Chris Cornell says he could reunite with Soundgarden

Cornell loves his new album, and his past
Cornell loves his new album, and his past

Chris Cornell says he never ruled out the possibility of reuniting with Soundgarden, the Seatlle band he formed in the mid-'80s and with whom he helped change the rock landscape as part of the movement known as 'grunge.'

"There was never any bad blood between us," Cornell says in an exclusive podcast interview with MusicRadar (listen below). "I've always remained on great terms with everyone in the band. We've always been good friends. Seeing them reunite recently on YouTube? I thought that was terrific. It gave me a warm feeling. I wish I could have been there."

Putting a fine point on the likelihood of reuniting with his former bandmates, Cornell says matter-of-factly, "I'm never going to count anything out."

"I'm never going to count anything out" Chris Cornell on a possible Soundgarden reunion

Hip-hop beats vs raging guitars

If and when that happens - and it's still a big 'if' - Chris Cornell has a new solo album out called Scream, and it's confounding critics and fans alike. An au currant collaboration with noted producer Timbaland, it finds the singer ditching the raging guitar tunes of his past in favor of hip-hop beats and synths.

And belying the album's title, Cornell has deep-sixed his paint-peeling vocal wail. "I do a hell of a lot of singing on the album," he says. "More than I've done on anything I've ever done."

Cornell is well aware that his latest effort has people scratching their heads, but he appears unconcerned. "I didn't make this record to please my fans. I made it to please myself. I already did Rusty Cage, I already did Black Hole Sun - I don't need to do them again.

"The second you start writing to please people, you may as well be a short-order cook. That's not me."

The Trent Reznor 'Twitter war'

"I haven't read what he really wrote, but I think it's kind of good, because it gets people talking about my record" Cornell on Trent Reznor calling Scream "embarrassing"

Of the recent 'Twitter war' between himself and Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor, Cornell smiles and says, "I haven't read what he really wrote, but I think it's kind of good, because it gets people talking about my record. This album is a huge challenge for me...getting people to talk about it, even if it's from negativity, that draws people to it."

In the following MusicRadar podcast, Cornell talks about Scream and his decision to work with Timbaland. He also strolls down grunge memory lane and remembers good times with Kim Thayil and the rest of Soundgarden. "It was an amazing period in cultural history that'll never be repeated."

Part one - Cornell on working with Timbaland, the challenges he faces as an artist and a shout-out to John Mayer

Download (right-click and Save As...)

Part two - Chris looks back at his role in grunge and discusses his relationships with his former bands. He also takes on the Trent Reznor 'Twitter' episode

Download (right-click and Save As...)

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.