’t just that month’s flavor but the next phase of rock itself. As Chris Cornell later told RS, “I felt like all of us were going to have to prove that we deserved to be playing on an international stage, and to have videos on TV and songs on the radio, and it wasn’t just a fad like the ‘British invasion’ or a ‘New York noise scene.'” In the face of that pressure, Cornell and his bandmates wrote their most robust group of songs — from bucking-bronco rockers like “Drown Me” and “Superunknown” to dark psychedelia like “Black Hole Sun” and “Fell on Black Days” — and producer Michael Beinhorn sculpted the splattered-paint fury of their early days into something colossal. The result was a fourth album that coincidentally was Soundgarden’s own Led Zeppelin IV: a record that revealed new, often subtler facets of the band and instantly felt like one of the landmark hard-rock records of all time. D.B.

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Temple of the Dog, ‘Temple of the Dog’ (1991)

The death of Mother Love Bone singer Andy Wood in March of 1990 left the Seattle rock community completely devastated. The charismatic frontman was close friends and roommate with Chris Cornell, who poured all his heartache into new songs like “Say Hello 2 Heaven” and “Reach Down.” Once he played them for surviving Mother Love Band members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard and learned they’d just formed a new band with some guy from San Diego named Eddie Vedder, they all decided to come together and honor Wood by recording them under the moniker Temple of the Dog. It didn’t take for the project to grow into a full album. “It was a time when more importance was placed on albums,” Cornell told Rolling Stone in 2016. “Then it became cathartic and fun.” After Cornell’s shocking death in 2018, the songs of loss and regret took on a whole new meaning. A.G.

2
Soundgarden, ‘Badmotorfinger’ (1991)

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After Chris Cornell had a revelation while working on Temple of the Dog, a project that forced him to refocus his songwriting toward catchier and more concise tracks, he led Soundgarden into a new era with Badmotorfinger, the band’s commercial breakthrough. Although drummer Matt Cameron proudly told Rolling Stone“We don’t make pop records,” when the album came out, it arrived at a time of sea change for heavy rock, and the band scored a trio of hits with “Outshined,” “Jesus Christ Pose” (thanks in part to MTV banning its video) and the rhythmically off-kilter “Rusty Cage” — the last of which Johnny Cash later covered. Each of the songs had a uniquely brutalizing riff, paired with Cornell’s otherworldly, always-perfectly-on-pitch shrieking, that made it a classic. Meanwhile, deeper cuts like “Slaves & Bulldozers” and “Searching With My Good Eye Closed” became live go-tos, because of the way they pummeled audiences. “After Louder Than Love, we kind of had to turn back,” guitarist Kim Thayil once said. “The dark psychedelia, which was replaced by our slight visceral heaviness on Louder Than Love, that came back and so did the quirkiness [on Badmotorfinger].” Soundgarden were heavier than Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but they still wrote anthems, securing them an easy place among the first wave of grunge superstars; the album made it to Number 39 on the Billboard 200 and has since been certified double platinum. It also earned a Grammy nomination. “I love Badmotorfinger because it sounds great in a car,” Thayil once said. “It’s got a lot of weird quirks in it — as is typical with Soundgarden. We always added that element of crazy and weird. We had an ability to not take ourselves too seriously, while committing to the heaviness. Sort of like laughing while kicking your ass.” K.G.


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Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil: My Favorite Grunge Albums

From Nirvana’s ‘Bleach’ to ‘God’s Balls’ by Tad, the guitarist shouts out records by Seattle-area bands

Kory Grow April 2, 2019 12:06PM ET

When Rolling Stone compiled our list of the 50 Greatest Grunge Albums, the MVP was clearly Soundgarden. Five of the band’s records made the cut — everything they released from their debut, Screaming Life, through 1994’s Superunknown — and two of those LPs placed in the top 10. Their 1991 album, Badmotorfinger, came in at number two, following only Nirvana’s Nevermind.

The group formed in 1984, playing psychedelic punk on early songs like “Hunted Down” and “All Your Lies,” tracks that showed off Chris Cornell’s jaw-dropping vocal ability. Eventually they introduced genre hallmarks like off-kilter time signatures, heavily thunking riffs and melodic pop songcraft until they were dominating radio playlists with songs like “Outshined” and “Black Hole Sun.” Their trajectory paved the way for many of their peers; they were one of the first bands to sign with Sub Pop and they were the first grunge act to sign with a major label.

Because of Soundgarden’s importance, we reached out to the band’s guitarist, Kim Thayil, to find out what his favorite grunge records are, and how he defines the genre. “I think for a number of years, most of the Seattle bands avoided the term ‘grunge,'” he says. “It’s kind of hard to recall what might be considered grunge or what might have been referred to as metal or pop or punk. I think the easy way to define it would probably be: ‘Seattle-area music of a particular community and genre during a particular period of time from the mid-Eighties to the mid-Nineties.'”

To narrow it down, Thayil — who says he currently has no projects in the works, “just a lot of things on paper and in my head” — picked records by artists that started up mostly in the Seattle area and put out albums on regional labels. Here are his favorites.

Nirvana, Bleach (1989)
I’m picking Bleach for this list on the strength of “Negative Creep,” which would be amazing as a hardcore song or as sort of a metal-grunge song. I also love the riffs on “Blew” and “Swap Meet”; I’d listen to those over and over. That record was so popular with our band when we were touring. We’d play Fugazi, Margin Walker; Meat Puppets II; Neil Young, After the Gold Rush; and Nirvana, Bleach, all the time on a cassette player in our van.

Nivana opened up for us a few times, and we were like, “Shit, these guys are good.” I remember thinking they’ve got some cool songs and Kurt could sing, but their stage presence really didn’t have that confidence or identity yet. Kurt would just stand there and not move, and his hair was in his face. He had zero charisma, except for [the fact] he had a good voice. Chris [Cornell] definitely picked up on his voice. In a year or so, they found their groove and that confidence. Live, it was pretty amazing.

Green River, Dry as a Bone (1987)
Of all the Green River records, I liked Dry as a Bone the best. The first record, Come On Down, is a little bit more grungy I suppose, but it’s not as memorable as the stuff on Dry as a Bone. And their Rehab Doll album is sort of like tipping their hat toward L.A. glam, which I never like that shit, ever. But Dry as a Bone is the one that got me with the vibe that was like the Dead Boys and Aerosmith.

At the time, I think [guitarist] Bruce [Fairweather] was hyping them as being like the Stooges meets Aerosmith. I never really saw the Stooges thing. I also love Dry as a Bone because of its packaging, that sort of [Green River and Pearl Jam bassist] Jeff Ament school of graphics that was popular back then. I love the fact that it’s a quick record, five or six songs and they’re all pretty strong.

Melvins, Gluey Porch Treatments (1987)
I could pick almost anything by Melvins, but I’m going to say Gluey Porch Treatments since it was their debut album. They made a lot of albums that were more inventive creatively and better produced sonically, but I’m picking this one because I like to think of them in that period.

They were the slowest band in the scene, but they started of being the fastest. At times Buzz had this Gene Simmons thing to his vocals, but the music was incredibly arty and somewhat experimental even if they were never self-conscious about it. They may not have been aware they were being so arty at the time, but all the rest of the bands certainly took notice. Just the fact that they slowed down was a big deal. The fact that they have arrangements that would often not repeat was cool too; it would just be a linear sequence: A, B, C, D, N.

U-Men, U-Men EP (1984)
There’s an argument about whether the U-Men are grunge or not. They’re certainly proto-grunge. Everybody kind of looked up to them. They were distinct from all the other bands in Seattle in the early Eighties; most of the bands in Seattle kind of sucked. They were either goofy New Wave or some kind of college butt-rock. And then the U-Men came along and they had these jagged rhythms. They were inventive and had a lot of charisma. Everyone in that fuckin’ band had a presence. It was fun to watch, and the way they related to the audience and each other was great.

Malfunkshun
In the absence of a real Malfunkshun album, I’ll say all Malfunkshun should be on this list. There’s an album called Another Pyrrhic Victory, and Malfunksun had a couple of songs on that, “My Only Fan” and “Shotgun Wedding.” And the Deep Six compilation had “Stars-N-You” and “With Yo’ Heart (Not Yo’ Hands).” Those are amazing songs. And there’s a Malfunkshun album [Return to Olympus] that’s posthumous on the Loosegroove label.

