First it was the Hives’ frontman, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, who had a stab at the world of rock – complaining that it “has been pretty shit for a very, very long time”; then The Drums’ Jonathan Pierce lashed out at indie collaborators as being in “bad taste”. Now, it’s grunge’s turn.
UK tabloid The Sun spoke to Chris Cornell, currently on the Soundgarden reunion trail (and that consistently rumoured new album), about the grunge band’s career. In the process he spoke out about the current state of pop music saying that the time was ripe for alternative rock to rise again and help dethrone the pop music targeted at the youth market filled with “morons.”
“Contemporary pop music couldn’t be any worse than it is now,” Cornell says, “…I’ve always believed that rock music benefits from an obstacle. The worst rock is made when everybody loves rock, like in the late 80s. That’s the only time hard rock has been the biggest-selling genre of music – and it was mostly crap.”
Cornell reasons that he and his ‘Seattle Scene’ Grunge peers – figureheads like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and Alice In Chains – rose swiftly through the ranks in the early 90s by offering a ‘human’ alternative to the vacuous hair metal hangover of the previous decade. “The Seattle scene was the antithesis of that,” reasons Cornell, “Soundgarden was very instrumental in creating that shift.”
“A big reason grunge became so big so fast is because people were so sick of what was out there” he continues, reasoning that the opportunity is ripe for a similar musical shift. “It’s the same thing now. You have a better chance of a very healthy and vital rock scene coming out today because there’s something to react against.”
Though damning the dire state of pop music, the Soundgarden frontman highlighted an unlikely diamond in the rough, “the one bright spot was Adele having the biggest-selling record of last year. They’re actually songs and she can really sing,” says Cornell. “So obviously the biggest market still responds to a human being creating music.”
In the same interview, Cornell also spoke about the long overdue Soundgarden album. Calling the new material, “ground-breaking” and commenting that it “is every bit as vital as anything we’ve ever done… it’s not in any way nostalgic, it’s not a throwback.”
He added that the four members, who reunited fifteen years after their split in 1997, had amended their considerable differences, “it was just like we’d been on a short break,” Cornell enthused, “after all this time, we can still do what we do so effortlessly.”
The new Soundgarden record was being worked on, ”one song at a time,” Cornell adding “our new album is the same thing. We never once discussed what kind of record we should make. We never have.”
Share This Article
Like Tone Deaf On Facebook
Aussie Music News, Daily To Your Inbox
Get the latest music news, opinion, interviews, freebies, tracks, videos and more delivered straight to your inbox at lunchtime every weekday.