Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil recently spoke with Kerrang and, according to The Guardian, he came clean about the whole misunderstanding. "We had neglected our legacy and our fans, so we were just starting the fan club up again," Thayil says. But once Cornell's tweet announced that "The 12 year break is over & school is back in session" and "Knights of the Soundtable ride again," everybody (myself included) assumed that meant a reunion was afoot. Not so, says Thayil: "I spent a lot of time trying to explain to my friends that we weren't back together. My mother called and said, 'We've heard the news, why didn't you tell us?'"
Nonetheless, the band decided that, misunderstanding or not, they were going to make a go of it for the first time since they split up in 1997. It does, however, explain how slow they've been in terms of launching comeback tours and a new record: They weren't really prepared to do any of that -- it just fell into their laps.
Thayil says that they got a lot of offers to tour, which is hardly a surprise, but they were choosy. "We turned most of them down," he says, "but thought it would be fun to play that [warm-up secret] show in Seattle [in April 2010] and eventually Lollapalooza. It was only around then that there was talk about doing some new material."
Which is where the band members find themselves now. There's no timetable for a new record, and in interviews Soundgarden have stressed that they're not going to rush it. No wonder they're not in a hurry: This whole comeback/reunion thing was never anything they had expected.
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Photo courtesy Total Assault.