Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell was recently interviewed by 105.7 the Point, and Alternative Nation has transcribed several quotes. The reporter asked Cornell if it blows his mind that he’s still here, especially with fellow Grunge icons Scott Weiland, Kurt Cobain, and Layne Staley having died.
“I don’t know, it’s hard to say. I guess the overall attitude ends up being that it’s a drug issue, but that’s kind of cloudy. I have other friends that are extremely talented musicians that died in different ways.”
He said he doesn’t blame the music industry for rock star deaths.
“What I’m getting at is if you go into a 12-step meeting in any city, and you count 75 people and you ask how many people are musicians, you’re going to get 2, and everybody else is going to be from every walk of life as you can imagine. The same as Scott Weiland’s mother crying, there are mothers crying who have lost their sons who are construction workers, mechanics, literally anything you can think of, and it’s happening every day. The only difference between a musician that’s famous, and that other kid, is we don’t talk about them on the radio, that’s kind of it. They’re not somebody that is a public personality that’s already been talked about for other reasons.”
“Then I also think there’s kind of a history of glamorizing a little bit the ‘dead guy,’ whether it’s a rock star or a famous actor. James Dean, he only made three movies, and he’s one of the best known actors of all time. Granted, I think everyone agreed that he was really talented, and he died in a sort of glamorous bad ass way, which was in a little race car on his way to a race, driving it himself. I think there’s something to the legend of that, and the story of that, but one of the things I’ve experienced over and over again, which I think is a way that people deal with it, particularly when it’s somebody that is already kind of celebrated for something, is that we kind of invent the idea that it was ‘predetermined’ I think. That’s where I get impatient with it, because if that’s the case, then it’s predetermined with every kid that ends up with a substance abuse habit, and dies from it.”
Cornell also discussed personal responsibility when it comes to an addict dying, not blaming hanging out with ‘the wrong crowd’ for death. Cornell said he sees it as a parental way of dealing with it, and that he doesn’t agree with blaming other people for the addict’s death. “I’m not saying that is entirely wrong, but if someone has the propensity to abuse alcohol or drugs, and if they didn’t meet the wrong sort this weekend, they’re going to meet another guy somewhere else, if you have that in you.”
He later said, “I don’t think that, at the end of the day, if a person really wants to get better, anything can stop them, and if a person doesn’t want to, they won’t. You can’t make them do it.”