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Interview:
Soundgarden reunion is an unqualified success
 

By GARY GRAFF
For Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Soundgarden has been making up for lost time since the Seattle band reunited in 2010, after 13 years apart.

The quartet has released a best-of collection ("Telephantasm: A Retrospective"), its first-ever live album "Live on I-5" and has played a steady stream of festivals and tours. Most importantly, in November it put out its first new studio album since 1996, "King Animal," which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.

"It didn't really take that long for (the reunion) to start including all the normal things that a band does," notes frontman Chris Cornell, who during the interim was part of the all-star band Audioslave with members of Rage Against the Machine and also released four solo albums. "It pretty quickly steered into the notion of writing new material and making a record. And all of that was fairly effortless and normal and seemed to go as if we hadn't really had a long break.

"We just got right back in step."

Cornell adds that he and his bandmates have been most pleased to see fans embrace the "King Animal" song alongside Soundgarden's older material, a catalog that's sold 22.5 million albums and won a pair of Grammy Awards for "Spoonman" (Best Metal Performance) and "Black Hole Sun" (Best Hard Rock Performance).

"We're playing them mixed in with songs that were anywhere from 13 to 23 years old, and that felt really great," he says. "We've never been a band that stared out trying to figure out what our specific idea, musically, was and repeat that. We've always been reaching, and we're still doing that, and it was really evident when we started mixing in new songs with the old songs on the contest of a rehearsal and a show."

Soundgarden is expected to announce more live dates for 2013, but those will be coordinated with drummer Matt Cameron's continuing responsibilities to Pearl Jam. Meanwhile, Cornell says that "every time we're in a room together we're coming up with something new," which makes it sound like Soundgarden will have more new music in the future.

"I don't see any reason why not," Cornell says. "I think the overall attitude about keeping it going...is really good. We had a good experience making this album, and since we've come back together everything has been kind of that way.

"Our attitude is that we're doing this because we love and it because it matters to us and not for any other reason, and everything else kind of takes care of itself."

Soundgarden performs Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are sold out. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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