The last few months, unfounded rumors of a Soundgarden reunion have been stoked by events like the convening of the Seattle bandmates (minus frontman Chris Cornell) at a Washington club. Afterwards, Cornell was asked what he made of the gig with grunge icon Tad in his place, and whether he'd reunite with the band in the future. His response: "You never know."
Last week, Cornell spoke to Rolling Stone about Michael Jackson's influence on a generation of rockers, and told us Soungarden have been talking — not about touring or recording, but about the band's legacy. "The only thing that we have talked about is trying to put together an album of B sides and maybe a box set with some unreleased tracks we have," Cornell says. "This is something we first talked about 10 years ago. We all feel it's time to do that, and we have a lot of fans out there, and we have a lot of new fans discovering our music, and I think the catalog and the legacy of the band has been ignored by the record label and previous management, so we decided to get together, and start working towards putting something like that out."
Cornell was steadfast in his denial that a tour would be happening this time next year, adding that such talk has been nonexistent. His main Soundgarden-related focus? Getting those B sides out. "We did so many B sides, and we were always miffed by the concept that the largest part of our audience was in the U.S., and yet, we were always churning out B sides for other territories, so they would buy the local release instead of the import. That's what I am the most excited about, to get that collection out so every one knows its there and has access to it. I think a box set would be good, too."
While Cornell — whose rockier Howard Benson remix of Scream track "Long Gone" is still going strong — has often said that he likes the way Soundgarden left things off, at their height and before the music started sounding forced, nowadays, he seems to be singing a slightly different tune. "I've always said nothing is impossible," he explains. "I never wanted to be one of those people who tries to predict the future. I don't want to know what I will be doing two years, five years from now. I want to be open to anything, but nothing has changed in terms of our attitude toward it. It takes somebody to really stand up and say, 'We should do this, we have to go do this, let's go do this,' and so far, no one has raised their hand to do that. Still, it's not impossible."