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Chris Cornell’s Vocal Tracks for the Final Soundgarden Album Are Being Withheld

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Soundgarden fans will no doubt be elated to learn that not only was the band working on a new album at the time of singer Chris Cornell’s death, but that, according to guitarist Kim Thayil, work on that album was far enough along that it could, in fact, someday be released. It goes without saying that this would be a massive deal, seeing as it would be not only Soundgarden’s swan song, but Cornell’s final recordings.

Unfortunately, Thayil can’t tell us if or when we’ll ever get to hear those recordings — ’cause according to the guitarist, an unnamed party is currently withholding them from the band.

This from a new interview with Music Radar, in which Thayil discusses the state of what would be the band’s farewell album:

““It was demos, but the demo quality was pretty good, because both Chris and Matt had become very interested in their home recording technique, so they might demo a song, and then Ben and I would add our guitars or bass. Maybe Matt might play drums to a riff that Chris had recorded. And that would be recorded by one of our engineers or techs.”

Thayil continued:

“Right now, that’s all kind of stalled. We tried to get this going two years ago, but we’re not in possession of any of the demos that Chris was working on with them. We have copies of them, but what we need are the files, so that we’d be able to overdub and finish the record. We are not in possession of those.”

When asked what it would take for the surviving members of the band to get ahold of those recordings, Thayil replied:

“We don’t know. 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. And it’s been tiring, you know. And we can’t move on until some future date when someone realises the value of allowing the creative partners to have access to the material.”

You don’t exactly have to read between the lines Thayil’s comments to suss out his meaning: one of Cornell’s heirs has the recordings, and they won’t release them to the band until they feel confident that they would “benefit” from doing so. In other words, they wanna get paid.

And while on the one hand that’s a bummer, the silver lining is that it’s a very workable issue. I’d wager that at some point all parties involved will wanna get this material out there, be it for the sake of Cornell’s legacy or for the aforementioned financial reasons, at which point cooler heads will prevail and everyone will come to some kind of mutually-agreeable arrangement.

So be patient. The last Soundgarden album get here, even if we don’t know when.

[via Metal Injection]

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