Soundgarden have some unreleased tracks that are at the centre of a legal row.
Vicky Cornell, the widow of the late singer Chris Cornell has filed a lawsuit over alleged unpaid royalties.
The legal documents were filed in December regarding the rights to unreleased songs that were to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalty payments. The claim says they are “indisputably owed” to Cornell’s widow and children.
It was later said in the complaint that the surviving members of Soundgarden “resorted to pressure tactics, harassment, unlawful conversion of royalties, and extortion” suggesting thaty Vicky Cornell is trying the stop the release of new Soundgarden music.
According to Rolling Stone, Members of Soundgarden Kim Thavil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd have filed their response in a federal court. Their statement describes the complaint as “an offensive recitation of false allegations and hurtful personal accusations,” and says that Soundgarden “categorically deny every material contention lobbed against them including, most callously, that they were uncaring following Cornell’s death in 2017.”
The statement also says that Vicky Cornell “is not the owner” of their unreleased songs and “they are provably Soundgarden’s and intended for a new Soundgarden album.” The statement also says Vicky Cornell has “the only existing multi-track versions of the recordings” and she “has refused to return them”.
Marty Singer, attorney for Vicky Cornell and the Estate of Chris Cornell responded with this statement:
We obviously disagree with the band’s blatant mischaracterisation of events, and stand by the truthful facts set forth in our complaint. It is disappointing that Chris’ former band members have now sought to taint his legacy by making numerous false allegations, and that they continue to withhold substantial monies from his widow and minor children (despite using those same funds to pay for their own legal fees).
“The issue in this case is not who wrote the songs but rather who owns the specific recordings made solely by Chris while he resided in Florida. We are very confident that the Court will vindicate the rights of Chris’ Estate, and that the case will properly remain in Florida, where Chris resided and recorded the songs that are now the lawful property of his Estate.”
Late in 2019 Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil said a new Soundgarden album featuring the vocals of Chris Cornell is possible in the future.
Could a posthumous album happen in 2020? Seems to be rather common over the past few years.