Taylor Momsen Details ‘Last Hug’ With Chris Cornell

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Taylor Momsen discussed her ‘goodbye’ hug with Chris Cornell shortly before he died in Detroit in a new Elliot in the Morning interview.

“It was traumatic. We were there that night in Detroit [when Chris died]. We played the show with [Soundgarden]; we were opening for them. I said goodbye To Chris, gave him a hug. We stayed in the parking lot hanging out with the rest of the band — with Matt [Cameron] and Kim [Thayil] and Ben [Shepherd] — all night long, till bus call, and drove off to the next city. And we woke up the next morning to the news. And the weight on the bus was so unbelievably heavy. I woke up to just everyone in the front lounge crying and in utter shock.”

“We played a few shows after that, but I got to a place where I was not okay — I was not emotionally prepared to handle that. I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t in a good place to be public, and touring was not doing it for me at the time. I couldn’t get on stage every night and pretend that I was okay when I really wasn’t.

So I canceled everything, which was maybe not the best business decision, ’cause we were in the middle of a record cycle at the time. But I went home and tried to kind of regroup and process everything and get my feet back on the ground. And as soon as I started to kind of do that and come to terms with what had happened, I was calling Kato, our producer, and I had written some songs, and I said, ‘Let’s get in the studio. I don’t know if this is for a record or what, but we’ve gotta start to move forward. Let’s start recording some stuff.’

And as soon as we started to kind of put those plans in motion, I got the call that Kato died in a motorcycle accident. And that was really the nail in the coffin for me where I just kind of spiraled downward, to put it lightly.”

She later said, “I’ll say it again — as cliché as it sounds, it really was music that was the thing that I turned to. I say it’s my best friend, because when you’ve lost everything, music has always been the thing that supported me and it’s always been there for me and it’s never let me down. And I think this was certainly a time in my life where I was testing those boundaries. I had to kind of make a conscious decision whether it was death or move forward, and I chose to move forward and start working on this album.”