Soundgarden’s Fate Reportedly Revealed By Ben Shepherd: ‘He’s Hurting’

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A story from June 20th on Facebook has surfaced of a man named James claiming to have met Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd. In a beautiful act of kindness, the legendary Seattle musician bought James a cup of coffee.

This is the first reported story of Shepherd to surface since Chris Cornell’s death. According to the fan, Shepherd said he ‘used to be’ in a rock band, which if true would confirm many fans suspicions that Soundgarden have disbanded and will not find a new singer in the wake of Chris Cornell’s death.

James wrote, “I met Ben Shepherd this morning from Soundgarden, he bought me a cup of coffee. You can tell he’s hurting. I didn’t know who he was at first. When I asked him what he does, he said I used to be in a rock band. I asked him what band, he said Soundgarden. I didn’t know what to say really. How sad, for him.”

Soundgarden had written new songs for their seventh studio album and were preparing to record studio versions prior to Chris Cornell’s tragic death in May. The band’s final album was 2012’s King Animal.

  • Jon May

    Wow, deep ?

    • Tan Shearer

      That’s what she said.

      • Ahmed Aziz

        Tan Shearer, from where the comments began, you’ve been disagreeing with what people say, at different levels of ridiculousness. It’s called trolling son, read a book instead.

        • Trovoid

          This is the guy who said that it’s 50/50 whether or not they will carry on as a band. Not the brightest bulb of the bunch..

          • Tan Shearer

            It’s 50/50 because they can either decide to carry on or not carry on. There are only 2 options.

  • Eddie Yarler

    Its a shame rock is so down that bands actually consider replacing iconic singers with these nobody scrubs (who don’t even come close to emulating the original) just so they can make a living. The fact that Joy Division became New Order is unbelievable to me, or Creed to Alter Bridge. You are way more likely to be remembered if you branch off and create something new as opposed to riding your lead singer’s past. Not every band can be an Ac/Dc, and not every band has a rare AiC or Pink Floyd situation. I doubt Soundgarden will replace Chris but I genuinely hope they don’t do it. Same with Linkin Park.

    • Anonymous501

      I agree, but I never assumed Soundgarden was going to do it. I think the author of this article made it up like it was some kind of possibility.

    • BranFAN

      Linkin Park is just not the same situation as Soundgarden. They had two vocalists and now they have one. They were a band before Chester and they can be a band after him (unlike Soundgarden which died with Chris). Creatively, Linkin Park has always depended more on Mike than Chester. It’s sad what happened, but it isn’t the end. I expect Linkin Park to find a new singer, to be honest. In time.

      • Eddie Yarler

        Mike has clearly been trying to establish himself as a primary vocalist in Linkin Park since Living Things so you might be right. I hate the idea of them replacing Chester though but Linkin Park is too much of a cash cow not to do it.

    • Tan Shearer

      So they should just sign onto the job centre if they lose their singer then?

      • Eddie Yarler

        In Soundgarden’s case absolutely. Matt Cameron is more of a Pearl Jam member than Soundgarden one, and clearly Kim Thayil and Ben Shepherd don’t need the money as they never established full time bands during Soundgarden’s hiatus. Plus Soundgarden is notoriously known for the members hating each other. The only reason they’d keep the name is for greed and not artistic purposes.

        • Tan Shearer

          A name is just a name. Also who are you to make decisions for them? They will do what they want and there’s nothing you can do about.

          • Eddie Yarler

            So Audioslave and Soundgarden are the same bands? Both have Chris Cornell as a singer and after all “a name is just a name”. No duh, its called an opinion. Being a musician is an art and a business and clearly these guys see it as a business if they want to replace Cornell. Which is fine but I wish fans would call it as it is. Instead of saying all the cliche “they are honoring their legacy with Chris” or “the new material stands up alongside the old” bullshit. Its the age of mediocrity and clearly you think Soundgarden should fall into that.

          • Tan Shearer

            No Audioslave is Audioslave and Soundgarden is Soundgarden. A band name is merely a brand. Two stores can sell the same product doesn’t make them the same store. Why should a band stop just because a member dies? Members can be replaced. Walmart replaces cashiers should they change their store name every time that happens? Just because a band replaces a singer doesn’t make them bad, if they can still write good music why does it matter if it’s a different singer? Chris is dead, you can’t live in the past you must move on why start from scratch when you’ve worked your way up to where you are? Why should they go back to the bottom just because their singer offed himself?

          • Eddie Yarler

            Because Chris made both of those bands what they are. Both legacies are and always will be directly correlated with Chris Cornell. Yeah I played a role, but people care because of Chris. He was a primary songwriter in both too

          • Tan Shearer

            No they all made the band what they are. I really hate it when a band member dies then fans give the dead one all the credit for “making the band what they are”. Unless it’s a solo project where he played all instruments he doesn’t get all the credit.

          • Eddie Yarler

            Well then you’re going to be one unhappy camper because both bands have died with Chris Cornell ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • Tan Shearer

            No they haven’t. The bands die when the remaining members say so. There are also some cases where bands do not have a single original member such as Napalm Death.

          • Eddie Yarler

            Nobody cares about Napalm Death though, it doesn’t impact the world in the slightest. Soundgarden is actually relevant.

