Erstwhile Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell will be hitting the road next month with the unlikely collaborator from his forthcoming solo LP — producer du jour Timbaland — for a string of eight live gigs, the first of which is scheduled for October 17 in Denver.
The rocker, who worked with Timbaland on Scream over a six-month period, said the shows will be similar to those he played around the release of his first solo effort, 1999’s Euphoria Morning.
“I wanted to get out and do some special shows for fans, where it’s just the new record and introducing that live, which isn’t really the first time I’ve done that,” he said. “With Euphoria Morning, I played pretty much nothing but my first album for the first tour, and with the first Audioslave record, we toured for a year and did nothing but that record. This is also a very special record.”
Cornell will not be playing any tracks from his previous offerings on this brief Verizon Wireless-sponsored West Coast run, which wraps in his hometown of Seattle November 2. Cornell plans on playing the entire LP, from the first note to the last, without any pauses between songs.
“This album, I think, needs to be performed from beginning to end, because on the record, once the music starts, it never stops,” he explained. “So it’s literally a situation where you start playing the record from the first song, and it’s just an hour’s worth of music that keeps going until it’s done, and it’s something that’s difficult to present in this day and age. Everything is sound bites and one song at a time, and people sort of downloading one song at a time, and more than any album I’ve ever made, this is an album that’s really designed to be listened to from beginning to end, in one sitting.
“I think the smartest thing for me to do is go out and perform it that way, so people get it, because people haven’t really understood that yet,” Cornell continued. “I’ve been talking about it in interviews, and people need to understand that it’s a different thing. Musically, definitely, it’s a departure, not only for me but maybe for anybody. People are asking me what kind of music it is, and there’s no real answer for that.”
Cornell’s forthcoming disc sounds nothing like his fans might suspect. It mixes elements of hip-hop (compliments of Timbaland ) and rock in a rather unique manner.
“The initial conception and perception of this record was mixing two worlds — rock and hip-hop, or beat-based music with fuzzy guitars,” Cornell explained. “But it really isn’t just that at all. It’s a mixture of a lot of different influences.”
Timbaland said he’s “so excited to be on the road with Verizon and Chris,” adding that he “can’t wait for everyone to hear [this] great new music.”
Over the weekend, Cornell was in Brooklyn, New York, shooting a video for “Ground Zero,” a song inspired by the tragic events of September 11.
“To me, it’s sort of about the lingering aspect of [9/11] that is used to kind of create support for things that haven’t been very good for our country or the citizens of our country,” said Cornell, who now resides in Paris. “I’ve felt like, with the Bush administration, whenever they’re in crisis, they’ll suddenly pull out a terror alert — a code-orange scenario, which I run into constantly, because I’m in airports so often. They don’t ever have to say why, just that it’s a matter of national security. And with the conservative right, part of the platform right now in the election is ’Be afraid of terror, be afraid of terrorists. Look at 9/11 — we need an administration and a president who knows how to go out, kick ass, take names and keep us safe.’ That’s what got us into Iraq in the first place. [That tactic] certainly helped, and I think [9/11 was] a key factor in Bush winning a second term. To me, the song is about how awful 9/11 was, but stresses that we’ve got to let go of that to move on peacefully.”
Chris Cornell/ Timbaland tour dates, according to Cornell’s publicist:
» 10/17 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
» 10/18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Avalon Theater
» 10/19 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
» 10/24 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
» 10/25 – Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
» 10/26 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
» 10/31 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
» 11/2 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox