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Soundgarden Holding On to 15 Unreleased Songs From Band’s Early Days

Jim Dyson, Getty Images

Chris Cornell says that the first 15 songs Soundgarden ever wrote were preserved on cassette tape. Though the recordings have never been made public, their mere existence may be enough to get fans excited about the possibility of hearing them someday.

“We have I guess 15 songs that I look at as a warming up [period], which were never released,” Cornell said in an interview with the New York Times (via Audio Ink Radio). “It was the first 15 we wrote. It was on a cassette that Kim [Thayil, guitarist] always referred to as, ‘The First 15.’ … We were a band for a couple years before we really did much [recording] … It was us saving up money from our day jobs and we would spend time recording, and when we would go in to record, we tended to record the newest things we had written, because it was what we were most excited about.”

How many bands can say they have such a complete document of their earliest material? You’d have to think that eventually the band might consider releasing at least some of the tracks for their hardcore fans.

Cornell also compared his band to another legendary group you might not expect. “Soundgarden was very Beatles-esque in terms of everybody’s contributions,” he said. “I actually started getting serious about playing guitar and bass after Soundgarden was formed so I could contribute music, and it was always well received. All incarnations everyone contributed musically and sometimes lyrically.”

Earlier this year, Soundgarden released ‘Live to Rise,’ their first new song in a decade and a half. The band plans to release its next record perhaps as early as this fall. “We’re pretty much done with everything,” Cornell said in May.

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