Tom Morello Reveals How Chris Cornell Beat Eddie Vedder


Former Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello discussed how Chris Cornell and Soundgarden beat out Pearl Jam when it came to launching Grunge into the world in a new interview on BBC’s The First Time With. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

“I met Chris I think backstage at Lollapalooza in 92 an maybe at a barbecue at my house and he was just a lovely dude. Huge fan of his, Badmotorfinger was a cornerstone album for Rage Against The Machine.

The intelligence of the lyrics, the sort of poetic indirection and the huge uncompromising metal riffs of it was, that was a brand new thing. Chris sings great and they’re one of the great Grunge bands they predated Pearl Jam, they predated Nirvana. They redeemed metal- and Jane’s Addiction. But Soundgarden redeemed metal in that it made intelligent content a possibility with super heavy music.”

Soundgarden released Louder Than Love in 1989 on A&M Records, so they were the first Seattle Grunge band to release a major label album. Nirvana didn’t release a major label record until Nevermind on Geffen in 1991, as Bleach was released on the indie Sub Pop in 1989. Pearl Jam didn’t release their debut album Ten on Epic until 1991.

  • Dave Id

    The headline for the article reduces Tom Morello’s comment to make it sound like a contest, that’s clearly not what he was doing. Morello being in the the music business would know how hard it is to catch a break. From what I’ve read in the past, most of these bands were very supportive of one another. Using terms like ‘better, best’, is subjective because it is a matter of personal taste.

    • Gary Reilly

      This is how AN rolls. I haven’t been on in a few months but not surprised to see clickbait headlines like this still appearing. I did comment on it before to B.Buchanan but he clearly doesn’t care, there’s really no good reason to have the word ‘beat’ in this headline at all other than to entice people to click on it – it has no relevance to the content.

  • Nate

    Just blocked Alternative Nation from my news feed because their BS headlines. Clickbait will get you one click. Real articles with accurate headlines will get you a real following.

    • Corndog

      It’s ok. We know where you live.

      • Sande Raby

        Hahaha 😂

      • mikesmaddie

        Oh the power. Ha ha!

  • Corndog

    Folks really need to stop using the word ‘Grunge’ as the name for a genre of music, because it really wasn’t. Do Pearl Jam and Nirvana sound anything alike? Do Soundgarden and Mudhoney sound alike? Too many disparate sounds for this to be a genre.

    I tend to think of ‘grunge’ as a period of time, from 91 to 94.

  • Patrick Jones

    I miss how this website use to be a great wealth of news on the bands I love.

  • mikesmaddie

    Beat Eddie Vedder?

    Does it really matter who came out with their album first?

    Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and other bands of that time and in that particular area all contributed to a new era of music.

    So they both are all important and equal because of that.

  • Hwang Sunghyeop

    I can not find the spirit of Grunge report anymore here. I’m going to listen to Smells like teen spirit.

  • Cr13tina

    Jesus. I was like how? Eddie V is still alive but thats in bad taste. A better title would have been, ‘Tom Morello recollects Soundgarten’s beloved Chris Cornell and how they were principle to the start of Rock-Metal.’ Come on, dude.