Rick Florino of ARTISTdirect recently conducted an interview with SOUNDGARDEN/ex-AUDIOSLAVE singer Chris Cornell about Chris‘ new song “The Keeper”, lead track on the original motion picture soundtrack for forthcoming movie “Machine Gun Preacher”. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
ARTISTdirect: Is “The Keeper” indicative of your creative process on the new SOUNDGARDEN or has that been much heavier?
Cornell: Well, no matter what, SOUNDGARDEN is always going to be heavier. However, I also think musically the new SOUNDGARDEN stuff is different than anything we’ve ever done. Having said that, I think that’s a theme we’ve always had. I think every time we’ve made a record it wasn’t really that easy to compare it to the previous one—other than that we’re the same band. I think may be some moments that are sort of sonically quieter and more stripped-down. On the whole, it’s a rock record. That’s what we do.
ARTISTdirect: Have is it always been important for you to paint visual pictures that aren’t necessarily explicit? You can interpret “The Keeper” many ways just like you can “Pretty Noose” or “Let Me Drown”. Is it crucial to tell a story that’s both ambiguous and relatable?
Cornell: That’s always been the goal… I suppose the times I’ve missed the mark are when it seems clear to me and it’s not clear to anybody else. [Laughs] It’s pretty easy to get too far away from it. Literally a couple of poorly chosen words can kind of obscure the thought, the idea, and the image, and it’s not there anymore. It’s good to hear that you feel like it’s intact. The only direction I got from Marc Forster, the director, was “Don’t be too literal,” which I never do. He actually followed that up by saying, “You never are, but if I would say anything it’s that”. I agree with it. I really don’t think that it would be complimentary to a great film. I don’t think there’s really an environment where that would work. I could point out a bunch of songs written for films where they were completely word-for-word obvious and descriptive of the synopsis. It’s as if they were the synopsis. I won’t waste either of our time. [Laughs] Okay, “Ghostbusters”!
Read the entire interview from ARTISTdirect.