That band was very inspirational and influential, just because they were heavy as shit. Kevin Wood’s guitar playing was way fast and not coherent; it was this chaotic, crazy fast thing. And [singer] Andrew [Wood] was crooning, dressed-up and comical, and then when the riffs came in, it was truly heavy. It was just amazing. They could also have a nice R&B groove when they needed one in the metallic sets. They would refer to themselves as “Mötley Crüe North” or “Kiss West Coast.” It was hilarious.

Andy Wood was a fun guy. He was definitely a character and a personality. [Editor’s note: Wood died in 1990.] Even at shows Malfunkshun didn’t play, we’d get Andy to MC as “Landrew, the Love Master of Ceremonies.” There were a few shows we were headlining, and Landrew would come out and introduce each band, and he would come down from “Olympus” and introduce the bands. It was hilarious. He was wearing these giant Smurf boots, and he’s got makeup on.

Skin Yard, Hallowed Ground (1988)
I don’t think any of us [in Soundgarden] really liked the first Skin Yard record, but we liked them as people and the uniqueness of what they were trying to do. Then they became heavier, more in the mold of Soundgarden or Tad, and they started making better records that were kind of fun. By the time they put out Hallowed Ground, they were getting into the groove and had the rock idea going.

Jack Endino was experimental as a guitarist, but he’s got a background that’s all rock. He’s the one who turned me on to Budgie and the Groundhogs back in the early Eighties, and of course he loved Sabbath. He likes big riffs. On Hallowed Ground and the subsequent records, they really captured Jack’s interest and his strength as a rock fan and rock guitar player. When the songs got stripped out a little bit to become more rock, it was also a lot easier for [vocalist] Ben [McMillan] to develop lyrics and melodies that would fit, so I think on this one you get the best of Ben McMillan and Jack Endino. [Pauses] And we got the best of Skin Yard when their drummer, Matt Cameron, came over and joined us.

Mudhoney, Superfuzz Bigmuff (1988)
Mudhoney had this great presence from [singer-guitarist] Mark [Arm]. And I always liked the way Steve [Turner] played guitar; I liked his solos, because they were loose and somewhat expressive. It’s easy to be supportive of them. I’m putting Superfuzz Bigmuff on this list for no other reason than the song “In ‘n’ Out of Grace,” which his probably still my favorite Mudhoney song. I love the line, “Oh, God, how I love to hate,” and the way it kicks back in from Danny [Peters’] drum solo. It’s just an amazing moment every time they do it live. And the groove is cool; it’s this weird Blue Cheer thing.

Tad, God’s Balls (1989)
I’m picking God’s Balls because of [bassist] Kurt [Danielson’s] poetic background. I think some of that insight contributed to the band. And then I love Gary [Thorstensen’s] inventive guitar playing and use of feedback. He had colors to augment what would otherwise be the same old linear groove. That album was so important because it helped establish Tad as an influential and significant artist from the Seattle scene. They weren’t just knuckleheads.

When they came out, they were marketing [frontman Tad Doyle] as some kind of retarded lumberjack, but he’s an incredibly smart, articulate multi-instrumentalist and a producer and engineer himself. They had him write his name left-handed on the single: “My Name is Tad.” What the fuck? It was silly and obnoxious because Tad’s a super smart guy.

Screaming Trees, Clairvoyance (1986)
I don’t know what you’d call them, but they were probably grunge at least by fashion. They were wearing flannel independently of us. I like Clairvoyance for the song “Clairvoyance,” but my favorite song on there is probably “I See Stars” followed by “Orange Airplane.” After this album, they kind of fattened up their sound.

Their influence and impact on us and on Seattle was definitely significant. They were influential in getting us on [the record label] SST. They came to see us out in Ellensburg [Washington] and they talked us up to Greg [Ginn] and Chuck [Dukowski]. SST was our favorite label in the early to mid-Eighties. Since then, [Soundgarden bassist] Ben [Shepherd] has worked with [Screaming Trees frontman Mark] Lanegan, Chris [Cornell] co-produced Screaming Trees’ Uncle Anesthesia and they were managed by our manager for most of our career, Susan Silver, at some point. They were very much part of the family.

Alice in Chains, Facelift (1990)
Alice in Chains came from a different scene, but then started playing with us and Pearl Jam, and they played some shows with Nirvana on Facelift. I think of a song like “It Ain’t Like That,” and I love the groove. When I would play with them onstage, they’d ask me what song I want to do, and that was the one. [Sings the opening riff] I love that riff and that song. I wish I’d written it, and that’s why I love that album — just because of that song. It’s easy to fall in love with something when you think, “Why the fuck didn’t I think of that?” The whole record has great stuff on it.

