The surviving members of Soundgarden have responded to the filing of a lawsuit by Vicky Cornell, widow of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell. The statement addresses and plays down the accusation of the suit, that the band had made a “villainously low” offer for the band’s master recordings.
Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron’s response said that “The buyout offer that was demanded by the Estate has been grossly mischaracterized and we are confident that clarity will come out in court.
“All offers to buy out our interests have been unsolicited and rejected outright. For more than a year, Soundgarden’s social media accounts have been hijacked; misleading and confusing our fans.
“Being a band from Washington State since 1984, we are proud of Soundgarden’s musical legacy, work and career. We look forward to completing the final Soundgarden album.”
The initial suit claimed the band derived the figure of $278,000 through “valuation that is inconsistent with industry custom and standard” and “disregards that, when an iconic performer of Chris’ stature dies, the value of the band increases”.
It further stated that the proposed buyout figure “does not amount to the royalties that Vicky received from Soundgarden’s master recordings in 2018 alone”.
The lawsuit also claims that Vicky Cornell made two counter-offers to the band. On 17 December 2020, she offered Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, and Ben Shepherd $4 million each for their collective interests in Soundgarden, and later $7 million. Both were rejected.
Now, Vicky Cornell is seeking a judicial valuation of Cornell’s stake in Soundgarden’s assets, which will account for merchandise and “nostalgia-fueled projects”, such as “future tours with a replacement singer” and even “deep-fake renditions of Chris’ vocals drawn from extant recordings by artificial intelligence that could mint brand new Soundgarden hits”.
For more music news, click here.