Chris Cornell talks Temple of the Dog, Seattle grunge with Mike McCready

“I think there was a lot more to that scene that was happening than what people sort of understand it to be,” Cornell said.

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SiriusXM Editor
December 20, 2016

Chris Cornell at SiriusXM’s NYC studios.

Chris Cornell has received heaps of praise for work as the lead vocalist of Soundgarden, but when he had the opportunity to sit down with Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready for an interview on Pearl Jam Radio (Ch. 22), it was Cornell who was doling out the praise.

Cornell is widely regarded as one of the greatest lead singers in rock and roll history for his near-four octave range and his ability to belt his voice to the heavens. In 1991, he formed the band Temple of the Dog as a tribute to his late friend Andrew Wood, who died in 1990 of a heroin overdose. He approached Wood’s former bandmates in Mother Love Bone, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, to join and later completed the band’s lineup by adding Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron and future Pearl Jam lead guitarist McCready. Cornell pointed to McCready’s contributions to Temple of the Dog’s self-titled album as immeasurable.

“You made it really easy, you added something to that album that if it wasn’t there, I can’t imagine [it],” Cornell told McCready. “And there wasn’t another guitar player like you sitting around that we all knew where we could be like, ‘Well, it’s either McCready or that dude over there.’ You brought something to it that I think cemented its legacy as being an amazing rock record.”

Cornell is also known as one of the godfathers of the grunge movement that originated in his hometown of Seattle in the 1990s. Even though just a handful of bands have come to be known as the pioneers of grunge, Cornell points out that there was much more within the movement that people are still unaware of to this day.

“I think there was a lot more to that scene that was happening than what people sort of understand it to be,” Cornell said. “I think what it really became known for is chiefly four bands: Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, and that’s all sort of guitar-heavy. And it’s also sort of known for more maybe what it leaves out, or had left out at the time, than what was in it necessarily. But there was a lot more going on.”

Tune in to hear McCready’s full interview with Cornell on Pearl Jam Radio on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. ET. Replays of the interview will air on Dec. 21 at 12 p.m. ET, Dec. 22 at 8 a.m. ET and Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. ET.

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