Soundgarden 's King Animal is set to drop on January 31, and much has happened to the Soundgarden guys in the 15 years since their last release. All four of the guys have kept busy professionally, with solo albums, side bands and contributions to other artists' projects. Three of them -- Chris Cornell , Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd -- are also fathers and that more than anything, they say, influenced the music on King Animal .
Ben Shepherd tells SPIN.com that if the guitar riff in their new song "Halfway There" seems simple, it's on purpose -- he wrote it so that he could someday teach it to his daughter. The lyrics of another song, "Bones of Birds," were written by Chris Cornell about bearing witness to his kids' innocence slipping away as they get older.
Cornell says that the most interesting thing about playing his new music for his kids is that they have immediate, unguarded reaponses. Says the singer, "They actually respond. They don't have the references that adults have, so everything is immediate. It's always interesting to see what they react to in whatever I'm working on at the moment. And they don't even want to discuss why. That's a lesson to remember: My son doesn't care about why."
A last-minute reminder: if you pre-order King Animal directly from soundgardenworld.com before 11:59 p.m. PT on November 7 -- that's Wednesday -- you'll be sent a ticket pre-sale password for shows on the band's special mini-tour, at Irving Plaza in New York City on November 13, The Phoenix in Toronto on November 16 and The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles on November 27.
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