Remembering Chris Cornell: Late Soundgarden Frontman Opens Up About Seattle Grunge Scene in 1992
Chris Cornell truly is one of the fathers of grunge.
ET spoke to the Soundgarden frontman — who died on Wednesday at age 52 — in 1992 about his band’s place in the burgeoning Seattle music scene, which produced such influential rock acts as Pearl Jam, Nirvana and his own.
“We came out of, like, an urban scene that bands like Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, the Melvins and Nirvana all came out of,” Cornell explained at the time. “They’re very different bands. There’s certain similarities, but really, if you sat down someone who didn’t know and played them a Nirvana record, a Mudhoney record, a Soundgarden record and a Pearl Jam record, they would have no clue that they were all from the same city or the same scene.”
The legendary rock musician was very grounded then about how the group would respond to accolades, such as GRAMMY gold.
“I think the first sign you’ll see of [fame changing the band] is when we all start getting facial reconstructive surgery,” Cornell joked, pulling his face. “I don’t feel I’ve changed at all.”
Three years later, the band would win two GRAMMYs for “Spoonman,” as well as the iconic hit, “Black Hole Sun.”
Cornell died after a Soundgarden performance in Detroit on Wednesday. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office told ET that Cornell’s autopsy had been completed and the cause of death was ruled suicide by hanging — but the singer’s wife, Vicky, isn’t convinced that his death was intentional.
“I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life,” Vicky said in a statement to ET.
“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages,” the Cornell family’s lawyer, Kurt Pasich, said in a statement to ET. “The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”
“Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled,” Vicky said in her statement. “He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second.”
Cornell’s death is not only deeply felt by his loved ones, but by the music community at large as well.
Watch the video below for ET’s favorite memories with the iconic musician.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).