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Soundgarden Admits They Were Wrong About Black Sabbath

Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

Although they were reared on a steady diet that included exposure to bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, they took issue with certain elements of the songs, bands and sounds that were popular at the time. Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil once said that the band’s mission included the goal of sounding like “Black Sabbath without the parts that suck.”

We’ll give our editor a moment to pick himself up off of the floor after reading that one.

These days, lead singer Chris Cornell says that they have a revised approach. While not addressing the Black Sabbath part of Thayil’s comment directly, he tells Classic Rock that “now we’re trying to add all the parts that suck back in.”

The interview appears in the July issue of the magazine and Cornell goes on to say that the reunion was very spontaneous and came about as a result of dealing with regular band business. “We got back into a room just to think about ideas of reconnecting with our fans, like starting a website again and starting the fan club again.”

After a bit of time together in the same room, they decided that it was bigger than that, so the idea of making music together again came up.

Now, with new music on display in the form of ‘Live to Rise,’ which is featured on the soundtrack of this summer’s ‘Avengers’ movie and a planned new album as well, Cornell is taking stock of the state of rock music. As one YouTube commenter said, “Thank God Soundgarden are back to save rock.”

While Cornell is happy to be rock and roll’s potential superman, he sees murky waters and answers that are still unclear. “Rock is a moving target and everyone has a different list of specific things for their definition of it,” he continued. “But if it’s a list of what we do, then yeah, rock needs saving. But who knows what rock is any more?”

In Cornell’s opinion, rock “should be about an attitude and about where a person is coming from…It could be almost anything,” he says.

He’s still got a sense of humor about it all, too. When asked “what can Chris Cornell do that no one else can?,” the veteran rock vocalist replied, “I can turn myself inside out and play percussion on my own skeleton – if it’s mic’d correctly, it sounds really cool.”

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