Soundgarden Respond To Vicky Cornell’s Lawsuit Against The Band

As previously reported, Chris Cornell’s widow, Vicky filed a lawsuit against Soundgarden over royalties and the rights to seven unreleased tracks. Now, more details on the case have started to emerge.

Vicky previously said that the band have been withholding money in an “unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings” that she claimed Chris wrote alone while living in Florida. She also said that she offered to share the tracks with Soundgarden if they respected Chris’ wishes by releasing them in a certain way and having his producer involved, but they allegedly refused. Vicky also accused guitarist Kim Thayil of putting her and her family in danger by suggesting that she is preventing the release of a new Soundgarden album.

For their part, Soundgarden claimed that Chris co-authored five of the recordings with other members of the band. According to TMZ, they have since shared press clips from past interviews to prove their case. This includes one from February 2017 in which Chris said the following to Music Radar: “We have a lot of interesting songs…”. They are now trying to get Vicky‘s complaint dismissed or moved from Florida to Washington where the band are based. The following was said in the motion:

“Vicky Cornell is not the owner of the recordings at issue, which are provably Soundgarden’s and intended for a new Soundgarden album. Vicky Cornell is entitled to distributions from the Soundgarden partnership for Cornell’s share of band revenues, but only on the vote of the partnership which has not taken place. There is no “conspiracy” with the band’s financial manager.”

The motion also shared the names and writing credits for the recordings in question:

  • “Road Less Traveled” (Cornell/Cameron)
  • “Orphans” (Cornell/Cameron)
  • “At Ophians Door” (Cornell/Cameron)
  • “Cancer” (Cornell)
  • “Ahead Of The Dog” (Cornell/Thayil)
  • “Merrmas” (Cornell/Shepherd)
  • “Stone Age Mind” (Cornell)

Furthermore, Soundgarden also revealed that they were initially unaware about Chris’ death until they read about it on social media:

“The Band interrupted its April 2017 studio session in Seattle to begin a national tours tarting on April 28, 2017. (Cameron Decl. ¶21.) On May 14, 2017, the Band played in Kansas City, Missouri. After the show Cornell flew home to New York City. On May 17, he flew to Detroit, Michigan to join other Band Members for a Soundgarden concert that night at the Fox Theatre. Following the concert — as was customary — Thayil, Cameron, and Shepherd (the “Surviving Band Members” or “Remaining Partners”) made the late night trip in the Band’s tour buses to their next concert destination in Columbus, Ohio, where the Band had a concert on May 19.

Cornell stayed behind at a Detroit hotel with the plan to fly on to Columbus, as was his normal practice because Cornell was unable to sleep on buses. As their buses were headed to Columbus in the early morning of May 18, the Surviving Band Members learned that Cornell had been found dead in his hotel room in Detroit after midnight (tragically, Cameron first saw a “RIP: Chris Cornell” item on his Facebook page, called Thayil who was on the other bus, who then woke Shepherd, and they and their crew frantically searched news, social media and called friends and family, until they received the awful confirmation from their tour manager).

Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd were utterly devastated to lose their beloved friend, brother, and comrade, and were in a state of shock. As they pulled their buses to the roadside, embraced each other, and struggled with what to do next, their tour manager advised them not to go back to Detroit as it would be swimming with police, press, and other media, and there was nothing positive that could be achieved.

They also had a throng of highly-distraught crew and tour team members already in or headed to Columbus who needed support. So they organized a vigil in a conference room at their Columbus hotel, where they were accompanied by their crew, assistants and friends who hugged, wept and attempted to console each other for many hours.”

Vicky‘s lawyer Marty Singer has since responded to the band‘s claims:

“We obviously disagree with the band’s blatant mischaracterization of events, and stand by the truthful facts set forth in our complaint. It is disappointing that Chris’ former band members have now sought to taint his legacy by making numerous false allegations, and that they continue to withhold substantial monies from his widow and minor children (despite using those same funds to pay for their own legal fees).

The issue in this case is not who wrote the songs but rather who owns the specific recordings made solely by Chris while he resided in Florida. We are very confident that the Court will vindicate the rights of Chris’ Estate, and that the case will properly remain in Florida, where Chris resided and recorded the songs that are now the lawful property of his Estate.”

Soundgarden are currently requesting a hearing “due to the number of motions and number of issues involved.”

You can find court documents over at Scribd.

Chris Cornell’s Widow Sues Soundgarden Over Royalties And Unreleased Recordings

According to TMZ, Chris Cornell’s widow, Vicky has filed a lawsuit against Soundgarden over royalties and the rights to seven unreleased tracks. She is claiming that the group have been withholding money in an “unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away.”

