Today, in “Incremental forward progress in incredibly messy and dispiriting situations” news: The surviving members of Soundgarden have reached an agreement with Vicky Cornell—widow of Soundgarden lead vocalist and songwriter Chris Cornell—to regain access to the band’s various social media accounts, as well as its official web site. This comes after a more than year-long period that saw Cornell sue Soundgarden members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, and Ben Shepherd more than once, in the wake of Chris Cornell’s death by suicide in 2017.
Between the various lawsuits, press statements, recriminations, and more, it can be a bit difficult to dial into the actual cause of the conflict between the band and Cornell—although much of it seems to stem from a disagreement about whether tracks Chris Cornell was working on when he died in 2017 were strictly his (and thus, part of the intellectual property left to his family), or whether they belonged to the band. That’s led to arguments about potential unpaid royalties to the Cornell family, buyout offers that were deemed far below what Cornell’s share of Soundgarden was worth, and, most pertinent here, a move by Vicky Cornell to change the passwords to all of Soundgarden’s social stuff and withhold it from the band, who then began using the anagram “Nudedragons” for their social promotions.
All of which has now come to at least a possible end, with Soundgarden and Cornell both calling the (temporary) release of the social media accounts and web sites into the band’s custody “a productive first step toward healing and open dialogue.” Soundgarden also released a more personal statement on its (newly restored) Twitter account, reminding fans to, essentially, not be dicks, including by making accusations against any family members of current or former members of the band, or by posting “discussions or inane conspiracy theories casting blame for harm to Chris Cornell.” Which isn’t necessarily a statement you have to make when everything is going entirely smoothly in social media land, but, again: Incremental forward progress.