Chris Cornell is an amazingly talented musician and mesmerizing frontman (plus, you know… hubba hubba). But few can consistently state the obvious with such verve. His latest groundbreaker: rock is losing ground to rap and cocaine is bad for you. Ooookay.
Evidently, in a new interview with Details quoted by content provider the Pulse of Radio (via Blabbermouth), the Soundgarden screamer blows the lid off the notion that rock music has "definitely lost its place at the center of the musical universe."
Asked about the state of rock today, the 47-year-old Cornell remarks, "When I was growing up in the late-70s, everyone could identify the five or 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."
So, to be clear: the advent of rap, which essentially didn’t exist in the late 1970s of Cornell’s youth has attracted a fan base because it’s on the radio, thereby grabbing the attention of listeners who otherwise would likely gravitate towards rock the way they did when there were no other options? Got it.
Cornell also says that he thinks modern technology has played a role in the decline of rock, adding, "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."
Wait, what? Shakespeare wrote rock songs, too? Wow, that guy really was a damn genius.
The pièce de résistance, however, comes with Cornell speaking about his past drug use, saying, "When you pick up the pipe for the first 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."
The singer adds that it seems his generation of musicians was hit harder by drugs than previous ones, saying, "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 80s killed that - everyone was doing coke."
Sorry to butt in again here, but I am pretty sure people were doing mountains of coke in the 1970s. See Keith Richards’ memoir Life, virtually any interview with Elton John or Stevie Nicks, the rise and fall of Studio 54, the entire career of Rick James R.I.P., and so on. Sigh.
OK, sorry Chris but really. Tee hee. On the plus side, Cornell is spot-on where it counts. The first new Soundgarden song in almost 16 years, called "Live To Rise," will appear on Avengers Assemble, a companion album to the superhero movie The Avengers which also featuring new tracks from Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch and others.