Pearl Jam, Ten (1991)
Ten was a super album with the super hits. It kind of speaks for itself. Everyone has a copy of that at some point. There’s no question it’s a great record, simply in terms of commercial success, and personally it’s important to me because I know those songs from a live context.

I saw them live a few times before the record came out as [original band name] Mookie Blaylock and as Pearl Jam. Mike McCready and Eddie [Vedder] were strong additions to what Jeff [Ament] and Stone [Gossard] had been doing in their previous bands [Green River and Mother Love Bone]. Mike was a really strong lead guitar player who worked with where their songwriting was going, and it was just emotive. It could do all the things you want a lead guitarist to do, especially for the songs they were writing. And then it complemented one of the greatest rock vocalists ever, someone who was so emotive that the first few times I saw him, I actually had those weird tingles go up my spine. I think Jeff Beck’s done that for me, and Chris [Cornell] and Eddie and Derek Trucks. I’m sure there are other performances that have done that for me, but Eddie’s voice certainly did that.

"In The Studio" Video Blog Looks Back On Superunknown For Its 25th Anniversary

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SOUNDGARDEN- SUPERUNKNOWN 25TH ANNIVERSARY- CHRIS CORNELL

Time flies when you’re making history. When listening today to the uncanny way in which songs such as “Spoonman”,”Fell on Black Days”,”Black Hole Sun”,”My Wave”,”The Day I Tried to Live”, and “Superunknown” on Soundgarden‘s March 1994 Superunknown somehow bridged the evolution of rock over the preceding quarter century, it feels like merely twenty-five months have passed, not years.

When it came time for Soundgarden to enter the studio in 1993, the song stash was empty, a daunting creative challenge to main songwriter Chris Cornell. All of the ripe musical fruit had been harvested for the series of singles,  EPs, and three preceding albums including Badmotorfinger,  but Chris found the untilled earth liberating as well, fertile musical ground. No doubt one of the strongest aspects of the songs that Cornell, crunchy angular guitarist Kim Thayil, thundering bass player Ben Shepherd, and powerhouse drummer Matt Cameron came up with on Superunknown   twenty-five years ago was their unapologetic admiration for the Vol.4-era Black Sabbath sound and unabashed dynamics of Led Zeppelin. The late Chris Cornell is my guest from the In the Studio  archive. – Redbeard

The Man Behind the Lens: Charles Peterson

If there is one photographer’s name that is instantaneously synonymous with the Seattle music scene, it would undisputedly be Charles Peterson. During the reign of Sub Pop, he was in the midst of it all, capturing historical photos of bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, Mud Honey, Pearl Jam, Green River and many many many many more “grunge” heavyweights.

Peterson’s ability to take incredible photos of concert crowds and translate the intensity of the motions in the mosh pit into print is just one dimension of his massive talent.  Of course, we all love to see images of our favorite front men crooning into the mic, but during the days before camera phones, the way Peterson turned the camera on to the crowd helped encapsulate the vibe that defined that transitional era of music.

CHARLES PETERSON / CHARLESPETERSON.NET

CHARLES PETERSON / CHARLESPETERSON.NET

The Seattle audiences were entertaining. I didn’t want to just get a head shot of the lead singer. I wanted to get the experience, make you actually feel like you’re there. ... I like the composition part of shooting. The way my eyes and brain work together — I’m constantly composing with or without a camera.
— Charles Peterson

With a knack for capturing movement, Charles has also taken some incredible photographs of Soundgarden in action, especially from the early days which we affectionately refer to as Babygarden.

CHARLES PETERSON / CHARLESPETERSON.NET

It wasn’t long before Charles Peterson achieved cult status among music fans not just in Seattle, but all over the world. Just the other day fellow friend and fan found a print of his while walking down the streets of Bologna, Italy. His images truly can be found everywhere from iconic album covers to music publications and zines dating back to the 80s and 90s. Check your local record store or music museum; you will probably come across a Charles Peterson piece.

Scene from the documentary HYPE!

Scene from the documentary HYPE!

Many people may recognize Charles from his memorable cameo in the indie docu-flick called HYPE! In his segments, he’s sitting on the ground completely surrounded by photos he took from various gigs, stopping to comment on several memories tied to specific photographs.

HYPE! celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017 with a re-release with extra footage

HYPE! celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017 with a re-release with extra footage

We just so happened to be in Seattle for the 20th anniversary screening of HYPE! and had the privilege of hearing Charles Peterson speak during the live commentary portion of the event. Though soft spoken, Charles has many wise words when he speaks about the music scene that so many young people today admire and fantasize about today. His speaking portion begins around the 9-minute mark.

Being in the same room as this magnanimous panel of “grunge” greats was an awesome experience and it was comforting to hear them speak about Chris and his impact on the Seattle music scene. Check out more details from that event here.

Though Charles mostly keeps a low profile, his portfolio boasts pictures that span the realm of sweaty grunge shows and into beautiful scenic photography from his travels and candid photos from events like Sundance Festival. Take a moment to visit his website www.charlespeterson.net to explore just how talented our favorite grunge photographer is.

We want to extend a huge THANK YOU to Charles Peterson for all of the crucial and memorable work he has done photographing artists of the Seattle music scene and beyond. Without his skilled eye for capturing our favorite artists in their element, we wouldn’t have all of these beautiful pictures to look back on and remember those whom we have lost.

For fine art prints please contact Charles for direct sale pricing.

For more Charles Peterson check out the following publications:

  • Touch Me I'm Sick, by Jennie Boddy (Author), Eddie Vedder (Author, Introduction), Charles Peterson (Photographer)(PowerHouse, 2003)

Click to purchase

Click to purchase

  • Screaming Life : A Chronicle of the Seattle Music Scene, Charles Peterson (Author, Photographer) (Harper Collins, 1995)

Click to purchase

Click to purchase

  • Pearl Jam: Place/Date, Charles Peterson (Author), Lance Mercer (Author) (Rizzoli/Vitalogy, 1997)

Click to purchase

Click to purchase

  • Cypher, Jeff Chang (Author), Charles Peterson (Photographer), (PowerHouse Books 2008)

Click to purchase

Click to purchase

You can also catch mentions of Charles Peterson in Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge by Mark Yarm (not to be confused with Mark Arm)

Click to purchase

Click to purchase

Films featuring Charles Peterson:

  • All apologies : Kurt Cobain 10 years (2006)

  • The Last 48 hours of Kurt Cobain (2007) 

  • Seven ages of rock (2007)

  • Hype! (1996) 

  • Photographs were used in Cobain : Montage of Heck (2015) 

  • Too young to die : Kurt Cobain (2012)

We dedicate this post in memory of Othello, the most handsome babushka on four legs.

Article: Interview With 'Superunknown' Producer Michael Beinhorn (eonmusic)


'Superunknown' Producer: The Thing I Told Chris Cornell That Completely Changed Direction of This Album

"He was trying to write songs for Soundgarden fans, which I strongly urged him against," Michael Beinhorn explains.

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Michael Beinhorn has worked with some of the biggest names in Rock. The man behind the desk for Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marilyn Manson , Korn and a whole lot more, he’s perhaps best-known as the producer behind Soundgarden’s monolithic ‘Superunknown’ album. Launching a new pre-production service, we sat down with Michael to talk about the importance of song writing, his work with Ozzy Osbourne, and the album that brought the world ‘Black Hole Sun’. On the other side; Eamon O’Neill.

Hi Michael, you’re starting a new venture offering pre-production to musicians and bands; why have you decided to focus on that area?
Well, the focus is on pre-production, and I discovered over this past fifteen years now, that fewer and fewer people are actually using pre-production to make records. A lot of people because of budgetary restraints are just rushing into recording studios with a bunch of songs once they’ve written them, and they don’t really think about what may or may not be working with the songs. That decision is one of the single most vitally important that a person can make before they’re going to make a recording. If they’re going to rush into the studio with a bunch of songs that are potentially good before they’ve honed the arrangement right, they’re going to regret that. It’s really about focusing, and putting as much attention as possible into the end result.  

