AUDIOSLAVE frontman Chris Cornell recently spoke to the U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine about the group's upcoming album, "Out of Exile". The question-and-answer session follows:
Kerrang!: How are AUDIOSLAVE feeling about "Out of Exile"?
Chris Cornell: "Excited, it's really great. It's the best rock record ever made! Okay, I'm not sure about that yet, but it's going to be one of the best rock records ever."
Kerrang!: What's so great about it?
Chris Cornell: "We just love all the songs, it's that simple. We're not just coming from one sound or one attitude or one idea, there's a lot going on. It sounds like a rock record in the classic sense. It's a journey from the beginning of the record ot the end. You don't know what the song that you hear next is going to sound like. In fact, it's probably not going to be what you expect, but it's going to be creative and it's going to stand on its own. It's not a record with a couple of singles and then a bunch of wank that we did in the studio so that we'd have 10 songs."
Kerrang!: Have you finalized a track listing yet?
Chris Cornell: "Not yet, We have a lot more music than we really need for it and we like everything, so we haven't really decided what the final songs will be. But I know that whatever combination of songs we put on it, it's going to be great."
Kerrang!: What are you dealing with in the lyrics?
Chris Cornell: "It's difficult for me to have a perspective on them, but the feedback I've been getting from people who've heard the songs has been that the lyrics are more hopeful, more celebratory, happier. Happier might not be the best word to use because I don't write songs about ice cream and stuff, but I was getting really tired of going down a road that was a little too dark or introspective. If you listen to a lot of hard rock music, the words blood, guns, bones, and words that might be aggressive are always there, but it's not scary. Things that are scary are much simpler ideas, things that are nothing to do with anger, violence, hatred or the devil."
Kerrang!: Has your personal life influenced the positive shift in your songwriting?
Chris Cornell: "I'm in a different place in my life. I'm newly remarried with a relationship that I never thought was possible for me. I have a new child, so now I have two children and I'm in a band where we all have a singular focus that's positive. When we're together it's positive. So my home life and my career are both fantastic, and really, that has left me in a sense to my own devices. Whatever inner demons I have that come out, I can't blame anything else anymore, because everything's wonderful!"
Kerrang!: So are these the most personal songs you've written?
Chris Cornell: "Maybe, yeah. For me, it's taken my whole career to not be afraid to write such personal lyrics. I guess I don't want to be too revealing because I don't want to look like too much of an idiot and be too personal or too stupid so that it's embarrassing. But there's something punk rock about doing that, about taking those chances."
Kerrang!: Did you all have fun together in the studio?
Chris Cornell: "Yes, we were very together and cohesive in the reharsal room when we were writing the songs, so that we went into the studio with completely finished ideas, and we just fired them all off. It was a very positive experience. I was in a better place personally, so it was a lot of fun."
AUDIOSLAVE's "Out of Exile" is scheduled for release on May 24 via Interscope.