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Soundgarden reach temporary agreement with Chris Cornell’s estate over social media accounts and website

Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil of Soundgarden pose at "SiriusXM's Town Hall With Soundgarden" at Electric Lady Studio on November 14, 2012 in New York City.
(Image credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

After months of legal tussles, the surviving members of Soundgarden and Chris Cornell’s estate have reached a temporary agreement over the band’s social media accounts and website.

As of Tuesday June 15, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd and drummer Matt Cameron, along with managers Red Light Management, have regained access to the group’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and SoundgardenWorld.com.

Up until this point, the trio had been operating on social media under the handle Nudedragons, an anagram of Soundgarden that was used for the band’s secret reunion show at the Seattle Showbox in 2010.

In a joint statement, both camps wrote: “The agreement marks a productive first step towards healing and open dialogue, and the parties wish for the social media accounts to celebrate the Band’s accomplishments and music while continuing to honor Chris’ legacy.”

“Through our joint social media efforts and our temporary agreement, my family, along with the surviving members of Soundgarden, hope to celebrate Chris and his music out of mutual respect and love,” said Vicky Cornell in a separate statement. “We all recognize the profound pain caused by Chris’s tragic loss and the path it has taken us down.”

The band followed up on the official announcement with a message posted to its social media accounts, which encouraged civil discourse and “no more comments about wives, children, exes, significant others, siblings, parents, great aunts, 2nd cousins… etc of any of the current or former band members”.

In addition, the band asked fans not to “post discussions or inane conspiracy theories casting blame for harm to Chris Cornell”, who died while on tour in May 2017.

The agreement marks the first reconciliation in a bitter legal battle that as recently as February saw Vicky Cornell brand the band’s buyout offer of $300,000 as “villainously low”.

It could also mark the first step towards the release of a final Soundgarden album – ownership of Chris Cornell’s vocal recordings for seven unreleased tracks has remained in dispute since 2019, although Vicky Cornell had more recently indicated that “all of Chris’ music, including Soundgarden, will see the light of day.”

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.