Chris Cornell keeps busy with travels, projects

Courtesy photoIn town: Chris Cornell is promoting his solo album “Songbook” in concert at the Palace of Fine Arts today.

Courtesy photoIn town: Chris Cornell is promoting his solo album “Songbook” in concert at the Palace of Fine Arts today.

Chris Cornell should be thoroughly exhausted right now. He just wrapped a sprawling reunion tour with his legendary Seattle grunge combo Soundgarden, and is currently tracking their 2012 comeback album, as well. On his own, he also recorded a new song called “The Keeper” for the soundtrack to Marc Forster’s “Machine Gun Preacher” biopic. And, by popular demand, he released “Songbook,” a document of last spring’s acoustic solo tour, featuring chestnuts from Soundgarden, Audioslave and their own catalogs, plus “The Keeper” and a previously unrecorded number, “Cleaning My Gun.” He’s backing it with a second “Songbook” tour that hits San Francisco today.

Where did “Cleaning My Gun” come from? It’s a song I wrote a few years back that never found a home. I have other songs like that, but I’d thought about it: “Should I play any of those songs on tour?” So I played that song one time, and people kept asking about it. So when I was choosing songs for the record, I thought it would be nice to have at least one unreleased song that nobody had really heard.

Your old side project with Eddie Vedder, Temple of the Dog, just regrouped for Pearl Jam’s PJ20 fest. How did it go? Well, it’s interesting because — aside from the fact that I play the acoustic versions live — the songs, in a live context, never had the chance to progress. Even though everybody who’s in the band has had so much experience, we never toured playing those songs, so they haven’t really turned into these amazing live songs yet. And yet, every time we get together — every six or eight years — they do progress a tiny bit.

Do you and Vedder ever sit down and reflect on the past 20 years? I think that’s almost hard to do. In some strange way, I think it’s kind of overwhelming. And I don’t know that any of us ever sat in one place long enough to be able to view career steps. But the biggest change was that we became world travelers, and now traveling and touring is a large part of who I am. I get stir-crazy if I’m not doing it.

Is the Soundgarden album done yet? It’s pretty close to being finished, but it kind of depends on how we all feel about it. We definitely have enough songs for an album, but what happens with Soundgarden is, when we get close to being finished, then a whole bunch of ideas always come in, under the wire. And I feel like that’s happening right now.

IF YOU GO

Chris Cornell

Where: Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. today
Tickets: $59.80
Contact: (800) 745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

artsentertainmentmusicPop Music & JazzSan Francisco

Just Posted

Dominion Voting Systems, a Denver-based vendor, is under contract to supply voting machines for elections in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/Examiner file)
Is San Francisco’s elections director impeding voting machine progress?

Open source technology could break up existing monopoly

The 49ers take on the Packers in Week 3 of the NFL season, before heading into a tough stretch of divisional opponents. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
‘Good for Ball’ or ‘Bad for Ball’ — A Niners analysis

By Mychael Urban Special to The Examiner What’s the first thing that… Continue reading

Health experts praised Salesforce for keeping its Dreamforce conference at Moscone Center outdoors and on a small scale. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Happy birthday, Marc Benioff. Your company did the right thing

Salesforce kept Dreamforce small, which made all kinds of sense

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, pictured with Rose Pak in 2014, says the late Chinatown activist was “helping to guide the community away from the divisions, politically.”
Willie and Rose: How an alliance for the ages shaped SF

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

The Grove in Golden Gate Park is maintained largely by those who remember San Francisco’s 20,000 AIDS victims.<ins> (Open Eye Pictures/New York Times)</ins>
Looking at COVID through the SF prism of AIDS

AIDS took 40 years to claim 700,000 lives. COVID surpassed that number in 21 months

Most Read