          • Tan Shearer

            Soundgarden wasn’t relevant for years either until Chris died.

          • Eddie Yarler

            Nice trolling.

        • Trovoid

          The members of Soundgarden did not hate each other. They had a pretty amicable breakup. They got along pretty well, had some minor conflicts (which bands don’t?) and were getting frustrated with touring and the business aspect of it all (when they broke up in ’97). And I’m almost 100 percent positive that they wouldn’t continue without Chris. They aren’t those kind of guys at all.

          Not trying to start an argument but I’ve been obsessed with the band for years now and have watched/heard basically every interview.

          • Eddie Yarler

            Wasn’t it Michael Beinhorn who said the band members would routinely shit talk each other as one left the room during the Superunknown recording sessions? I seem to remember seeing that in one of the reissue deluxe editions for the album. I’d believe it. Despite Chris being amazing to fans he clearly did not play nice with others in bands. Audioslave met a similar fate. Not like it matters to me, he’s the best aspect of both bands in my opinion.

          • Trovoid

            I’ve never heard that. I do remember hearing that there was tension around Down on the Upside because Kim wanted to keep doing heavy riffs and Chris wanted to explore other sounds. And I know the band clashed with Michael Beinhorn saying he was anal about the recording process. Chris really wasn’t a people person so I’d imagine it could be difficult at times to work with them. I mean they did end up doing a lot of individual writing. But I know that they had a deep respect for one another, a lot more compared to other bands. They were described as the “most boring breakup in history.” People were trying to make a big story about it. If you can find that interview with Beinhorn send me a link. I was searching but Google has failed me.

          • Eddie Yarler

            I’m almost positive I saw it on this website, and it was taken from the liner notes of the Superunknown 20th anniversary album. Do you own it?

          • Trovoid

            I don’t own the reissue, might have the original laying around somewhere. I’m sure it’s possible but I just can’t see it. The results of Superunknown to me sounds like a band that knew how to get along and try new things without judgment or spite. They seemed like they were communicating really well. I do know they were miserable touring. Maybe their behind the scenes was messier than we know of but they always claimed the opposite. They are fairly private guys, especially back then. So who knows.

          • Stevie Jay Elmm

            That was also so many years ago. Immaturity and drug use in the band causes all that junk. Maturity and hopefully less drug use helps them realize all that bS. It’s all a business once you make it big and then it’s just about making sure you all continue the money wheel. Not to many big bands are friends. Support local groups

        • DME

          shut the fuck up

          • Eddie Yarler

            Hell no, I’m the only one talking sense about Soundgarden.

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      • Ernie Jaramillo

        I’m sure they’ll go out and get a replacement right away so you can be happy.
        This is not Journey we’re talking about. They might do some tributes with some of their friends in about 5 to 10 years, but SG is done. they would never even consider it.

        • Tan Shearer

          This is nothing to do with my happiness, I couldn’t care less if they get a new singer or quit it’s up to them i’m saying they shouldn’t be obliged to quit just cause the fans miss Chris. Don’t act like you know them personally you don’t know whether they’ll consider it or not.

          • Ernie Jaramillo

            I know you’ll forget what I posted in 3 seconds, but anyway… If you actually read any of the interviews, that band would not continue without any of the 4 members, not just Chris. They toured without Matt because of scheduling conflicts, but the band was still in tact.
            FYI, I saw him over perform over 50 times, so yeah. The world didn’t start when you figured out he was the guy from Soundgarden.

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  • Raj

    Everyone grieves in their own way it will take a long time, something he can never get over Chris was a brother to Ben, Kim and Matt. Just like the members of Nirvana, Alice in Chains, STP and countless other bands, the other members are left still to this day struggling with the why.

  • rez

    Soundgarden would not reform with a new singer. If they were going to do that, they would have done so when they broke up in the 90s. Chris’ death has ended any possibility of the band carrying on.

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    • Tan Shearer

      No it hasn’t. They can choose to carry on or not carry on. It’s 50/50.

      • Trovoid

        I would bet money that they won’t. Matt will keep playing for Pearl Jam and Ben and Kim will do side projects or whatever. They would never want to tarnish the legacy.

        • Tan Shearer

          Carrying on without him is not “tarnishing his legacy”.

  • Big D

    It was posted on FB,so it MUST be true

  • Giovanni

    Chris is my favorite singer-songwriter, but i’d hope they find a way to edit and release the early work on the new album (Chris himself worked on Jeff Buckley’s material) and i wouldn’t have nothing against the band trying to find a new singer (nearly impossible task) and going on, as a way to allow the great SG catalogue to be played again on stage.

  • Cerys Aedy

    This isn’t news. It’s pure speculation. A brief encounter and a spontaneous remark have been interpreted to mean something that may or may not be reality. It will take a long time for the remaining band members to come to terms with what has happened. We should all let it lie.

    • Tan Shearer

      Have some faith. I really don’t see what this man could earn from making it up.

      • Cerys Aedy

        I don’t think he’s making anything up, he is describing an incident and how he (James) felt, but to take Ben’s words, so soon after…the truth is we have no idea what the future holds, and quite possibly neither do the band right now. I just don’t wish to speculate.

        • Tan Shearer

          Well the band are CURRENTLY not active. Whether they get back together or not doesn’t change the fact that as of this moment in time they are not an active band.