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Chris Cornell Tries On New Sounds

Of the Oakland Press

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Former Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell raised some eyebrows — and ruffled more than a few feathers — by veering from his usual rock sound into dance beats and grooves with producer Timbaland on his new album, “Scream.”

But Cornell promises it was a natural creative development and not a move contrived to create controversy.

“It’s not taking chances for the sake of taking chances, like bungee jumping off a bridge ‘cause it’s exciting,” says Cornell, 44, who also collaborated with Justin Timberlake and John Mayer, among others, in writing songs for “Scream.” “It’s just music. It’s writing and creating and recording music in differing ways, in which there are infinite possibilities.

“To me, it would be small-minded to define music as one specific genre I’d want to live in as a musician. Not only is that small-minded, but it would be boring. I would probably want to do something else.”

An even more exciting prospect, Cornell adds, is taking “Scream” on tour and blending the new material with songs from his bands as well as his previous two solo albums.

“It’s just another level to go to, sonically and rhythmically, that doesn’t really sound like anything else,” he explains. “I do pretty long shows, and as the set progresses, it’s a fusion of different feelings and a different rhythm. It’s really broadened the variety of my set and changed the way I look at writing a set.

“So it’s that — and the simple fact it’s just another 14 songs to draw from in an already pretty long recording career to go out and perform live, which makes it more interesting.”

Chris Cornell and Outernational perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday (April 14) at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $37. Call (734) 668-8397 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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