Guitarist Kim Thayil says the album process began two years ago when singer Chris Cornell said he wanted to go into the studio to work on a handful of songs he had written.
He says (via NME): "We went to the place where we rehearsed for live performances and started writing there. We started these songs that had been written individually, but then began working collectively." Drummer Matt Cameron added that the band didn't find it difficult working together again, despite not having released an album since 1988's 'Ultramega OK'. He says: "We've got such a good creative chemistry and it seemed like it was still there after all these years apart."
"That's one thing I was most interested in doing when it came to getting back together, and the songs came relatively easily once we put our minds to it. The songs came pretty quick. Chris had a lot of completed songs, and rest of us had bits and pieces that we all fleshed out together."
Thayil also stated that at no point did any member of the band point out that they were making an album, while Cameron added: "There was no added pressure of saying 'Let's make a record after so many years'. If you think that way it can get in the way of the whole process. We tried to keep it as laid back and relaxed as possible."
Soundgarden released "King Animal" on November 12.