In legal documents, Vicky said the recordings in question were “solely authored by Chris; contain Chris’ own vocal tracks; and were bequeathed to Chris’ Estate” for her and their children. The documents went on to say that she offered to share the tracks with Soundgarden if they respected Chris’ wishes by releasing them in a certain way and having his producer involved, but they allegedly refused. Furthermore, Vicky also accused guitarist Kim Thayil of putting her and her family in danger by suggesting that she is preventing the release of a new Soundgarden album.

For their part, Soundgarden are claiming that Chris and the rest of the group were “working on the files in a collaborative effort.” In a letter to Vicky, they added that “the entire band was feeling very positive about their rekindled artistic energy and creativity.” Soundgarden also claimed that Chris co-authored five of the recordings with other members of the band.

Vicky is now trying to get a judge to declare Chris’ estate as the sole owner of the tracks and get the band to pay her the money that she is allegedly owed. She also issued her own statement via Instagram:

“I have been taking time these past few weeks to be grateful for all the good people around me and for those who have lifted me up at the very worst times in my life. The silver lining, during the storm, is finding and appreciating the subtle glow of those who sincerely support you in your life unconditionally. However, sometimes while you grieve the one you physically lost, you realize that you must now grieve the loss of some of those you considered friends and family as well.

I am shocked at how often this occurs. It’s not just me, or the rock-star widow, or the political widow; it is the case for the vast majority of women after their partners have passed. It transcends socio-economic class, race, and religion. It is an unpleasant and unfortunately all too common theme. Hard-hearted family members, friends, and business associates; who will exploit a widow’s vulnerability when she’s broken and alone. These other people who have decided that her time is up as well.

Through support groups and other widowed friends, and during both difficult and supportive conversations, I have learned that I am not a unique case. This seems to be the inevitable plight of the widow in this world and I cannot help feeling angry, sad and betrayed. I will not be bullied or shamed into silence. I will not accept something so wrong, so lacking in compassion or decency, even with the clear but unspoken threat of social rejection hanging over me.

This was not the way I would have chosen to move forward. But I will not be pushed aside for someone else’s convenience or gain. I will not sacrifice our children’s futures for someone else’s greed. And I will not let someone else make me feel shame because the man I loved was taken from all of us too soon.

I will do justice by my husband’s work and memory; for our children and for everything we stood for. I want to thank everyone who has stood by Chris and has supported us through this devastating time. Your love and your kindness will never be forgotten.
#chriscornell forever 🖤”

View this post on Instagram

I have been taking time these past few weeks to be grateful for all the good people around me and for those who have lifted me up at the very worst times in my life. The silver lining, during the storm, is finding and appreciating the subtle glow of those who sincerely support you in your life unconditionally. However, sometimes while you grieve the one you physically lost, you realize that you must now grieve the loss of some of those you considered friends and family as well. I am shocked at how often this occurs. It’s not just me, or the rock-star widow, or the political widow; it is the case for the vast majority of women after their partners have passed. It transcends socio-economic class, race, and religion. It is an unpleasant and unfortunately all too common theme. Hard-hearted family members, friends, and business associates; who will exploit a widow’s vulnerability when she’s broken and alone. These other people who have decided that her time is up as well. Through support groups and other widowed friends, and during both difficult and supportive conversations, I have learned that I am not a unique case. This seems to be the inevitable plight of the widow in this world and I cannot help feeling angry, sad and betrayed. I will not be bullied or shamed into silence. I will not accept something so wrong, so lacking in compassion or decency, even with the clear but unspoken threat of social rejection hanging over me. This was not the way I would have chosen to move forward. But I will not be pushed aside for someone else’s convenience or gain. I will not sacrifice our children’s futures for someone else’s greed. And I will not let someone else make me feel shame because the man I loved was taken from all of us too soon. I will do justice by my husband’s work and memory; for our children and for everything we stood for. I want to thank everyone who has stood by Chris and has supported us through this devastating time. Your love and your kindness will never be forgotten. #chriscornell forever 🖤

A post shared by Vicky Cornell (@vickycornell) on

Kim Thayil Says “It Is Entirely Possible” That Soundgarden Could Release A New Album Featuring Chris Cornell

During a recent interview on SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation LA Invasion”, Kim Thayil was asked about the possibility of Soundgarden releasing a new album featuring late frontman Chris Cornell. The guitarist responded by saying “it is entirely possible.”

Thayil said the following:

“It is entirely possible, because that’s what we were doing… We definitely have another record in us. Stuff that’s written, stuff that’s demoed and recorded — certainly. All it would need is to take the audio files that are available. I’d tighten up the guitar stuff that’s on there, add other stuff. Ben [Shepherd] does the bass. Matt [Cameron] is able to get the drums he wants. We can get the producers we want to make it sound like a Soundgarden record. And yes, we can totally do that.”

