During a recent appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation LA Invasion", SOUNDGARDEN guitarist Kim Thayil was asked if it is possible that a new album will see the light of day featuring some of the final recordings Chris Cornell was working on before his death. Thayil responded (see video below): "It is entirely possible, because that's what we were doing… We definitely have another record in us. Stuff that's written, stuff that's demoed and recorded — certainly. All it would need is to take the audio files that are available. I'd tighten up the guitar stuff that's on there, add other stuff. Ben [Shepherd] does the bass. Matt [Cameron] is able to get the drums he wants. We can get the producers we want to make it sound like a SOUNDGARDEN record. And yes, we can totally do that."
Asked if there is an obstacle stopping that from happening, Kim replied: "There shouldn't be — there really isn't — other than the fact that we don't have those files… And I think that will happen. It would be ridiculous if it didn't. But these are difficult things — partnerships and property."
Thayil also talked about the possibility of SOUNDGARDEN reforming at some in the future with a new singer, either for a tour or a new record. He said: "Reasonably, you've got a big part missing. So, I think in terms of the SOUNDGARDEN catalog, that's still gonna be active as best as it can be. In terms of unreleased recordings, live material, I'm still gonna attend to that; that's my gig. I love that. Let's make records.
"I do not see, given the commitments that other bandmembers have, given our sentiments and love for Chris, I do not see us reconfiguring a tour or anything, as other bands have done in the past, without him," he explained.
"This is really complicated, but I've known Chris since I was a kid, basically — we grew up together, our early 20s. You want to honor the work and legacy you did. Is it best to regard it with dignity and let it rest? Do you want to honor it by celebrating the music and work that he's done?
"This has been difficult for a lot of people in the family and the band, and I think our conclusion was that. I understand people are complicated, and experience and life is a bag of tricks, but… I don't know. I think we reached a conclusion that we thought was correct. But then again, 20 [or] 30 years ago, we didn't think the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was anything, but certainly, looking back, it's an important part of our legacy — the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is — to acknowledge that, and now it's important."
SOUNDGARDEN was working on a new studio album — the follow-up to 2012's "King Animal" — when Cornell committed suicide after a concert in Detroit in May 2017.
In a recent interview with Music Radar, Thayil was asked what would it take for him, Cameron and Shepherd to get access to the tapes of what was supposed to become SOUNDGARDEN's next album. "We don't know," he replied. "We've asked nicely, we've suggested that this will benefit all parties, if the band could just have these files, and we could finish the songs we were working on. But there seems to be some confusion amongst various parties as to what that would entail and how that works, and who that would benefit."
Cornell was pronounced dead on May 18, 2017 after being found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room. SOUNDGARDEN had played a show earlier that evening. The 52-year-old had sedatives and an anxiety drug in his system, but died as a result of hanging himself.
The three remaining members of SOUNDGARDEN, along with METALLICA, FOO FIGHTERS and members of AUDIOSLAVE, performed together for the first time since Cornell's death at a benefit concert honoring the singer on January 16 at the Forum in Los Angeles.
SOUNDGARDEN is among the nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2020. The top vote-getters will be announced in January and inducted May 2, 2020 at a ceremony at Cleveland's Public Hall.