Less than one week after Vicky Cornell lodged another lawsuit against the surviving members of Soundgarden, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, and Matt Cameron, have responded to the suit in reference to unreleased material from Chris Cornell. In her lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court Western District of Washington, Cornell said that the living members of the band offered her “the villainously low figure of less than $300,000,” despite having allegedly received a $16 million offer from an outside music investor for Soundgarden’s master recordings. Cornell died via suicide in 2017. Soundgarden’s last studio album was King Animal, released in 2012 on Republic Records.
On Saturday (February 20), Thayil, Shepherd, and Cameron issued a statement, saying: “The buyout offer that was demanded by the Estate has been grossly mischaracterized and we are confident that clarity will come out in court.
“All offers to buy out our interests have been unsolicited and rejected outright.
“For more than a year, Soundgarden’s social media accounts have been hijacked; misleading and confusing our fans.
“Being a band from Washington State since 1984, we are proud of Soundgarden’s musical legacy, work and career. We look forward to completing the final Soundgarden album.”
In a previous statement, released on February 17, a spokesman for the band said that the offer was based on a valuation determined by Gary Cohen, a forensic accountant and business manager who conducts royalty investigations. That statement said: “The band members have elected to offer multiple times more than the amount calculated by Cohen.” It also said: “This dispute has never been about money for the band. This is their life’s work and their legacy.”
The Cornell estate’s lawyer, Marty Singer, fired back in a statement of his own, saying: “The band’s contention that this dispute is somehow not about the money for them is absurd and hypocritical. Of course this is about money and their greed. They received a third party offer to buy just a portion of their interests for 16 million dollars, and yet subsequently offered to buy out Chris’ interest for a mere $278,000. And then Vicky offered $21 million for their shares, which they turned down — not because they wanted to preserve their life’s work but because they know that they will make even more off of future exploitation of the music that Chris wrote and the legacy that he created (which has lined their pockets for years).”