Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil was asked by PremiumGuitar.com how the recording of the band's new album, King Animal, was different from the way the band cut its earlier records. Thayil explained, "Well, we didn't have predetermined deadlines set by the record company -- that was great. I originally thought we'd have the bulk of this done by the summer of 2011 (laughs), but once we started rolling and felt that inertia of the music coming together, one of us would have to head out for a tour, or Adam (Kasper, producer) would end up having someone else lined up for the studio. I think the only issue this time around was when we'd reconvene and jump back into an unfinished part or song from the previous session."
Both singer Chris Cornell and drummer Matt Cameron have other obligations -- Cornell does solo tours while Cameron also plays with Pearl Jam.
We asked Cameron not long ago how the band has gone about writing songs together after 15 years apart: "The way we've always written in the late Eighties and throughout the Nineties, which is four guys in a room just slamming it out. A lot of times Chris would write complete songs and he would record a demo and we'd learn his demos, and then sort of add our own spice to it, so to speak. But you know, everyone writes music in this group and that's been a pretty huge benefit for us as a band over the years."
Thayil also dispelled longstanding rumors that he brought his couch into the studio for recording sessions on earlier CDs like Superunknown. He said, "I never brought my own couch in -- my girlfriend would've killed me (laughs). What happened was that, in the main recording room, they set up a standing lamp and a couch from the lounge in the studio. The room was so big, with high ceilings and fluorescent lights, and I just hated it because it felt like being in a dentist's office."
King Animal, Soundgarden's sixth album and first since 1996, arrives in stores on November 13th.
Thayil said that the band let the music dictate whether they would actually record a new album, explaining, "If it still wasn't there, I can honestly say this album wouldn't have happened. It is still there and I'm just happy to be back playing music with friends that I enjoy the intimate sharing of ideas with."