STATELINE, NV - JULY 20: Kim Thayil (L) and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden perform part of the bands Reunion Tour 2011 at the L
Tim Mosenfelder

Soundgarden recently released their first new song in 15 years, and are wrapping up their reunion album for a tentative 2012 release. Frontman Chris Cornell (no, actually, that's not Jesus) says the band's split in the late-'90s has helped their new music sound "fresh."

"If anything it has helped us," Cornell told XFM [via NME]. "Certainly in writing and recording the new album, it feels very fresh. Everyone is included and an equal part of it musically and it feels very natural and expressive, and we're going in new directions we never did before." Sweet, dudes.

Cornell also explained that the new album wouldn't taint their existing catalogue of alt-rock classics. "[It's] adding to what I believe is an important legacy, as opposed to when a band gets together and if they make new music it doesn't add to anything, it just sort of subtracts," he said. "It's, in a sense, borrowing from a great legacy to go out and make money and have something to do. This is not that."

Are you excited for Soundgarden's return? Listen to "Live to Rise," the grunge group's contribution to The Avengers soundtrack, then tell us what you think in the comments.