Been Away Too Long

Album: King Animal (2012)
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Songfacts®:

  • Soundgarden's sixth album, King Animal, was the band's first release since their 1996 set Down on the Upside. This is its lead single, and it finds frontman Chris Cornell attempting to come to grips with the fact that he, along with the rest of the band, had been out of the public eye for too long. "I got nowhere to go and it seems I came back!" he proclaims.
  • Speaking to San Francisco radio station Live 105, Cornell recalled that the title phrase and basic idea for the song came to him one sleepless night, as he was lying awake listening to the radio. The lyrics came much later when the album was almost finished, after another sleep deprived night and the song "became more autobiographical."

    "I don't think I would write lyrics to a Soundgarden album that would be like Eminem writing lyrics to a new Eminem song, which is essentially telling the story of the making of the album and where he feels he exists in pop culture and that kind of thing," he continued. "So it's not really that, it's more autobiographical and more of a look back at history in sort of a strange atmospheric way, the way that I write. But the initial spark of the idea did feel like it would be right in the narrative of, yes, we've been out, and we've been gone for 15 years, and now we're back. It's about time, and we still have something to say about rock music that no one else is saying and I feel confident about saying that."

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