Chris Cornell Explores Suicide on 'Songbook,' New Soundgarden Due in the Spring
Most people will always associate singer Chris Cornell with the hard rock sound he made with his band Soundgarden. But over the years, Cornell has incorporated different styles in his own solo work -- such as pop and hip-hop elements -- while still maintaining his distinctive gritty and stirring vocals.
Now the artist is adding another new wrinkle to his career: Acoustic music. This past spring, Cornell did an unplugged tour, performing music from his solo career as well as his work with Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog. A collection of those live songs make up his new record, 'Songbook,' which includes the haunting and melancholy 'Cleaning My Gun,' a track that has never been appeared on any of his albums.
Cornell recently embarked on the second leg of his 'Songbook' tour that runs through Dec. 17. Following the completion of his solo dates, Cornell and the other members of Soundgarden -- who are finishing their first new studio album in about 16 years -- will tour Australia starting Jan. 20. In an exclusive interview with Spinner, Cornell talks about the motivation behind going acoustic, the new material on 'Songbook' and the latest news on Soundgarden.
Where did the idea of 'Songbook' come from?
After I had written and recorded the song 'Seasons' that ended up on the 'Singles' movie soundtrack. Surprisingly it did well and got a lot of airplay. People played it and liked it. It wasn't really even written for any particular purpose -- ['Singles' director] Cameron Crowe just heard it and wanted it in his film. That led to some other things. I did an acoustic version of a