Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell: It Wasn’t Necessary to Announce a Breakup


Story by Cat Badra

Grunge vocalist Chris Cornell says he’s at a good place, both personally and musically

Hot off a long round of solo, acoustic tour dates across North America, Chris Cornell is getting back to his main gig: writing and performing with Soundgarden. The legendary early-‘90s grunge-rock band are expected to drop their latest album near the onset of 2012– the band’s first LP of original material since 1996’s, Down on the Upside.

For a while, it was up in the air whether or not Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and the men would ever get back together. But, Cornell says, all the drama that went along with their “breakup” announcement was really unwarranted. “ … I think if there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that it wasn’t even necessary to announce a breakup,” Cornell told Gibson. “We could have just said we were going on indefinite hiatus, and that would have been fine. There didn’t have to be some sort of finality. It certainly didn’t change anything from the standpoint of the media or even Soundgarden fans.

“Every time I did an interview, I was asked, ‘Is Soundgarden ever going to get back together? Will the band ever do anything again?’ Had we just said we were going on hiatus, the question would have been ‘When?’ instead of ‘Will?’ [laughs] And the answer would probably have been the same:  ‘I don’t know.’”

Cornell says he’s at a good place in his life, both personally and musically. Unlike many “tortured artist” types who are fruitful when they’re going through a self-destructive phase, Cornell says he’s at his best when he’s happy and together. “ … I’m able to do more, to contemplate more, to hear more, to understand more and to be more focused,” he said. “People sometimes go through periods where they’re very self-destructive, and some sort of artistic, or emotionally intense, attitude, musically, may come out of that. And that’s great and brilliant and wonderful. But that tends to be short-lived, and it can sometimes be the only vital thing someone does. I’ve never felt like that was me.

“The really tumultuous, self-destructive period for me wasn’t the part of my career that seemed to yield a lot. I think I wrote some great music in that period, but I also think it took me a lot longer than it needed to. It wasn’t my most prolific time.”


Cat Badra
Posted by Cat Badra | Alternative, Grunge, Music, Rock News

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