April 17, 2012 2:07pm PT by Phil Gallo, Billboard
Soundgarden's New 'Avengers' Single Offered as Free Download (Video)
Soundgarden's first new song in 15 years, "Live to Rise," will be available as a free download beginning April 17 on iTunes as part of the promotion of Disney and Marvel's The Avengers.
The iTunes promotion, which runs through April 24, includes an exclusive clip -- "The Face Off" -- from the movie, which opens May 4.
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"Live to Rise" is the first single from the Marvel Music/Hollywood Records album Avengers Assemble, which will be released May 1. Tracks from Shinedown, Rise Against, Bush and Five Finger Death Punch are among the 14 cuts on the album.
"The hard part of writing a song for a film is it has to act as a Soundgarden song, first and foremost, then obviously, it has to coexist with the film," Soundgarden singer-songwriter Chris Cornell tells Billboard.
Soundgarden was approached in early March to contribute a song to the film. They were working on their reunion album, a fall release of which is anticipated, and after going through their tracks nothing seemed appropriate. Cornell and guitarist Kim Thayil started from scratch and came up with "Live to Rise."
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It is the first Soundgarden track to be written for a film. But Cornell has contributed tracks to such movies as Mission Impossible II, James Bond film Casino Royale and last year's Machine Gun Preacher.
"The biggest difference," Cornell said in drawing the distinction between his solo work for film and the new Soundgarden track, "is that, on my own, I'm only responsible for the identity of me. In the context of Soundgarden, it's a band that has a long and prominent place in rock music and all four of us have our own ideas of what the musical identity of Soundgarden is. That has to be served first. It has to function naturally as a Soundgarden song before you even consider anything else."