For artists who arrive into the studio without doing any pre-production, would you say that it ends up costing them more in studio time?
Yeah. The thing is there’s one finite aspect of recording right now, and that’s the budget. The budget now is what dictates everything. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it’s important to have some kind of limitations when you’re making a record, depending on what level artist you are. The thing is that when every single decision is dictated by how much or how little money you have to make your recording, it kind of puts you up against a lot of unfair pressure. For example, if you’re work is based in creativity, it doesn’t make sense that you should be completely and utterly restricted by how much money you have to work with. I mean, sure, you’ve got money to make a recording on the one hand, but on the other hand, there still has to be considerations made; how are we going to make this the best recording possible?

Surely that’s the most important question?
That is the question that’s always been asked when I’ve been involved in recordings in the past, regardless of what the budget was. There’s no reason in the world why artists shouldn’t be able to deal with the same kind of variables, no matter what their financial situation is. That’s really where this comes from; I want to make available to people something I consider that has been vitally important in the making of records for decades. To a lot of extent, it’s made a lot of recordings that people are familiar with, as good as they are; because people had time to work on them, they had time to invest in creating the structural element, not just going in and banging a bunch of parts out.

With the advent of quality home recording in the last decade and a half, has the role of the producer become more undervalued?
It depends on the genre of music you’re talking about. It also depends who the artist is. In many cases, the role of the producer has actually expanded considerably, and I don’t necessarily think that that’s the best thing either. I’ve always enjoyed a healthy balance between the producer and the artist, really. We have a collaborative aspect going on in a recording; with an understanding that the artist is really the person who’s responsible for creating the music, and the producer is there as someone who’s there to help recognise the vision. That’s strength in numbers. You have a bunch of talented people coming together under one banner, with a joint vision. Assuming that everybody’s wonderfully talented and there’s great material for it, and great performers, the resulting collaboration is always fantastic. 

That magical collaboration you’re talking about is exemplified perfectly on Soundgargen’s ‘Superunknown’, which you produced in 1994.
Yeah. I will say that once the songs were written, I didn’t really have to do a whole lot, in terms of rearranging it. I think it was more a matter of getting them on the right track with their stuff and really encouraging them. But, if I hadn’t been there, the record wouldn’t resemble by a long shot what it looks like now, because the songs that they initially started with were like a shadow of what the record wound up being. 

What was it that you brought, was it arrangements, guitar sounds – the picked verses of ‘Black Hole Sun’ for example?
As far as the Leslie guitar that he plays on the arpeggios – which I think is what you’re thinking about – that was all in the demo. That was his demo, but to give you an idea of what my involvement was from, I was getting a lot of demos from Chris [Cornell]. As I mentioned, they started with a bunch of songs, some of which were good. About four or five actually wound up being on the record, but the rest of it was kind of meandering jams, and it wasn’t anything steady, and none of the songs that were singles were in those batch of songs. I’d say the most important aspect of it was, I said to them; “Look, we can’t get started here, you don’t have a record. We need to write more”. 

So you sent them away to write?
I was getting songs from Chris, and after about a month and a half, I realised that he was starting to go in a natural direction. He and I had a conversation about it, and we focused on what he really loved musically, which is something that he hadn’t really considered. He was trying to write songs for Soundgarden fans, which I strongly urged him against, because my feeling is like; “look, if you write the song, and your band plays it, it’s going to sound like Soundgarden!” You don’t have to write songs that are going to please the constituency of your fans; they’re either going to stay fans or they won’t - all you have to do is write songs that you really love.

It sounds like that piece of advice changed the direction of ‘Superunknown’ considerably.
About two weeks after that conversation he sent me a cassette tape and I played it. There were four songs on it. The first was ‘Fell on Black Days’, the last was ‘Black Hole Sun’, and from the first few notes of ‘Black Hole Sun’, I was like; “Oh my god! This is incredible” I listened to the song many, many times - I just kept playing it over and over and over again, and I just called him up, and I was like; “This is incredible. We’re ready to record now. You’ve basically got the most important track on the whole record, and it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever heard”.

The song has gone on to become almost immortal; Is it strange to think you were one of the first people to ever hear it, and have a hand in its creation?
It’s still pretty mind blowing. It’s wonderful because people still listen to it, it’s wonderful that people are still inspired by it and still love that record so much, and it’s wonderful because the record does what I wanted it to do. I meant to do something that would hit people emotionally, that would affect them; that they wouldn’t just hear it, but they would feel it, that it would be something that would get under their skin, and would stay with them. And that’s not like; “Oh, I wanted to sell millions of copies”, that’s like, yeah, that’s great, I’m very happy about that too, but it’s secondary. It was really important to me that this album would mean something to people. I knew that this band could create something, I just had no idea it was going to be that.

