Excerpt: Soundgarden Discuss the Making of ‘King Animal’
Story by Dan Epstein, Photo by Justin Borucki
In the new issue of Revolver, grunge kings Soundgarden go in-deep about their history, their reunion and their first new album in 15 years, King Animal, which is out today, November 13. In this excerpt, the band talks about the making of their latest opus. For the full interview — as well as features on Deftones, Coheed and Cambira, Dethklok and more — pick up the issue on newsstands now, or in our online store right now.
Though recorded in fits and starts at Seattle’s Studio X due to Cornell’s and Cameron’s various touring commitments, King Animal actually comes off remarkably cohesive, a testament to the singularity of the group’s vision. Not too many other bands could seamlessly fuse the myriad musical strains running through the explosive hard rock of “Non-State Actor,” the punkish drive of “Attrition,” the wistful ballad “Halfway There,” or the Eastern guitar-and-horns drone freakout of “A Thousand Days Before,” not to mention the many unexpected breaks and time signatures that pop up throughout. “Mark Arm from Mudhoney always used to say we were the Rush of Seattle,” laughs Cameron.
“There’s definitely that sort of alchemy and chemistry when the four of us play together,” Cornell says. “No matter what it is, it sounds like Soundgarden. The other thing that was evident immediately when we started writing together again, was that we still had vision in the same amount that we always did. I guess you’d call it a ‘collective vision,’ because everyone individually had their own vision of what Soundgarden meant, to them and to our fans.
“We all stuck to the vision, and I suppose that’s sometimes what gets lost in the perpetuation of a band over a long period of time. But we haven’t lost it, even a little bit. Everyone’s head is still in the game the same way. Whatever problems we had before, personally, with just functioning as human beings, we probably all still have. Just maybe over the course of a few years, we’ve come to understand how to deal with those things a little better, but they’re all still there. Nobody showed up with a Deepak Chopra book in their backpack, you know?” He laughs. “Nobody has completely transformed into another human being. And I’m thankful for that, in a weird way.”