Here is an excerpt from Gibson‘s new interview with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell.
You’ve characterized the break from Soundgarden as more of an extended vacation than a breakup.
That’s right. I think if there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that it wasn’t even necessary to announce a breakup. 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.”
You’re in a good place in your life now, which wasn’t always the case. Is writing songs easier when you’re happy?
I definitely feel a difference now. I’m able to do more, to contemplate more, to hear more, to understand more and to be more focused. 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.