CHRIS CORNELL SAYS HE SINGS “HIGH RANGE” ON NEW SOUNDGARDEN ALBUM

by -

Here is an excerpt from Jesse Shrock’s interview with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell in Beat Magazine.

Speaking with Cornell, it’s practically inevitable that the Soundgarden reunion be our initial focus; not just because of my own burning curiosity, but because our interview was deferred a day so that Chris could complete one of the few remaining recording sessions for the new album. “For this one, I was by myself, doing vocals, and also writing,” Cornell explains. “In terms of material, I think we’re good now. I think we’re done.”

As for how the new material might compare to the band’s genre-defining albums of the 90s, Cornell maintains an air of mystery. “Well you know, what we do always feels new,” he says. “We never repeated ourselves, ever. If anything was too reminiscent of something else we’d done, we wouldn’t bother spending time on it.

“I think I went through a period where I wasn’t singing in the highest range,” he says. “So over the last couple years, since I’ve been writing songs that are in that range again, it’s been a test to see whether it would come back. And I can say that it was just a matter of doing it, for it to return completely. On some of the songs I’m doing now… there’s stuff that is as high-range as anything I’ve ever done.”

  • Ben

    Good to hear! I hope it is vocal range as well as high range.

  • Elle

    High range really? so like Jesus Christ Pose style, or Screaming Life/ Fopp style :)

  • Jim2

    I hope there will be some powerful high notes like the old times! Let’s hope he will be on his good days vocally when he records those high parts!

  • Ashley

    This is actually surprising to me that he feels like he can still do that. I didn’t think Black Rain and some of the higher range songs sounded so great when he did them recently.

  • Junior

    Judging from his recent solo shows, he has been absolutely DESTROYING high notes. His voice is more versatile now than it ever was. Listen to ” Fell on Black Days”, “Sad, Sad, City”, & Say Hello To Heaven from his Houston show this year. Some incredible shit that I’ve never heard him do. I can’t wait.

  • Chris Sage

    junior i love that report

  • Robert

    That would be great to hear Chris to pull it off again like he recently with Black Rain. I love the high ranges he did with Temple of the Dog as well with songs like Jesus Christ Pose, Slaves and Bulldozers, and Beyond the Wheel.

  • MindRiot132

    Agree with Junior, I saw him on the solo tour and trust me I would say if he was struggling. He killed every damn song that night. He’s been getting better ever since 2005-2006ish, even up to last year you could sometimes hear a little strain, which is completely understandable. At the show I saw a few months ago there was no strain at all. He honestly sounded like he was in his 20s again. I’m hoping the new album ends up with the same results!

  • King Cornell 20

    Fingers crossed. It can go either way. He has been so much better recently, with the exception of Black Rain on Conan, which a little disappointing. His work on “Promise”, where he exhibited his high range, on the Slash album was awesome. If he can sing the high notes powerfully, I would not be surprised in the least. If not, well, we still love him anyway.

  • Maverick785

    Ditto to the other solo tour reviews. Not only can Chris hit the high notes, he can hit them AT WILL. This man has turned into a singing machine – he’s far more consistent vocally than he ever was in Soundgarden’s first run. I couldn’t believe how effortlessly he sang some of his more difficult material even toward the tail end of a nearly 30 song set, in the middle of a month long tour.

    It’s gonna be great people!

  • Grungy

    Based on the acoustic videos his voice is powerful. This tour will let us see how he sounds live since most youtube videos sound like shit because of the camera phones used. I’m talking all live concert footage on YT not just Cornell.

  • Tchelo

    BEsides Cornell´s tase on drinks, he always kept his voice in plain healthy standards!

    I wish Vedder could have kept his baratone pitch…
    Nowadys Vedder has a weaker voice when compared to 1991 – 1994.

  • David

    I might be way off here but I know from live recordings of Chris solo the songs aren’t always performed in the same key as the original recording….just sayin’, ain’t trying to hate on him.

  • Junior

    ^^^yup, you’re way off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000022737943 Riley R.

    Darn, I was hoping for low range :(

  • http://www.thedeadwaxcollective.com Ray B

    I saw CC during his Song Book Tour and he has never sounded better. He sang like a bird. Flawless. Even SG songs he played where he goes for broke he nails it. I’m not surprised he’s going for the high stuff. What I’m surprised about is that this is a story. Why ever doubt it? Of course he’s going high. And for the record…All his solo stuff was in the same key as the original.

    The voice is a great muscle and just like anything else it gets worked and needs to heal. Pavarotti is a great example of that. And in the end we’re all human…Even God like Rockstars that sing like Motherfuckers.

  • Erik

    For someone who possesses the best voice in modern rock music, he is allowed performances, shows, even ‘periods’ when the pipes are not in top shape. There are a whole range of ailments that affect the throat and voice, from colds to being hoarse, fatigued, it doesn’t mean he has ‘lost it’. Having seen & heard his May solo shows I’ll also attest he sounds as strong as ever. Not an easy feat, but he IS Chris Cornell. The fucking man.

  • Aaron

    hell yeah

  • Wyatt

    he is sounding great these days. Makes me glad to be alive when he still has it. I think it’s the ling hair, just gives it that extra psychosematic push.

  • Recluse

    High… but thin as hell. No overtone left in that dudes voice.

  • David

    @ Junior,

    Care to provide evidence to back that statement up or is it just further evidence of the inability of people here to accept any viewpoint which even slightly differs from their own?

  • Miff

    @ David

    There’s plenty of recordings on youtube from the recent songbook shows that can be compared with the originals. The vast majority of the songs are in the same key, the only exceptions being Mind Riot, which one whole step lower than the original recording (though Soundgarden also used to play it that way live, even back in the Badmotorfinger days) and Like a Stone, which is one whole step HIGHER than the original recording, which is the way Chris has always played it in an acoustic performance, though he’s only this year (I think) started going for the high notes in the last chorus.

    @ Recluse

    I know where you’re coming from with the sounding thin, but that didn’t seem to be the case when he was doing the songbook shows, where his tone was really rich and strong. Could be a case that the tone of his voice these days doesn’t sit as well with the tones and frequencies Soundgarden have been using, so at the very least in the studio this wouldn’t be a problem, and for live a change of EQ frequencies for the guitars could go a long way to help his voice cut through the mix.

  • Maverick785

    ^ I’ll do it for him. Of the 28 songs he played when I saw him in DC, I think he only played and sang two in a different key. One was “Seasons,” and the other was “Black Hole Sun” which has always been played in a different key – it’s the same case with “Searching.”

  • Junior

    @David,

    Funny, I was going to ask you the same thing about your evidence filled comment. Seems to me that you were only looking for attention with the way your comment came across. I’m sad that I fell for it but principle made me address it. Anyway, I have the Houston show on CD in outstanding quality. He sounds perfectly in key on every song to me.

  • Junior

    http://youtu.be/rxmLbWW6CJM <<<wait until the 2:40. There's no denying the mans talent, and he's been hitting shit better than this during his tour.

  • Grungy

    Wow he can mix it up when he wants too. In key out of key the key is Cornell is a genius song writer with a voice that will be remembered forever.