From Soundgarden to the State Theatre

Music icon Chris Cornell brings solo act to Minneapolis on Monday, Oct. 5.

Chris Cornell plays at the State Theatre on Oct. 5.

Jeff Lipsky

Chris Cornell plays at the State Theatre on Oct. 5.

Paul Patane, Sports Editor

He’s met three U.S. Presidents, the Queen of England, performed in just about every venue you can imagine, won a couple Grammys and even recorded “You Know My Name,” the James Bond theme for “Casino Royale.” Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden and Audioslave lyricist, has done it all. Now he’s bringing his talents to Minneapolis for a solo tour fresh off the release of his fifth solo album, “Higher Truth,” which was released on Friday, Sep. 18.

Produced by Brendan O’Brien, who has collaborated on albums with just about every rock group you can imagine, including Pearl Jam and The Killers, “Higher Truth” is a signature departure from Cornell’s classic grunge rock days, as the album features a more toned down, acoustic, and in some instances, somber approach. Not that Cornell doesn’t like a good old fashioned power or arena-fueled rock ballad, but after being a music icon for nearly two and a half decades, his taste has evolved to appreciate a variety of things.

In a recent interview with Digital Spy, Cornell said, “I like the ballads of the ‘80s – you’d hear an album with 48 minutes of deplorable commercial rock, but there’d be this one song that clears it up where you don’t have to hear a guitar solo. It’s super-easy to do in that context, but the hard part is to be able to make a meaningful album.”

Part of making a more intimate album that’s substance over flash included the opportunity to not have to bring in a bunch of different musicians to help record songs.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Cornell said, “I wanted the album to be intimate and small and so I didn’t want to hire a band.”

Instead of bringing in outside talent, Cornell and O’Brien wound up playing most of the instruments while recording “Higher Truth.”

Creator of Soundgarden in 1984, Cornell and his band emerged as household names in the early 90’s with fellow grunge rock groups Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Alice in Chains. In 1997, the frontman and his Soundgarden bandmates called it quits and they went their separate ways. A couple of years later, Cornell teamed up with three former Rage Against the Machine members to form post-grunge group Audioslave. In 2007, Audioslave disbanded after recording three albums and Cornell began to actively pursue a solo career before orchestrating a Soundgarden reunion which is still going strong today.

Despite Cornell’s strong connection to his new solo work, he seems committed to finding a balance between what he does alone versus his Soundgarden commitments.

Regarding his solo work in contrast to playing with Soundgarden, Cornell recently told NPR, “I would live without both parts. But it’s a lot more satisfying to have them. It’s great to still be having new experiences with the same group of guys — because we invented a band together, and kind of co-invented a genre of music. Being able to come back and experience being a band together at a different time in our lives has been really rewarding.”

For those who make the trek to the show in the Twin Cities, they can expect a dynamic acoustic set featuring a healthy dose of Cornell’s solo work with a handful of Soundgarden and Audioslave songs and a few covers worked in.

Cornell will take the stage at the State Theatre in Minneapolis at 8pm on Monday, Oct. 5. The U.S. portion of the Higher Truth Tour will conclude in Phoenix, Arizona on Nov. 4. For tickets and additional information, visit: