Long hailed as one of the most distinctive voices in rock, Chris Cornell is currently tearing around Europe with a whole new backing band. They may have came together quickly but there stage performances indicate theres the true spirit of a band ticking away. RoomThirteen caught up with drummer Jason Sutter who confirmed the hard work the band has put in, the benefits of YouTube and the difference between Hollywood glamour and good old rock n roll.

R13: Hi Jason, how has the past week in Britain been?
JS:Yeah amazing, we've just did some shows opening up for Aerosmith and they were incredible and just getting into the swing of things. We've played a festival shows so we're looking to do a few club shows now.

R13: Do you approach the club shows differently from the festival shows?
JS:Yeah, in the club show we try and play for as long as we can, obviously at the festivals we'll maybe only get an hour but tonight, we have up to two and a half hours to play and I guarantee we'll try and play for as much of that as possible. Get ready to stick around all night.
R13: Cool, do you get paid by the minute?
JS: It feels like it as we're so rich at the moment...haha, no its not like that but its great fun to play for so long.

R13: There are Youtube videos of your drum solos – are you proud of that?
JS:Its cool, I find it funny. Whats cool is that my dad retired a few years back and hes gotten into drumming of late. He said he wakes up every day and watched Youtube and checks the drumming out and if I can beam it across and have people see it, then great. Some times when we travel between shows we'll be sitting with our laptops and be checking it out.

R13: Do you guys have any say in choosing the set-list for this tour or is it all Chris?
JS: Not at all and I think Chris is so excited in getting to play all these songs that he finds it liberating to have that freedom. The last few bands hes been in, hes been involved with others and maybe all that grind got to him, so who can blame him.Hes having a really good time and for us, every night is new as he handwrites the set so we're always eager to see whats going to get played. We've learned almost 50 songs from his back catalogue, and we do long sound-checks to work on songs and basically, it's a blast.
R13: Was it hard going at first to learn the songs?
JS: It was an incredible amount of information to process and to learn to play with each other. We called it band-camp, we had a week and a half to prepare, we rehearsed every day between noon and six, Chris would give us three or four new songs every day. We'd even go home and practise, I'd wake up in the morning and rehearse another hour or two. It was a challenge but it was good for Chris to see what we can do and for us to become a band. It's a trial by fire but it made us all better players.

R13: Did the intensity help to make it feel like you were in a band together?
JS: Definitely, we worked so hard but it was cool and it was fun and we definitely bonded and had a good time. Chris was instrumental in picking the right type of people, I was fortunate to be playing with the other guys. The personalities and musicianship are great, very natural.

R13: Whats the crowd reaction to you been like?
JS: We've looked online at some of the chatboard, particularly the Audioslave one as that is recent and some of the guys were really down on Pete and Corey, Yogi and I have gotten away with it but the other guys were taking heat at the beginning. After about the third show we were starting to convert them and now we get nothing but good support and I think everyone has our back. I've got big shoes to fill with some of Chris's previous drummers but its going well, and I have respect for they guys but Im doing my best and I think the band pulls it off. We have to weave in and out a lot of moods and styles with this material but yeah, it works.

R13: Are you still hoping to play with Smash Mouth?
JS: I talked to the guys recently and it's a friend of mine who is drumming for them now. I had to bow out for a while, I had this great opportunity and they're all big Cornell fans as well so it was cool. They've offered me a gig in the Fall whenever this tour ends and to be asked back to that band is amazing. I hope this keeps going and I get to make another record with Chris but whatever happens man, it'll be alright. Its like the girlfriend where you've separated but you can remain friends with and hang out. Maybe Smash Mouth and I will date again, who knows?

R13: Your website shows the video of Britneys I Love Rock N Roll – was that fun?
JS:She was really sweet, the director asked me to come in and rock out and the song was this hip-hop type number and I was meant to rock in the video. Her mother was there, the whole family and it was the longest shoot I have ever done about eighteen hours straight and she was really personable. It was like her breakout sexy video, in the US it didn't show too much but here in Europe, there was more. All my friends over here touring and they saw it everywhere. As I was leaving the set, I was going to meet some mates for a drink and she was heading off to a mall to shop at midnight, they opened for her. This girl rolled in at 6am, danced all day, shot after shot, twenty outfit changes, great sport all day and now shes going shopping at midnight. Surreal, we aren't shopping at midnight yet but who knows, may some day?!

R13: You drummed on the Josie and The Pussycats soundtrack? Was that the whole album or a few songs?
JS: It was bizarre. Tom Morellos fiancée produced the record. I had been in LA for 3 or 4 months and the record went gold and so many people of all walks of life find out I did that always come up to me and go on about how much they love that record. It was a great experience, positive and it turned out to be a cool record.

R13: Do you think Tara Reid did on-screen justice to your playing?
JS:She was on Letterman being interviewed and she tried to play off like she played drums on the record and I was like "really?" I got a kick out of it but I saw her at rehearsals and she did give me shit about playing the drums and not making it easier for her. She was cool as was Rosario, who was nit well known then and now shes massive so that's fun. It was Hollywood rock n roll, yeah, it was cool.

R13: Hand on heart, whats been the band or tour that you've enjoyed the most?
JS: Honestly, this one. Okay, I'm living it and its easy to say and I will say I've had some great tours and times but yes, this current one takes some beating. That's a great question, tough, this is the biggest one I've done. I've played with Jason Faulkner from Jellyfish and the whole first wave of playing in LA was awesome but you know, we've just played with Aerosmith so how cool is that? Im missing my 20th year High School Reunion to be here and Im playing to all these people, as Chris says "this isn't a time in life when you ask what you're doing." We're having a blast.

And with the enthusiasm of every answer being later replicated with every crash and bang of the drums, its obvious that Jason Sutter is indeed having a whale of a time with the Chris Cornell band at the moment, as did the rest of the act. It can only be hoped there will be much more to come from this band of musicians who seem to be only warming up.