Jump to content

CHRIS CORNELL Performs On 'Late Show With David Letterman'

The Pagemeister

Recommended Posts

  • 2 months later...


Last Updated: December 01. 2011 1:00AM

'Songbook' brings grunge vet Chris Cornell to Michigan Theater


Singer-songwriter Chris Cornell says he's embraced a spirit of spontaneity and improvisation.

"I rarely use a set list," says the Soundgarden front man, whose "Songbook" album was released late last month and who parks his solo acoustic tour at Michigan Theater on Sunday night.

"I'm lucky to get three songs out before I completely deviate from whatever it was that I was going to do — to the point where I don't really plan anything," he adds. "There are points in the set where I'll do a song because it's where I want it to be. It's really something that we're figuring out."

And by "we," Cornell says he means himself and the fans who come out for the show.

"It blows me away that there's this willingness by an audience — continually, night after night, just all over the country and even in different parts of the world — to sit and listen to a guy singing a song and playing acoustic guitar quietly, and not making a sound," Cornell says. "And then between songs they're shouting out (requests) and actually having a conversation with the guy that's on stage. It's really something I didn't expect, and it's something that I really like. I didn't realize it was going to be as special to me as it is."

"Songbook" was released in three parts beginning with "Songbook EP 1" out Nov. 1, "Songbook EP 2" Nov. 15 and the "Songbook" album Nov. 21.

Cornell says he hopes the album — featuring 15 songs recorded during his spring tour plus a studio version of "The Keeper" from the partially Michigan-shot film "Machine Gun Preacher" — captures that spirit of his early shows.

"I wanted to get the infancy of this out there, because it's very sparse, very rough, very new," Cornell explains. "All I was concerned about was finding versions of the songs that sounded like it felt like they sounded when I was there. It was something I wanted to give back, and I wanted to do it right away because I was just really knocked out by how it was received."

The "Songbook" album includes the mix of Soundgarden ("Fell On Black Days," "Black Hole Sun"), Audioslave ("Wide Awake," "I Am the Highway," "Doesn't Remind Me"), Temple of the Dog ("Call Me a Dog") and Cornell solo songs ("Scar On The Sky," "Ground Zero") that he performs at the shows, as well as versions of John Lennon's "Imagine" and Led Zeppelin's "Thank You," drawn from the wide array of covers he's done.

"Those are usually born from me just sitting around and rehearsing or sitting in a hotel room and just thinking about a song or warming up my voice or things like that," Cornell says. "Sometimes it's just on a whim; 'I wonder how this would sound acoustically?' and I feel like it's something I would want to do live."

Cornell wraps up this tour Dec. 17 in San Diego. After that, he returns to work on the reunited Soundgarden's new album — its first studio set since 1996 — which he says will likely come out in the spring of 2012.

"It's mostly done. We just need to finish a couple of songs and mix it, so that will be happening probably over the holidays."

As to what it sounds like, he says, "It's certainly not nostalgic. It's definitely forward. It sounds to me exactly like it should sound — like we took a break and we got together and we're making an album. I don't think we've taken any dramatic new approaches to writing or recording, and yet there's definitely changes."

Audiences at Sunday's Michigan Theater show shouldn't expect to hear previews of any of the new songs, however. "I think it's definitely a Soundgarden record," Cornell says, "and I wouldn't want to take it out of that context just yet."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...