Cornell died on May 17, 2017 after taking his own life. The band’s guitarist Kim Thayil said the band had been working on a series of recordings before he passed away.
In a recent interview with Music Radar, Thayil said: “It was demos, but the demo quality was pretty good because both Chris and Matt had become very interested in their home recording technique, so they might demo a song, and then Ben and I would add our guitars or bass. Maybe Matt might play drums to a riff that Chris had recorded. And that would be recorded by one of our engineers or techs.
“This is an interesting thing: our entire backline, our guitar techs and bass techs, are all also record producers and recording engineers, so we love that they want to go on the road with us, and we love the guys in the studio with us, but the only people who do both are Nate Yaccino, Josh Evans and Dave French.
“Those guys have worked with us in the studio and onstage, and that’s a great family to have, to be involved in all aspects of a band’s career. So that will help us. So they come and record parts that we overdub on the demos.”
But he added: “Right now, that’s all kind of stalled. We tried to get this going two years ago, but we’re not in possession of any of the demos that Chris was working on with them. We have copies of them, but what we need are the files, so that we’d be able to overdub and finish the record. We are not in possession of those.”
Thayil also pointed out that getting permission for the demos has been difficult and that at this stage everything is up in the air.
“We’ve asked nicely, we’ve suggested that this will benefit all parties, if the band could just have these files, and we could finish the songs we were working on.
“But there seems to be some confusion amongst various parties as to what that would entail and how that works, and who that would benefit. And it’s been tiring, you know. And we can’t move on until some future date when someone realises the value of allowing the creative partners to have access to the material.”
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn recently teamed up with Soundgarden and Alice In Chains tribute band Rusty Chains to mark the second anniversary of Cornell’s death.