Titling your first single “Been Away Too Long” after a 16-year break from recording is a good way to let fans know that you’re psyched about what you’re doing as a band again. That enthusiasm’s clear from the moment the Soundgarden guys sit down with Matt for this episode of The Hivecast With Matt Pinfield. And while the guys talk about touring, recording the new material, and how Chris Cornell keeps his voice in shape after so many years, there’s a question 16 years in the making that Matt has to ask that provides one of this episode’s highlights: How did the band feel when they first heard Johnny Cash’s cover of their song “Rusty Cage,” on his 1996 album, Unchained?
“I like how he made it that kind of rolling, country beat,” drummer Matt Cameron says. “The end of the song, that has that rolling, riff part — he just kind of made it ‘boom-boom-boom-ba-da-boom-boom-boom,’ I thought it was really cool. It brought out the coolness of the lyric on that song. He did an interview on Larry King or something, and he was talking about how the lyrics reminded him of the Beat poets and stuff like that, and I’d never thought of it that way.” Check out the Hivecast for more talk about Johnny Cash, as well as the recording of King Animal, how Cameron balances his time with Soundgarden with his gig as the drummer for Pearl Jam these days, and some insight into how the band crafts its setlists on the current tour. [Download & subscribe to the Hivecast via iTunes.]