Soundgarden were working on new album before Chris Cornell’s death

Guitarist Kim Thayil recently spoke about progress on the band's next record

Soundgarden were working on a new album prior to the passing of frontman Chris Cornell.

Cornell died last night at the age of 52. It was a “sudden and unexpected” death, which has reportedly been confirmed as suicide.

Before the sad news, guitarist Kim Thayil recently spoke to Billboard, revealing that the band had been slowly working on a follow-up to 2012’s ‘King Animal’.

“It’s been a couple years of intermittent songwriting sessions,” Thayil said.

He added: “We look for opportunities where all four of us are available and then we get together and we show each other what we’ve been working on, what we’ve been writing on our own and see if there’s anything that can be contributed from that sharing process. And then we like to jam and see if any ideas come out collaboratively that we can work on.”

Thayil continued: “There’s some songs that have been demoed. I think Matt [Cameron, drummer]’s demoed some things completely, stuff he’s recorded on his computer. Chris [Cornell] has demoed a few things. He’s written lyrics for ideas that I’ve written and that Ben [Shepherd, bassist] and Matt have written. There’s some things that have been documented in rehearsal. There’s some things that are at the demo stage. There’s some that are still in the developmental stage — ideas that we’ve jammed on that we’re working on arrangements for. Every different stage within the process of songwriting is being addressed at this point.”

Since news of his death broke earlier today, stars from the music world including Jimmy Page, Nile Rodgers and Billy Idol have paid tribute.

Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan – Soundgarden’s recent opening band – has spoken about Cornell’s final days.

Weinman began, “I’m getting a bunch of texts saying, ‘Are you OK?’ and I’m like, ‘Me? Fuck me. [Chris’] got three young kids and a wife out there.’ Not to mention a whole band of guys that are enjoying a comeback and writing new music and selling out tons of shows.”

Speaking on how Cornell was acting in his last days, Weinman revealed: “Even though Dillinger Escape Plan did a bunch of dates with Soundgarden, he didn’t really talk to anyone. The rest of the guys would hang out before the show and all of that, but he would fly into the show and go back to the hotel. On the last tour that we were on together, he was sort of very quiet.”