On the eve of the release of King Animal, Soundgarden recently sat down for a Q&A with Rolling Stone, where the band spoke with the magazine about its reunion, what’s changed since the last time Soundgarden was together and the new album. The question of the band’s legacy came up, and this is what Ben Shepherd and Chris Cornell had to say:

RS: Chris used the word “legacy” before. What do you think of as the Soundgarden legacy?

Shepherd: I actually don’t like that word. Kim’s the one who started saying it. I always get worried about that word – I’ve never looked it up, so I don’t know what it means.

Cornell: We have a musical legacy: the albums, the music, the songs. The interpretations belong to the people who listen to them. The fans own the records and listen to them and love them. It becomes the soundtrack to some part of their lives and we don’t control that. To me that’s what’s exciting about what we do. You create this little Frankenstein monster of a song or an album and then it wanders off around the world, going “Arrrrgggh, fire,” and does whatever it’s gonna do – murders the townspeople, whatever. I can’t stop it.

Shepherd: Goes to the prom, makes a fool of itself.

Read the whole Q&A here.


    Soundgarden will always have a grunge legacy thats true to its roots. Being in a rock band for so many years and then breaking up, taking time off to do other music projects and then coming back refreshed with new interesting ideals is what really makes this band different than any other in modern times. Seattle gave birth to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Mudhoney and the Melvins, but it was Soundgardens harder edged rock n roll that opened the doors to the possibility of sounding heavy, sounding really deep and dark but also sounding alternative, having intersting lyrics to sing about and having a real connection to the fans. I think Soundgarden are ready to be in the rock n roll hall of fame :)

  • GenXLady

    Soundgarden brought the metal part of its music into the alternative music world. They enlarged the scope in a good way. Glad they are keepin on.

  • SuperSG

    Im impressed Mayan! So, whats your favorite song off King Animal?


    Thanks Super SG :) and yes im being 100% nicer and serious now. I personally love hearing Been Away Too Long, By Crooked Steps, Non-State Actor, Worst Dreams and Attrition a lot now. I think Soundgarden have done the right thing by doing new music, by writing songs that havent even been dreamed up by other rock bands, however I do wish the quality of these songs had more heavier faster punk grunge feeling to it, but after listening over and over, Im willin to give Soundgarden another try at showing me what real musicianship is: to do new things that no one has done before, thats what made them ahead of the curve in the late 1980s , 1990s and now in 2012 :)

  • SuperSG

    I think they coulda made a couple more punky songs, but I feel that they made an exceptional album nonetheless. Chris sounds better than even 97′ CC on alot of these songs and they sound phenomonal live! Check out Vevo at 8:00 Eastern Time to see SG do a 1 hour concert on Letterman.

  • jjc19461

    Mayan i am proud.


    Okay that sounds good :) I will have to check that out on YouTube or Vevo, I saw the Soundgarden live performace of Been Away Too Long on Jools Holland show which was awesome. I think Soundgarden should try to write more songs similar to Down On The Upside: Ty Cobb, Pretty Noose, No Attention and Never Named. So they decided to start off with a new album with a new direction in rock n roll, creatively and culturally which is fine. I like their subtle politics in Non-State Actor, and their Seattle retrospective outlook on Been Away Too Long, but their next album : if they decide to make another one , should return to their punky faster harder grunge roots. The acoustic songs like Halfway and Black Saturday are an okay departure from their radio friendly mainstream songs, but punk and true grunge is whats needed from this band. Afterall, Soundgarden started out NOT wanting to only play heavy metal music like Black Sabbath, Metallica or AC/DC , but they also incorporated a lot of the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Iggy and The Stooges and a bit of Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd and Nirvana as well. So the best of luck to them


    thanks jjc :) Why cant the Grunge Report have a live streaming chat room so we can all type and respond at the same time with text and pictures

  • SuperSG

    I actually would love to hear how Chris would sound if Pretty Noose was recorded to be on King Animal. I think the only thing Nirvana did to alter Soundgardens sound/approach was to make thier music more accessible and radio friendly, IMO. Im not sayin that Nirvana didnt influence SG on SU and DOTU, because they did. But Pre-Superunknown was not influenced by Nirvana.

  • SuperSG

    I always have wondered what you looked like, Mayan.


    im a nice white guy :) super and yes pretty noose would be better in a slower rougher king animal way

  • With Negativity

    Hey Brett, why you no post about Soundgarden Live on Letterman Live stream on CBS (less than 10min from now).


    Brett is kinda slow these days since I have come back with a vengence :)
    Soundgarden talk is all mine ALL MINE , HAHAHAHAHA

  • Shadow on the Sun

    This album was everything i could’ve hoped for.
    Non State Actor,by crooked steps,taree,worse dreams,eyelids mouth are my absolute faves and all are just as good as anything they have done in the past.

    thousand days before,bones of birds,rowing,blood on the valley floor will def grow with more listens.

    i can appreciate attrition and black saturday

    halfway there doesn’t even seem like a solo cornell song to me. Every cornell album has at least one song i dont particularly care for, but i love camerons over the top drums on it.

    The song lengths seemed short to me, but they fit a musical universe into them.
    My fave band came out with an album i never even got my hopes up of ever seeing and it kicks major ass. i’m so happy!!!!!

  • SuperSG

    ^ Change your name to Shadow on the Black Hole Sun.

  • Shadow on the Sun


    i personally can’t stand black hole sun anymore and ive always felt that shadow should have been a soundgarden song.


    I wonder if Chris Cornell or the members of Soundgarden are into astronomy or astrology, because they sure as hell picked a good time to release their new album : King Animal , tomarrow on of all calendar dates: NOVEMBER THE 13TH, 2012. Not only because of that number 13 but because tomarrow Tuesday , 11/13/2012 is also the same day of the total solar eclipse where the moon will totally block out the sun from earth, making that a real BLACK HOLE SUN , and if anything Soundgarden are famous for that rock song. So its perfect, tomarrow if you can see the total solar eclipse, try to look indirectly at the sun or view any websites streaming the eclipse and listen to the new Soundgarden album or just play Black Hole Sun on your radio. Have safe fun everyone :)

  • SuperSG

    It was a joke. I feel the same way about Black Hole Sun. Bones of Birds is sooooo much better

  • dakotablue

    Nice photo! I hope Kim will be Santa this Christmas and Chris can be a bothersome elf—stay thirsty my friends