SOUNDGARDEN will enter a Seattle studio next week to begin recording its first album in 15 years. Drummer Matt Cameron tells Billboard.com that "there's a little bit of evolution going on with some of this new music, but we're not straying too far from the formula. It has all our signature elements — and more. I think people are going to really love it." 12-14 songs "are kind of ready to go," according to Cameron, with "about 90 percent" of the material being new, although some draw on ideas that date as far back as 1996's "Down On The Upside". "We've tried to update the super-old stuff," he tells Billboard.com. "It doesn't sound too old and dusty and crusty to my ears — but maybe to someone else it will. I think guitar-based music is not really as popular as it has been in the past, so it might sound kind of out of date or out of tune with what's going on right now. Or it might be a breath of fresh air to have an unabashedly loud guitar band out there."
SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell told Spin.com earlier this week that the band will spend as long as necessary to "make an album that we all really love." He explained, "We're putting the music first. The process of writing, recording, and being creative together is the most important thing, not meeting a deadline."
Cornell told The Pulse Of Radio that unlike the old days when the band was on a constant schedule of recording and touring, they're working in a much more relaxed way now. "You know, you always had people breathing down your neck, and you always had sort of proposed schedules of, you know, 'It'd be great if you were in the studio by this date and it'd be great if your record is finished by that date,' and we just didn't work that well in that environment," he said. "And now, we're not in it. Now we are clearly in an environment of 'Let's do this when it's relaxed and it's comfortable and we've taken sort of baby steps toward doing different things.'"
Adam Kaspar, who co-produced SOUNDGARDEN's last record, 1996's "Down On The Upside", will work with the group on the new effort as well.
SOUNDGARDEN reunited in January 2010 but has only played a handful of gigs — including a headlining set at last August's Lollapalooza festival in Chicago — and issued a compilation titled "Telephantasm" last fall.
The band's first live album, called "Live On I5", comes out on March 22 and was recorded on one of their final tours.
Cornell, who's going out on a solo acoustic tour this spring, also told Spin.com that SOUNDGARDEN will play more live shows this year.