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Bobbyisms: Tuning up the band after decade long hiatus

Bobby Foley | Interrobang | Lifestyles | January 18th, 2010



I write about random things a lot. I write a lot about random things. A crazy thing happened — I started making notes a while ago to speak about Chris Cornell and the possibility of him re-recording and releasing Scream (his terrible 2009 digital pop record produced by Timbaland) and in the time that's passed, Soundgarden have announced they're getting back together!

Now I have a jumble of notes and napkins, pen scribblings all over my coffee table, and the task of forming it into some sort of column. And well... it seems a waste not to use them. I doubt I'll be able to make them into something later. I'll do my best to make it up to you next week.

Soundgarden

“In light of the recent news of Chris Cornell re-producing his latest album as a rock effort,” I wrote, weeks and weeks ago. “It raises the question of the artistic mulligan — should an artist get a chance to redo their work? Or should the art speak for itself?”

I did have a point — at what point does art and business interact? In such a scenario, could we trust that the initiative was about the art and not about sales? If the work was re-imagined but released for free (say, online for download) would that be acceptable?

To put it into perspective, I think of David Bowie. Very few artists have had careers spanning impressive numbers like his, now that he's been in the music industry for over 40 years. He's reinvented his persona and his style of music more times than I care to research, with the attention of a mad scientist.

Funnily, I don't think there's a single album that Bowie has ever released that you can single out as bad. In fact, my personal favourite Bowie record is 1997's Earthling, on which he fused his own brand of energetic rock with jungle music. Yep, jungle music. House. Drum and bass.

Anyway, now that Soundgarden have announced their reunion, I think it's a safe bet that the Scream project is going to quietly fade into the background, as though it never happened. Word on the street at the moment is that we can expect a box set and/or a b-sides collection released sometime in 2010, but the (two-part) question on everyone's mind has to do with a) how much new music is written and recorded for release? And b) how soon we can hear it?

Cornell is obviously looking for ways to be creative, and frankly no one else seems to have really challenged themselves artistically since the split back in 1997. Therefore, to give this theorem a little direction, it makes sense to think that perhaps the entire collective will be bursting with ideas to bring into the studio.

From Cornell himself: “The 12 year break is over and school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!” But me, I'm out of words.
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