Could Soundgarden Play Again Without Chris Cornell?


At the Rock on the Range festival over the weekend, I asked fans to share their thoughts on the passing of Chris Cornell, and I also recorded tributes, which you can see at the beginning and ending of the video.

Fans also discussed if they would like to ever see Soundgarden or Audioslave perform again in the future to honor the music they made with Cornell, especially with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction likely in the future.

  • Stone Gossardish



    • Kooler Than Jesus

      Maybe if they were inducted to the RRHOF they could find a few guests for a few songs like Nirvana did, but that’s it, I doubt they would look for a permanent replacement, that would be a huge mistake imo, and they have been out of bussiness (as Soundgarden) for a good while, I’m sure they’ll just retire to do other things (their own stuff, playing in other bands like Cameron does with PJ, etc).

      • Stone Gossardish

        That’s a good point, but make no mistake that Soundgarden has been a bit bitter with good reason, that they weren’t in already. If they were inaugurated and didn’t show, I wouldn’t be surprised.

        • Jck

          Snap! Lol.

          Can’t stop smiling @ that: yeah, they’d be candidates to tell RRHoF to go shit in their hat. Or act solemn then launch into Big Dumb Sex.

          Hell no, they will never be Soundgarden with another singer. They are not those guys.

      • Billy

        ya, either guest vocalists at rrhof induction or have one tribute concert to celebrate his life. Other than that, no way.
        AIC and Blind Melon got lucky finding talented vocalists that could do the material justice, i also thought Chester did a great job for STP, but nobody can touch Cornell except for maybe Ian Thornley of Big Wreck.

        i couldn’t imagine any way that Kim,Matt,Ben,Tom,Brad and Tim would ever even consider a replacement

        • Daniel Nygord

          I totally agree, (Ian Thornley)

        • Kevin K Rock

          william duvall is not a worthy replacement for Layne staley, no one is

  • Joe Costigan

    No is my answer as well.

  • Raj

    No, Chris Cornell’s near 4 octave range is unmistakable and no one would even come close. I think Soundgarden will call it quits. Kim was right there with Chris from the start and I don’t think those guys even Ben would ever entertain such a thought even 5 or 10 years from now. At most guest singers to play old SG songs or a tribute to Chris. Before I get trashed in my comments the only guy who has a remotely similar voice would be Big Wreck’s Ian Thornley who auditioned for Velvet Revolver after Weiland was fired.

    • Scarlett

      Ian sounds a whole hell of a lot like Chris in certain songs. There’s also Peter Cornell.

  • Danny Crocetti

    Absolutely, 100% no. It would be a cold day in hell before Kim would ever even entertain that notion. Chris Cornell WAS Soundgarden.

  • Kevin K Rock

    Theres no way in hell they can go on without chris, I dont think kim matt or ben would even entertain the idea. RIP and thanks for all the music thats brought me happiness & sadness through the years

  • Rizz

    Absolutely not. There is no argument here. They’ll preserve the legacy the same way Nirvana did. IMO.

  • GhastlyFuckFace

    The frontmen of the grunge era are icons, with unique singing styles & talents, and this cannot be replicated. Cornell, Vedder, Cobain and even Corgan. They are directly associated with being the face of their respective bands. I could never envision another person taking the place of Kurt to sing ‘Heart Shaped Box,’ or replacing Billy to sing ‘Disarm.’ Impossible…out of the question. In terms of technical prowess, Chris had the finest singing voice and range of the bunch, and ranks among the greatest vocalists of all time.

    The only reason AiC ‘kind of’ got away with it is, despite Layne’s beautifully emotive, irreplaceable voice…Jerry was essentially a second vocalist. Jerry added enough to the harmonization and creative structure of the songs to justify success, so long as the replacement vocalist had a level of talent and a willingness to replicate. Their first record without Layne was a tribute to Layne, so it worked. It was beautiful. It was accepted. Their next record was borderline mediocre.

