Soundgarden Prepare Live Album, Plot Return to Studio

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Any idea of how Matt will be able to balance his commitments to Pearl Jam if Soundgarden becomes a full-time recording/touring band again?

That's something that also has to be discussed. Matt's primary concern is Pearl Jam. I don't want to say that Soundgarden is a side project – it's much more than that to Matt. Matt definitely loves us as friends and as a creative partnership. So I'm not going to throw anything more on his shoulders than he's already carrying. [Laughs] I'm just saying he's digging everything he's doing.

Since the Lollapalooza performance from last year was filmed, are there any plans to release a DVD?

That sounds familiar, but there are so many things being discussed. I just recently saw some of the footage from Lollapalooza, because it wasn't really synched up with the music. I think if everyone likes what we have there, I think we'd do something like that. But I don't know if it's going to be available for broadcast, or if we'd just take a couple of tracks and have that available for retail, or have a feature-length thing.

And what's the status of the much talked about "B sides" album?

The B sides are still at the forefront of my mind. They've just been pushed slightly to the side, because of all the attention we've put on the live album. Once again, the live album was supervised by Matt and me, and I wrote the liner notes along with Adam Kasper. So that's kind of the front and center of my mind, as well as the jamming.

Grunge: Mohawks, Flannels and Loud Guitars

Future plans?

Definitely Live on I-5, and at some point, the B sides album. The only thing that could put the B sides album on hold now would be if we were to focus and concentrate on new material.

New material?

We are jamming. Just getting to re-learn and re-love each other in a creative fashion. And it's wonderful, it's been going great. Everyone's happy, and there are a lot of ideas being thrown around. We do apologize that we haven't been able to share the past few months with our fans, because it really has been a couple of months of a lot of creative insight and sharing amongst the band members. Although there are many of our fans that would love us to be entertainers, we love that too, but the one element that we hadn't fully re-explored and re-established is the creative element. The creative partnership is certainly the one we wanted to set aside time to enjoy, and that's what we've been doing over the past few months. And I really would like the fans to know that.

Are there any actual songs yet?

There could be. I think there are different degrees of "dress" involved – from flat-out nude to formal wear, with the ideas we have.

Is there any specific Soundgarden era that the new ideas remind you of?

The era of the band I could best compare it to is late 2010/early 2011! It isn't sounding like anything else. It's definitely sounding like four guys who write songs, who have a little weird twist to how they approach their instrument, who haven't played much in the past dozen years. That's what it sounds like. Everyone has new creative insights into themselves that they're contributing to these sessions.

So the obvious question remains - is the band's goal to get into the studio at some point and work on a new album?

Now, we are not currently recording, but we plan to - and will. The time we've been spending as a creative partnership playing music together and writing, with the definite objective to record and release new material. We're not yet recording, we're not yet releasing new material, we are writing –for that purpose.

When did the band start jamming on working on new material? After Lollapalooza?

When we were rehearsing to play last year at the Showbox in April, we were jamming and rehearsing, but we're not just going through our set list, rote. We're going to be screwing around and coming up with ideas. So all the rehearsals for all the live things we've done have involved us jamming and showing people riff ideas. That's just what happens when you get guys in the rehearsal space in the basement, the attic or the garage.

Any working titles for songs?

Some songs have working titles, but that can easily change as the lyrics change. Some songs don't have lyrics, so some we refer to as "The Duh-Duh-Duh Riff" or the "Woo-Woo Riff." In others words, most of the titles are onomatopoeic.

When do you think the band will go in the studio to start recording?

There are some ideas. Once again, that's in flux. As soon as possible, or as soon as we feel comfortable. I would say definitely do something in the spring.

Any idea who Soundgarden would work with as a producer?

I'll just say this, we've been working with Adam Kasper all year, on Telephantasm and with mixing and mastering the live album. He's been overseeing things we were doing for "Black Rain" and the video, and the stuff we did for the live shows. So Adam has been our guy for the past 12 or 13 months. I think it's fair to say that we have a strong interest in continuing that.

It's funny that for a genre of music that was so based on live performance, there hasn't been a definitive live grunge album, and Live on I-5 finally sounds like it. Nirvana's MTV Unplugged in New York is a classic, but doesn't include the excitement of a full-on rock show.

I think Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Alice in Chains were all bands that did Unplugged. We were asked to do Unplugged a number of times, but we didn't, because we were in the middle of doing all kinds of other stuff. We were either touring or recording. It's like, "Hey, MTV wants you to do an Unplugged," and we're like, "Not now." But it's interesting, of the big four bands, we're the only one that never did Unplugged. I think we probably should have in retrospect, but we had a lot of things up in the air, a lot of things we were doing at the time, that we just couldn't get around to that.

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