Temple of the Dog — the Seattle supergroup featuring Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready, and drummer Matt Cameron (who plays drums with both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam) — has reunited, and will tour for the first time ever since forming in 1990. The band will play five cities — Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle — in November. “This is something no one has ever seen,” Cornell says of the official reunion. “We wanted to stop and recognize that we did this, and pay homage.”
On September 30, UMe will release a special Temple of the Dog 25th anniversary reissue collection of their landmark album, newly mixed by Brendan O’Brien. TOTD will be available in four configurations, including a four-disc Super Deluxe version that contains a 96-kHz/24-bit 5.1 surround-sound mix done by Adam Kasper (who did the DTS virtual 11.1 headphones mix for the deluxe version of Soundgarden’s Superunknown back in 2014), a 96/24 stereo mix by Brendan O’Brien, and the official “Hunger Strike” music video in 5.1.
TOTD will also be released as a double LP, a two CD Deluxe Edition, and a single CD. Physical pre-orders are available now. A detailed list of the contents of each configuration can be found here.
Temple of the Dog came together from the ashes of Mother Love Bone, following the death of its frontman Andrew Wood, Cornell’s close friend and roommate. Cornell wrote future TOTD songs “Say Hello 2 Heaven” and “Reach Down” to help process his grief about Wood, who died of a drug overdose, “but the songs didn’t have any destination,” he says. “I was compelled to write them, and there they were – written in a vacuum as a tribute to Andy. My thought was that maybe I could record these songs with the remaining members of Mother Love Bone, and that maybe we could release them as a tribute.”
Mother Love Bone guitarist Gossard and bassist Ament began playing with guitarist McCready, and they brought in Soundgarden’s Cameron to drum on demos. Because this was a collaboration and a tribute, there was no commercial expectation for the Temple of the Dog album. It would be, Gossard would later observe, “the easiest and most beautiful record that we’ve ever been involved with.” Adds Cornell, “Temple was about making an album simply for the joy of doing it. We weren’t concerned what anyone outside of our group of friends would think of it. It was the first and maybe only stress-free album that we all made.”
Gossard, Ament, and McCready were also simultaneously forming a new band, which more than 6 months later would be known as Pearl Jam. A singer from San Diego named Eddie Vedder, who was vying to lead the project, came into the studio to sing background vocals on three of the Temple songs: “Pushin Forward Back,” “Your Savior,” and “Four Walled World.” When Cornell thought another song, “Hunger Strike,” needed a duet, Vedder was enlisted. “Hunger Strike” became a hit single, peaking at No. 4 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
Temple of the Dog performed live only a handful of times, most notably in Seattle in November and December 1990. The upcoming 2016 shows mark the first time the band has ever toured. Cornell joined Pearl Jam in 2014 at the Bridge School show and for two nights at PJ20 in Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, and the Temple lineup played “Reach Down” and “Call Me a Dog” at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall in January 2015.
A special ticket pre-sale for fans signed up to the Ten Club, Soundgarden, and Chris Cornell email lists has already commenced, and it runs through July 27. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 12:00 p.m. local time on Friday, July 29. $1.50 from each ticket sold will benefit the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, and an additional $1.50 will benefit Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation.
The tour marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Temple of the Dog’s first and only album, a self-titled set that was released by A&M Records on April 16, 1991. “We wanted to do the one thing we never got to do … play shows and see what it feels like to be the band that we walked away from 25 years ago,” Cornell says of the 2016 tour.
Temple of the Dog’s upcoming tour dates are as follows:
11/04 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theater
11/07 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
11/11 San Francisco, CA Bill Graham Civic Center
11/14 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
11/20 Seattle, WA Paramount Theater