Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell Talks Decline Of Rock, Smoking Rock, Future Of Rock

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Photo by Chris Hyde//Getty Images

Photo by Chris Hyde//Getty Images

[pullquote quote="The reason there's no modern day Shakespeare is because he didn't have anything to do except sit in a room with a candle and think. " credit="Chris Cornell"]With songs like “Black Hole Sun” still immensely popular on mainstream rock radio, it’s hard to imagine that Soundgarden haven’t recorded a song in fifteen years and that the band took a thirteen year hiatus from 1997 to 2010.

Since they reunited in 2010, Soundgarden has been slowly, but precisely reinstating themselves in the rock world by working on their upcoming album–with a yet-to-be-confirmed streetdate–and playing shows around the world.

To add to the mounting anticipating, Soundgarden recently released a 22-second snippet of their new song, “Live To Rise,” out on the Avengers Assemble soundtrack May 1st.

Riding the wave of their return, Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell sat down with Details magazine and discussed the role of technology is music’s decline and how drugs effected different generations of musicians.


On the decline of rock music:

[pullquote quote="The thing is, when you pick up the pipe for the 1st time, you don't know that that's your fate. The moment isn't that dramatic. And then that was it - I didn't want to care anymore. "]“It’s definitely lost its place at the center of the musical universe. When I was growing up in the late 70s, everyone could identify the 5, 10 bands that formed the center. Even if you preferred the fringe – The Clash, over say Van Halen – you still knew what the center was. Now kids turn on the radio and hear Eminem or Kanye, so that’s what they gravitate towards.”

On the musical curse of technology:

“They’re making music on iPhones. Everything’s fractured. The reason there’s no modern day Shakespeare is because he didn’t have anything to do except sit in a room with a candle and think.”

On Cornell’s history with drug abuse:

“The thing is, when you pick up the pipe for the 1st time, you don’t know that that’s your fate. The moment isn’t that dramatic. And then that was it – I didn’t want to care anymore.”

On how ’70s rock stars were less depressing:

“Those bands somehow had the ability to be completely f—ed up all the time and still function. They could play an amazing guitar solo even though they could barely walk. The 80-s killed that – everyone was doing coke. If you see interviews with some of the stars of MTV’s early years, those guys look worked over. Duran Duran? They went through hell too.”

[Source: Details via Loudwire]

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