Guitarist Kim Thayil has denied that the members of SOUNDGARDEN knew they were on the verge of breaking up when they made their 1996 album, "Down On The Upside". "They're reversing the causality," he told Billboard about the people who have read things into the music after the fact. "They're saying, 'Oh, the last song is 'Boot Camp', and the band went on tour and then broke up. So the breakup must be foreshadowed on the record. Or the breakup is what caused the record to have these sentiments.' No, that's not the case. If you look at the history of SOUNDGARDEN's material, there are a lot of themes about finite-ness and endings. [Laughs] That's present in a lot of our songs going back to the beginning. The fact that there were songs thematically referencing conclusions on that album, ultimately, it's coincidence. When we were making that record, at least [drummer] Matt [Cameron] and I had talked about there being a next SOUNDGARDEN album."
Thayil also confirmed that there will likely be some kind of a "Down On The Upside" reissue to coincide with the album's 25th anniversary.
"'Superunknown' had a lot of B-sides, outtakes and demo stuff," he said. "'Down On The Upside', not so much. This is a conversation I've had with our A&R guy, because there just isn't much for that album. We can remix it, but we don't like doing that to our records. What we can offer is a remastering and maybe an update of the artwork and packaging, but I don't see much bonus material unless we dig out some studio outtakes and live versions of the songs. We weren't fans of having original SOUNDGARDEN songs being treated as strays or castaways. But we do have the tapes, so one thing we could do is a 5.1 surround-sound mix. We're definitely going to remaster it, though, because that record was always so fuckin' midrange-y, which kept it from being as exciting as some of those songs could be."
SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell was pronounced dead on May 18, 2017 after being found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room. SOUNDGARDEN had played a show earlier that evening. The 52-year-old had sedatives and an anxiety drug in his system, but died as a result of hanging himself.
The three remaining members of SOUNDGARDEN, along with METALLICA, FOO FIGHTERS and members of AUDIOSLAVE, performed together for the first time since Cornell's death at a benefit concert honoring the singer on January 16 at the Forum in Los Angeles.