Michael Lavine For their upcoming video "By Crooked Steps," Soundgarden…
- Posted on Apr 14th 2011 1:35PM by Steve Baltin
Yes, Soundgarden are officially a band again, with new studio music on the way. "It's pretty developed in the writing process," guitarist Kim Thayil tells Spinner. "We've been at it since December, January. We're still writing, but we have a number of songs that are complete, a number of songs that are close to being completed and a number of songs that look like they just woke up."
While it's too soon for Thayil to give a brief summation of the new material, he does have an idea of the direction it's heading. "We probably, after 13, 14 years, have new things to bring to the table," he says. "Our interests have gone off in slightly different directions, but at our core we're still moved by the things that informed Soundgarden's body of work, which is the sort of dark beauty, heaviness and an aggressiveness without being viscerally old and awkward. There's gonna be a lot that's familiar and similar. There's gonna be stuff that's definitely different; the stuff that's different however will be within the context of those elements that are described earlier."
One thing Thayil does know with absolute certainty is that the record will be ready only when the band decides it is. "We are not going to pressure ourselves and we're not likely to let other people pressure us. I believe that can really stress out and put a lot of pressure on a band," he says. "It's very likely that if a deadline is set for us, [there's a] good chance we'll let it pass. We're not gonna do anything to make what we're doing un-fun."
Thayil also says that their first-ever live album was a fun experience, especially since he admits he had no idea how good the 1996 show was. "We were so surprised by the quality of the performances and the recording," he says. "Over time, we just sort of concluded that things were generally not what we wanted them to be at the time we broke up, so I don't think we had any great expectations. To have a reminder of the fact that we were playing great and that these recordings sounded great was really, really satisfying. It's hot sounding. It's loud and the rhythm section jumps when you put it on. I'm overwhelmed. I'm just really enthused by how that record turned out."