Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell: I Was Never Creative While Drinking


Story by Anne Erickson

Chris Cornell gives advice to his 18-year-old self

Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell is one of the most celebrated voices in grunge, and with this year being the 20th anniversary of Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger (and, of course Nirvana’s Nevermind), Cornell adoration is at an all-time peak. Looking back, however, Cornell can’t fathom that 20 years have passed.

“It doesn’t really seem like 20 years,” Smear told Matt Pinfield of MTV2’s 120 Minutes. “You know, I don’t collect things and I don’t focus on the past too much, but there’s something to celebrating it, certainly.”

Cornell says that the context of the music scene around 1990 and 1991, when Temple of the Dog happened, was “a very small scene.” Albeit small, Seattle was distinct. “I think with Soundgarden, the first time we realized how special Seattle was, was when we toured around the U.S. in a van and went to all of the other places that strong indie scenes came from, like New York, Athens, Austin and Minneapolis,” he said. “It still didn’t seem as vibrate as what was happening in Seattle at the time, where you could kind of go see a band kind of any time or go into a club any time and you would see a band that was pretty incredible and pretty unique. And, that’s when we started to figure it out.”

If given a chance to write a letter to his 18-year-old self, Cornell would give some basic advice: “Don’t drink,” he said. “And, that’s serious. For me, that’s one, because I never wrote; I was never creative while drinking, and there were these periods of not drinking and just kind of white-knuckling it and writing and recording, and then drinking a lot and coming into the studio hung over and being in the studio drunk and never being able to do anything to the level or to the degree that I thought that I should be. I’m proud of everything that I did, but I think it was a lot more difficult than it needed to be.”

Cornell added to expect the next Soundgarden album out in spring of 2012. Meanwhile, Cornell’s solo album, Songbook, is out Nov. 22, and he’s touring this fall in support of the acoustic release. Find a full list of tour dates, here.


Watch Chris Cornell Talk About the Early-1990s Seattle Grunge Scene

Chris Cornell, Matt Pinfield
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Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Music, Rock News

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