Back in the day, a rock band would debut their new single on MTV, and hope to sell a few hundred thousand CDs at retail chains across the country. In 2010, it's all about the blog hype, the music video games, and the digital downloads. So kudos to Soundgarden, the newly-reunited Seattle rock outfit, which is set to unveil its first single in 13 years on "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock," the latest installment in Activision's Guitar Hero franchise.
According to reps from Activision, "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock" will focus on "shred-worthy tunes," including singles from Jane's Addiction ("Been Caught Stealing"), A Perfect Circle ("The Outsider), Black Sabbath ("Children Of The Grave") and Megadeth ("Sudden Death"). But it's the news about Soundgarden, a band best known for its twisted rock ballad "Black Hole Sun," which has really caught the attention of the gaming blogosphere.
Soundgarden broke up in 1997, as the grunge rock movement petered out. Many fans assumed Soundgarden was gone forever, but then in April of this year, frontman Chris Cornell announced Soundgarden would play Lollapalooza in August. The band has since played a secret show under a different name and posted a live recording to Facebook.
In many ways, "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock" is a perfect showcase for Soundgarden. The most popular tunes in the Guitar Hero franchise are big, roaring anthems – the kind of thing that Cornell specializes in. And Soundgarden already has licensed at least one hit to Activision. On the other hand, statistics show that interest in music video games has slumped a bit in recent months, as people lose interest in all that repetitive button-mashing.
Earlier this year, Jack White told NME that all aspiring musicians should "quit playing video games, throw away their Auto-Tune program and cut three strings off their guitar." We hope Mr. Cornell wasn't listening.