Soundgarden fans would like to believe it was the power of music that brought their heroes back together after a 12 year hiatus, and though recent quotes from the band indicate that it was all a big misunderstanding, it may actually be the truth.
A poorly worded tweet can be credited for sparking the wildfires of excitement that led to the grunge outfit picking their flannels back up after more than a decade in the dirt. Chris Cornell and company have revealed that they had no plans to re-form before a message about their fanclub was misinterpreted as an announcement about the band.
"The 12 year break is over amd school is back in session," said frontman Chris Cornell tweeted to a flabbergasted and thrilled Twitter fanbase on New Year's Day 2010. "Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again! soundgardenworld.com"
While the quote seemed to indicate a direct intention to pick up where the band left off in 1997, the group now say they were just unveiling their new website.
"We had neglected our legacy and our fans, so we were just starting the fan club up again," guitarist Kim Thayil recently told Kerrang. Cornell said the same last year: "[There was a] concern about protecting the band's legacy. There was no catalogue promotion, no Soundgarden website. So we got back together to have a discussion about serving the fanbase and it felt really great."
Even Rolling Stone misunderstood Cornell's tweet. "I spent a lot of time trying to explain to my friends that we weren't back together," Thayil said. "My mother called and said, 'We've heard the news, why didn't you tell us?'"
"It generated a lot of interest and my phone was ringing off the hook with people offering us shows," he continued. "We turned most of them down, but thought it would be fun to play that show in Seattle [in April 2010] and eventually Lollapalooza. It was only around then that there was talk about doing some new material."
Now, through sheer force of fan pressure (as well as the unclaimed millions waiting to be reaped from various tours/festivals), Soundgarden are back in the studio with new horizons on the mind. Don't go expecting another Badmotorfinger, however.
"The last thing we want to make is another grunge or metal record," Thayil said. While Soundgarden intend to do more touring, that will depend on Cornell's solo concerts and drummer Matt Cameron's work with Pearl Jam. "Everything is contingent on the primary careers of the band," Thayil said. "Everyone wants the album to come out as soon as possible, but at the moment, there's no reason to rush anything."