And that people would be asking you about it all the bloody time!
If I told you I’m sick of talking about it; that would be disrespectful, and it would be terrible, because that song was beneficial to all of us. And it’s a wonderful, wonderful piece of music; even dissecting it musically is so much fun because there’s so many wonderful facets to it that I think very few rock songs actually have.

Moving on, and in 1995 you worked on Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Ozzmosis’ album; was it a struggle to get that one down?
It took a long time [*laughing*]. It took a long time trying out some of the material for it, and I also worked Ozzy’s record in the middle of someone else’s record. It took months to assemble all the material for it and to coordinate everything. It was definitely a movie, and I remember we were looking at studios and Ozzy called up and he told me all the studios he didn’t want to work in, and then he hung the phone up! [*laughing*]. We wound up tracking the record in a studio in Paris, and it was a long, drawn out process.

You had Ozzy, Zakk Wylde, Geezer Butler and Rick Wakeman on there; does it go to show that even with the right ingredients, it doesn’t necessarily lead to a great album?
It’s funny because you can work as hard as you can, and you can put as much intent and as much effort into something as you possibly can, but if the stars aren’t aligning and everyone isn’t on the same page? You really need to have so many things heading in the same direction in order for something like that to work. I’m certainly very grateful that the record was a [commercial] success. Unfortunately a lot got lost in translation too. I’d recorded it a certain way; I had come up with this two inch eight track analogue recording system that no one had ever used before, and I tracked the drums on it, and unfortunately when it was mixed, the guy who was mixing it didn’t really know how to work with it. He lost all the subtleties and the depth of the drum kit, so that part of it was kind of heart breaking.   

It sounds like it was a completely different recording experience to ‘Superunknown’ the year before.
Well, it’s hard to describe it exactly. Comparatively speaking, on a record like ‘Superunkown’, there was just an energy about it, like, I can’t really describe it. It was one of these things where you just knew that this thing was going to happen no matter what; like we were all just pawns it in. I could say; “Oh, I did this, I did that”, but the fact is that we were really just being drawn along by some other kind of force or energy or whatever, that took the whole project to its inevitable conclusion. To me, that’s the best that you could hope for when you have a recording project. Ozzy’s record? Not so much. He’s not much of a participant, or at least he wasn’t on that record. He kind of left us to our own devices. It was me and the other musicians, and I think when you’ve got a record that is basically by a solo artist, it’s a little more difficult if the solo artist isn’t really heavily involved in the creative process. 

Despite that, it still contains ‘I Just Want You’, which is still a classic, underrated track.
It’s really funny, I only had one DAT recording of the way the drums sounded when we first tracked them in Paris, and to this day – this is going to sound very immodest, and I apologise for that – but I’ve never heard a better recording of drums in my entire life. I mean, it was that good. 

For you, what would you point to as examples of some of the best produced albums recorded?
Oh, there’s so many, oh my god. It really depends. The thing is production is something that you can’t always detect what it is, because it’s so much more. The only way you could really know what production really is, is by comparing an album that an artist did with one producer, with one they did with another producer, and looking at where song structures were changed, as well as sonic elements. From an overall perspective, obviously Beatles records are incredible, as are Led Zeppelin records which are self-produced; that’s a feat in itself, because there’s virtually no one else on the face of the earth - save maybe Prince, who could really self-produce like that. That’s over the top. Chris Thomas[The Sex Pistols, Roxy Music, U2]; his records are amazing; and I think no matter what anyone says about him, I think Mutt Lange is a genius. His records with Def Leppard and AC/DC are stupendous. 

AC/DC is a great example of what you’re talking about; comparing the difference between the Lange-produced ‘Back in Black’, and the self-produced ‘Flick of the Switch’.
Yes, and you can see where that went; you can see what Mutt actually brought to them. There’s an element that’s actually very subtle that Mutt introduced into their records. There’s a very refined quality to their records, and I think that that comes through in the sonics, as well as the feel of the performances. He’s a bass player, and he’s got a very, very refined sense of feel. I love what he did with their stuff. To me, adding contrasting elements, adding refinement to something that’s really rough and basic and nasty; that’s fantastic, and it gives the listener something to grab hold of.    

