Soundgarden Members Regain ‘Temporary’ Control of Band’s Social Media

Soundgarden Members Regain 'Temporary' Control of
Colin Young-Wolff for Artists Den Entertainment

One the many legal standoffs between Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky and the surviving members of Soundgarden has been at least temporarily resolved: The bandmembers now have access to the band’s official social media accounts and website, which Vicky Cornell has barred them from for the past few years.

Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell, the personal representative of the Estate of Christopher Cornell, are pleased to announce that, effective June 15, 2021, they have come to a temporary agreement that will transfer the Soundgarden social media accounts and website to the band’s remaining members, Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, and Ben Shepherd and their managers, Red Light Management,” the announcement reads. “This includes Soundgarden’s website [https://www.soundgardenworld.com], Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/Soundgarden], Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/soundgarden/], and Twitter [https://twitter.com/soundgarden].  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.” The announcement does not specify how long the agreement might last.

In their first official post, the bandmembers — who in 2020 launched alternate social media accounts under the anagram Nude Dragons — made a serious but lightheartedly-worded request for people to be respectful. “Hey Soundgarden friends, fans and family!” it reads in part. “Our site is intended to celebrate the music, achievement,s career and legacy of the band along with news and information about any current and future plans… We encourage dans to share their comments praise and criticism, bu t we do expect these to be approporiate, courteous and respectful to each other and to the band…. No more comments about wives, children, exes, significant others, siblings, parents, great aunts, second cousins…. Etc. of any of the current of former band members.” It sets more standards for behavior and adds, “Furthermore, don’t post discussions or inane conspiracy theorites casting blame for harm to Chris Cornell.” The singer committed suicide after a performance in Detroit in May of 2017.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Vicky Cornell said: “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.  We all recognize the profound pain caused by Chris’s tragic loss and the path it has taken us down.”

In the most recent of several legal flareups between the two parties, Vicky Cornell sued the bandmembers again in February, claiming that she was offered a $300,000 buyout of Cornell’s share of the band that she considers “ludicrously low” and is calling for the group’s holdings to be professionally valued. In the complaint, Vicky Cornell claims that the bandmembers declined her offer of $21 million for their interest in the band partnership, and also declined a separate offer of $16 million for the rights to the group’s recorded-music rights.

The band responded in a statement to Variety: “As requested by the Estate of Chris Cornell and as required by the laws of the State of Washington, the surviving members of Soundgarden submitted to the Cornell Estate four months ago a buy-out offer of the Estate’s interests in Soundgarden calculated by respected music industry valuation expert Gary Cohen.”

According to a document provided by the rep, Cohen has worked in an auditing capacity in situations involving the Beatles and EMI Music Publishing, the Rolling Stones and Sony and Abkco, Taylor Swift and Big Machine Records, Miles Davis and Sony Music and dozens of others.

“Since then, the band members have continued to try to settle all disputes with the Cornell Estate and in their several attempts to settle, the band members have elected to offer multiple times more than the amount calculated by Cohen. This dispute has never been about money for the band. This is their life’s work and their legacy.”