He continued after being asked if there are any obstacles that can stand in the way of a new record:

“There shouldn’t be — there really isn’t — other than the fact that we don’t have those files… And I think that will happen. It would be ridiculous if it didn’t. But these are difficult things — partnerships and property.”

He also added the following when asked if the band would ever more forward with a new singer:

“Reasonably, you’ve got a big part missing. So, I think in terms of the Soundgarden catalog, that’s still gonna be active as best as it can be. In terms of unreleased recordings, live material, I’m still gonna attend to that; that’s my gig. I love that. Let’s make records.

I do not see, given the commitments that other band members have, given our sentiments and love for Chris, I do not see us reconfiguring a tour or anything, as other bands have done in the past, without him.

This is really complicated, but I’ve known Chris since I was a kid, basically — we grew up together, our early 20s. You want to honor the work and legacy you did. Is it best to regard it with dignity and let it rest? Do you want to honor it by celebrating the music and work that he’s done?

This has been difficult for a lot of people in the family and the band, and I think our conclusion was that. I understand people are complicated, and experience and life is a bag of tricks, but… I don’t know. I think we reached a conclusion that we thought was correct. But then again, 20 [or] 30 years ago, we didn’t think the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was anything, but certainly, looking back, it’s an important part of our legacy — the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is — to acknowledge that, and now it’s important.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Soundgarden Hope To Finish Unreleased Songs With Chris Cornell’s Demos

It looks like there is a possibility that fans may get some new music from Soundgarden in the future. During a recent interview with Music Radar, Kim Thayil said the band are hoping to finish the songs they had in the works for their new album by using the late Chri Cornell’s demos.

Thayil said the following when asked about the new material Soundgarden had before Cornell’s death:

“It was demos, but the demo quality was pretty good, because both Chris and Matt had become very interested in their home recording technique, so they might demo a song, and then Ben and I would add our guitars or bass. Maybe Matt might play drums to a riff that Chris had recorded. And that would be recorded by one of our engineers or techs.

This is an interesting thing: our entire backline, our guitar techs and bass techs, are all also record producers and recording engineers, so we love that they want to go on the road with us, and we love the guys in the studio with us, but the only people who do both are Nate Yaccino, Josh Evans and Dave French. Those guys have worked with us in the studio and onstage, and that’s a great family to have, to be involved in all aspects of a band’s career. So that will help us.

So they come and record parts that we overdub on the demos. Right now, that’s all kind of stalled. We tried to get this going two years ago, but we’re not in possession of any of the demos that Chris was working on with them. We have copies of them, but what we need are the files, so that we’d be able to overdub and finish the record. We are not in possession of those.”

He also added the following when asked what it would take for the group to get the files:

“We don’t know. We’ve asked nicely, we’ve suggested that this will benefit all parties, if the band could just have these files, and we could finish the songs we were working on.

But there seems to be some confusion amongst various parties as to what that would entail and how that works, and who that would benefit. And it’s been tiring, you know. And we can’t move on until some future date when someone realizes the value of allowing the creative partners to have access to the material.”

Thayil also talked a bit about the direction of the material:

“Interestingly, there’s a psychedelic element, and there was more of a grooving, I’d say a little bit more, not ballad-y, but more guitar arpeggiations, like what you might hear on ‘Fell On Black Days‘.

And then we had maybe a couple of sad songs, and a couple of heavy songs that in general feel were – where we were at in the writing process – kind of mixed like ‘King Animal‘, but a little bit less of the heavy stuff. But it was still interesting, still quirky stuff.

Once Matt, Ben and myself get a hold of those songs and finish putting down our parts, the songs will very likely become heavier, darker and maybe a bit trippier.”

You can read more from Thayil HERE.

Soundgarden Share “Black Hole Sun” Live Video From “Live From The Artists Den” Release

Soundgarden have shared footage of “Black Hole Sun” from their new live release “Soundgarden: Live From The Artists Den.“ That effort, which features the band’s February 17, 2013 show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA, will be available on July 26.

Soundgarden Share “New Damage” Live Video From “Live From The Artists Den” Release

Soundgarden have share footage of “New Damage” from their new live release “Soundgarden: Live From The Artists Den.“ That effort, which features the band’s February 17, 2013 show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA, will be available on July 26 and it will also be screened in IMAX theaters on July 1. An additional screening will take place at the Showbox in Seattle, WA on June 23.

Soundgarden’s “Down On The Upside” To Receive Limited Edition Vinyl Pressing This Month

Soundgarden will be reissuing “Down On The Upside” on limited edition vinyl. The 2-LP set will be available on June 28 and it will come with one marbled orange colored record and one purple colored record. This will be the latest release in the band’s 35th anniversary reissue series and you can pre-order it HERE.