Former MÖTLEY CRÜE and current THE DEAD DAISIES frontman John Corabi has paid tribute to Chris Cornell, saying that he was “disturbed” by the loss of “such a fuckin’ talent.”
Asked by Australia’s Music Feeds how he reacted when he found out about the SOUNDGARDEN singer’s passing, Corabi said: “It was so weird. I was actually out of touch for a few days — I’d just bought my own little tour bus to travel in with my solo band and to go on little weekend getaways with my wife. And so we’ve been kinda hanging out here in Nashville — literally like twenty minutes from my house — we’re kinda camping away, but not away. So I came home this morning, we got up, and she was getting ready to go to work and… I just kinda grabbed my phone and I’m, like, ‘Oh, let me check my e-mails and make sure all the interviews are set for today,’ and the first thing that popped up said, ‘CNN reports Chris Cornell, lead singer of SOUNDGARDEN, has died.’ And I’m, like, ‘What?’ You know, so then I read it and — I gotta be honest with you — I was just, like, ‘Shit, this sucks.'”
He continued: “I’m probably… Unlike a lot of my cohorts from the ’80s and ’90s who totally blamed the shortness of their careers on bands like NIRVANA and ALICE IN CHAINS and SOUNDGARDEN and whatever, I was very into a lot of those bands. I thought NIRVANA was brilliant, I thought [ALICE IN CHAINS frontman] Layne Staley was just a fucking monster vocalist, and I thought the same of Chris, you know? And I met Chris a couple of times and he was always very quiet and reserved and just a good dude, you know? Really intelligent, I thought his lyrics were great. I thought — especially on that first AUDIOSLAVE record — ‘Fuck, these lyrics are amazing!’ And you know, it’s just so weird. Like, he was such a young guy.”
Corabi added: “I gotta be honest with you, I’m 58. And the fact that he’s 52, you know… relatively good health… good-looking guy… three kids… I’m, like, ‘Fuck! What goes through a person’s head to go to that extreme?’It’s crazy… I’m just, like, ‘God dammit!’ He’s just such a fuckin’ talent, you know? [sighs heavily] It was very disturbing. And I posted a little thing on my Facebook page, and hopefully now wherever he’s at… I mean, obviously he was a tortured individual because it’s coming out now that he had struggled throughout his life with depression and different things like that, so hopefully he’s at peace and in a better place.”
Cornell was found dead in his Detroit hotel room in the early hours of May 18, just a short time after he and SOUNDGARDEN had performed in that city. The cause of death was suicide by hanging, although toxicology results are still pending.
Various accounts of his final hours have suggested that he may have been under the influence either the anti-anxiety drug Ativan or other substances, although that all remains conjecture until the test results are officially revealed.