Soundgarden claim ownership over Chris Cornell’s final recordings

Band also refuted Vicky Cornell’s claim that recordings took place in Florida during 2017.

Soundgarden 2015 Melbourne Australia

Soundgarden, seen here in 2015. Image: Martin Philbey/Redferns via Getty Images

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Soundgarden have denied Vicky Cornell’s – wife of the late Chris Cornell – claims of ownership over the deceased vocalist’s final studio recordings.

According to Vicky’s suit, Chris made seven recordings at his personal studio in Florida in 2017. It also stated that there was no explicit agreement as to whether the recordings were meant for Soundgarden, which made Chris the exclusive owner.

However, Soundgarden have responded with claims that the unreleased recordings were the result of writing and recording sessions going as far back as 2015. The motion points to public interviews with Chris and guitarist Kim Thayil that suggest that the band had been working on the material since 2015, and details recording sessions up until April 2017, one month before Chris’ death.

In addition, Soundgarden cited several text exchanges from Vicky, in which she referred to the unreleased recordings as the “SG files” on various occasions. They also highlighted a March 2017 email from Vicky which said that Chris was travelling for the “SG record”. The band went on to refute Vicky’s claim that Chris’ recordings took place in his personal studio in Florida in 2017, stating that most of the actual sound files “significantly predate 2017” and that the recordings happened in Seattle and New York while the band were touring.

The grunge band have also rebuffed Vicky’s claim that they were purposely withholding royalties from her, with the motion stating that no one else in the band was being paid at the moment, and wouldn’t be until “the Partnership (Soundgarden), by vote of the Remaining Partners, formally elects to make such a distribution”.

Read the full motion here.

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