    • dakotablue

      Yes, maybe–but AIC just isn’t the same without Layne. It ain’t like that anymore.

      • GhastlyFuckFace

        Never said I loved the new AiC. That said, there’s a method to why they’ve been ‘accepted’ with a new frontman by enough of the community to warrant a stability in their continued career as AiC.

  • “There would never be a band called Soundgarden… if even one member quits.” – Chris Cornell @7:00

  • Dysnomia

    Absolutely, positively, no. The only reason Alice In Chains works is because they still have Jerry Cantrell. No other band can survive it. This includes STP.

  • Aaron

    No…after seeing them live in 2011, my feeling is that its like the Led Zeppelin situation after John Bonham died and jimmy Page mentioned that they simply couldn’t continue on as they were, 2007 reunion show aside of course. Chris is irreplaceable.

    • dakotablue

      Or the Beatles after John was shot. The remaining three were offered tons of money or whatever they wanted even for a one-off reunion but they wouldn’t and couldn’t do it without Lennon, who is irreplaceable.


    ABSOLUTELY NOT…..This should be the end of an undamaged musical legacy!

  • Jeremy Freeman

    Ian Thornley could definitely do it…his voice and he looks like Chris.

  • Frodo’s Finger

    I mean… no? Is this some kind of joke? No one can even sing those songs. It’s not even about the range, it’s how full and rich his voice was *at that range* and how much control he had. Then there was his tone of voice, which literally no one has ever reproduced, or ever will. Have you heard the way his voice filled a stadium (or a city mind you)?

    Keep in mind he brought that shit every night on tour for decades, and was infamous for not warming up. Many rock singers get singled out for abusing their voices, and subsequently losing them as a consequence. If there was ever a singer that truly abused their voice, it was Cornell, yet he stood above all as the truest example of how a rock vocalist can get better with age.

    The greatest singers today whilst technically brilliant, still strain to hit notes, and thin out painfully one the big ones. Despite them all being jedi of their craft per whatever genre, they are very homogenised… to my ears. Not to mention they would be hoarse halfway through a set if they tried mixing in a GnR classic, much less a Soundgarden song. Again, it’s not purely about range either.

    Cornell would blow it the fuck out when it came to something like Slaves and Bulldozers, Beyond the Wheel or Jesus Christ Pose, but then sing Black Hole Sun or Head Down flawlessly right after as if his mid range and lower register was unscathed – and this was right up until his death. No one can do that.

    • Shawn R. Shelton

      Jump to 6:00 to hear how eerily similar Ian’s voice is to Chris. Ian Thornley (who is a great singer/songwriter as is) could do a great tribute. There’s even a weird genetic similarity to Chris; as though they were cousins or something… I will agree, that Chris wrote so much of what SG was/is, but there (shockingly) exists a vocal doppelgänger that can hold up to Cornell’s amazing vocal prowess. I’m forever sad about losing Chris, but it’d be great to see a worthy live tribute to a phenomenon we all love so much.

  • docdemort

    my name is chad david baxter, i currently live in tokyo, but im from seattle washington.
    I can sing like chris cornell, I want to apply, to tour with the band!
    I’m a 35 year old English teacher, I have been singing his songs all my life. And trained my voice to sound like layne staley and chris cornell. I will make a youtube video very soon, recording, the song i am the highway acapella, to prove my point. how can i get in touch with the band?
    masonice at gmail dot com

  • tor5

    I can’t imagine a Soundgarden without Chris. Even if someone could pull off the vocals, Chris was still the primary songwriter, and amazing guitar player in his own right. One band that comes to mind is AC/DC. They had a “successful” transition from Bon Scott to Brian Johnson but, imo, they were never the same band. Bon gave them their soul, whereas they were almost more of a pop band with Brian, albeit with awesome Angus licks. I’m sure Kim, Ben, and Matt can still do cool things together, but why call it Soundgarden? Let it, and Chris, rest in peace.