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Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell: “All Our Songs Are Just Characters on ‘Sesame Street’”

Chris Cornell
Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

It’s been 16 years since the last time Soundgarden have released brand new music. That all changed this week when the grunge vets released their new single, ‘Live to Rise,’ which will be featured on ‘Avengers Assemble,’ the official soundtrack to this summer’s blockbuster ‘Marvel’s the Avengers.’

The music industry has changed dramatically since Soundgarden’s last album, 1996′s ‘Down On the Upside.’ The internet was still in its commercial infancy back then, and artists and record labels had yet to face the game changer that was known as Napster.

“In the grand scheme of things, the record business is completely different than it was when we last put out a record,” Cornell told LA Times blog Pop & Hiss. ”In other words, there needs to be some tie-in [today]. Without one, it’s great that you made a record and recorded a song, but no one’s going to hear it — have a nice day. The problem, really, isn’t so much as finding a tie-in, but finding one you can get behind, where you can feel 100 percent comfortable that there is a partner.”

Associating themselves with a huge film property like ‘The Avengers’ was not a hard decision for Soundgarden to make. While you won’t find Cornell sifting through Marvel’s latest titles at you local comic shop, guitarist Kim Thayill is a huge fan of the medium. The frontman says his bandmate ”knows every detail of every character and when they were conceived and what metamorphosis they went through.”

As previously reported, fans expecting Soundgarden’s entire new album to sound like “Live to Rise” will be surprised to learn that the rest of the songs are greatly diverse in style. Now a father, Cornell used a classic children’s TV series to describe the record.

“Look at it like ‘Sesame Street,’” Cornell says. “You got all these different colors and different types of creatures and people from all over the place, but they all live happily together on ‘Sesame Street.’ All our songs are just characters on ‘Sesame Street.’”

No release date has been confirmed for Soundgarden’s as-yet-untitled sixth studio album. ‘Avengers Assemble’ will drop in stores on May 1. The band is offering ‘Live to Rise’ as a free digital download on iTunes until April 24. Watch a behind-the-scenes look at the making of ‘Live to Rise’ below.

Watch the Making of ‘Live to Rise’

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