Moving back to your latest venture, what are you hoping to achieve?
I would really like to focus musicians on making better recordings, and how they can be proactive in their own work. One of the reasons why recording projects still cost a certain amount of money is you hire some guy who takes a large portion of your budget, who’s going to go into a studio with you for a week, maybe two weeks, cut everything and then go. And that’s the end of your project, instead of taking time to really look at the songs and making sure that when you go in with that guy, your material is stuff that you’re so confident about, you have no problem laying it down. I spoke to someone recently who I’m working on one of these projects who said; “Before, the only way whether my songs were good, was once my record was completed and mixed”; now think about that, that’s kind of sad, being an artist but not knowing. That’s terrible, and I don’t see any reason why people should have to suffer through that, so that’s my aim.

Does that mean that you’re no longer active as a producer, or will you be doing both in tandem?
I’m doing everything! I don’t rule anything out.

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 -
The Kicking Machine | With Yo’ Heart, Not Yo’ Hands (Malfunkshun cover) | Leech (Green River cover) | Let It All Be | Honey Bucket | 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

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

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

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
Download


Soundgarden
Sleep Country Amphitheater - Ridgefield, WA 08.29.2014
Download


Soundgarden
Guitar Center Sessions - 2014
Download


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


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


Chris Cornell
The Paramount - Seattle, WA 02.07.2000
Download


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



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


Temple of the Dog
Irvine Meadows - Irvine, CA 09.13.1992


Soundgarden
Hippodrome de Vincennes | France 06.06.1992
Download


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


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


Soundgarden
Capitol Theater - Olympia, WA 09.1991
Download


Soundgarden
Philipshalle Düsseldorf - 04.16.1990
Download


Soundgarden
Vallerano - Bologna, Italy 06.08.1989
Download


Soundgarden
Club Lingerie - Los Angeles, CA 02.11.1988
Download


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
Author: CORBIN REIFF
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.”

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.”

#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

 

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

chark311
Which tour was better: your first official tour, where you first realized people were actually coming to see you guys, or your reunion tour
ChrisCornellSG
definitely the reunion tour

Nevertoogrungy
Will you acknowledge my existence ?
ChrisCornellSG
no

cosne18
What is the one song that is personally the hardest for you to sing and why?
ChrisCornellSG
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.

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

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

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

themac10
What is your favorite song from Badmotorfinger?
ChrisCornellSG
Rusty Cage has the best mix.
Slaves and Bulldozers is definitely the most fun to play live.


ClownSuitCowboy
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?
ChrisCornellSG
Singing to me was just about having fun. It’s always evolving.

Oidisco
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?
ChrisCornellSG
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.


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

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

 

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

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

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

QueenJames
Can you please bring back Audioslave? Please???
ChrisCornellSG
Sure

deaddogseye81
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?
ChrisCornellSG
for sure, don't know when, but its likely the next release we do.

 

imaac
Can you start playing Blind Dogs live ?
ChrisCornellSG
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.

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


[Question deleted, but obviously asking about dream collaboration]
ChrisCornellSG
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. 

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

haihappen2
What are your favourite sports teams? And to which music do you listen in your free time?
ChrisCornellSG
My son's favorite team is the Miami Heat and since he is the coolest person I know, I'm going with The Heat.

 

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

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

 

Haluminescence
Hey there Chris, do you have a favorite kind of guitar? Either electric or acoustic?
ChrisCornellSG
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)

 

ShaelRiley
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.
ChrisCornellSG
billie jean http://youtu.be/c2MgwAJrfXo

 

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


Zrk2
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?
ChrisCornellSG
done it

 

azapuk
Cats, dogs, or other ?
ChrisCornellSG
dogs or falcons

LovededYouPiggy

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?
    ChrisCornellSG

fuck, I don’t have any

 

 

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


 

Frajer
What is a Spoonman and what inspired that song ?
ChrisCornellSG
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



CherryRedSixtySeven
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.
ChrisCornellSG
YES !

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

newdawnrising
Hey Chris,

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

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



bfisher91
How does it feel to be one of the only people Ringo Starr is following on twitter?! (Have you ever met him?)
ChrisCornellSG
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!
ChrisCornellSG
I would love to tour India, we'll meditate on it



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

 

[Question deleted but obviously referring to Matt Cameron]

ChrisCornellSG
He’s one of the best drummers/musicians ever