It’s been fifteen years now since we’ve heard any new music from Seattle band Soundgarden—and it seems they chose the vehicle for their new song wisely. “Live to Rise” (video below) was featured in the credits of the superhero film The Avengers, which released this past weekend and shattered box office records with over $200 million in ticket sales for its opening weekend (and that without an early Wednesday release).
According to frontman Chris Cornell (as reported by Rolling Stone), “Live to Rise” was custom-written for the film, and presented its own set of challenges on the songwriting end, as Cornell felt the need to strike a balance between making the song accessible to a filmgoing audience while still making it sound like Soundgarden.
The appearance of the song on The Avengers soundtrack, while making good business sense, is also a clear indication of how much the music industry landscape has changed. The irony of Soundgarden having a film placement will be apparent to early fans of the band, which emerged out of the grunge counter-culture where such placements would have at one time been considered a “sell-out.” Now, song placements in film, television and commercials are commonplace, even among indie artists, simply because they are common-sense vehicles for promotion.
Far from being a promotional gimmick, however, “Live to Rise” fits the tone of The Avengers movie perfectly, providing a great backdrop for the credits. (And the movie is pretty good, too.)
Apparently, the last shall be first; according to Cornell, “Live to Rise” was written toward the end of the recording process for Soundgarden’s long-awaited comeback album, and will be included on the track list. Look for the as-yet-untitled album to drop sometime this fall. Meanwhile, enjoy the single “Live to Rise” in the video below.