When Chris Cornell died in 2017, all his legal affairs transferred to his wife, Vicky. Almost immediately, there was a fight over who controlled the vocal recordings Chris left behind and what could be done with them.
When no agreement could be reached, Vicky filed a lawsuit in 2019 that accused the surviving members of Soundgarden of holding back royalties and making false statements about her. She filed a second lawsuit in 2021 over the valuation of Chris’ share in the band.
A judge consolidated both lawsuits into one action and a subsequent ruling sided with Soundgarden, saying Vicky didn’t provide enough information to prove her case.
In the time since that opinion was handed down, Soundgarden has been in stasis, unable to move in any direction. However, there may have been a significant breakthrough this week when judge Robert S. Lasnik (himself a big Soundgarden fan) urged both parties to suck it up and sort things out.
A report in Law360 says that all this legal bickering is a “terrible distraction” from Soundgarden’s legacy. “I hope the lawyers will take a look at this and say, ‘Is there really that much dispute here about what should happen and can we give people what they are entitled to and move on?’”
Judge Lasnik also urged the band to be more compassionate to Vicky’s arguments and to think of the fans who want to hear more new music from the band.
We’ll see if this works.