SOUNDGARDEN bassist Ben Shepherd has confirmed in a new interview with Weld that the band is “pretty much ready to record” the follow-up to 2012’s “King Animal” album. Speaking about the group’s approach for the upcoming disc, Shepherd said: “It’s pretty much the same. Each one of us brings in a song and we work on it — or we’ll all start something together, though there’s less of that now than there was on any previous record, where we would just start jamming and form something out of it. We’d do that and we’d each bring in a song and work on it, and then one of the other guys would change it or add something. This time around, we haven’t tended to jam as much. We’ve just been more focused on working on the next song.

“We’re more capable of recording at any second and working out ideas than we used to be,” he continued. “Of course, we’ve aged and figured out how to do things a lot better. Same thing with ‘King Animal’. It was like, ‘We know what we’re doing, and we can do it better now than we used to.’ So our songwriting, we have it more honed, and we know more what to do. It’s not stale or anything — it’s just more honed, more simpatico with each other. It’s easier and more attainable to get to the idea.”

Work on SOUNDGARDEN‘s seventh studio effort started in 2015, but the band took breaks while singer Chris Cornell toured his “Higher Truth” solo set and drummer Matt Cameron hit the road with PEARL JAM.

SOUNDGARDEN reunited in 2010 after a 13-year hiatus, first touring and then writing and recording “King Animal”, its first new studio album in 16 years.

The band kicked off a North American tour on May 3 in Atlanta, winding down on May 27 at the Rocklahoma festival in Pryor, Oklahoma.

Support on selected dates is coming from THE PRETTY RECKLESS and THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. This is SOUNDGARDEN‘s first trek since a summer 2014 co-headlining run with NINE INCH NAILS.