Trent Reznor Reveals How Chris Cornell Reacted To ‘Scream’ Diss Apology

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In a new Rolling Stone piece on Chris Cornell’s death, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor recalled his diss back in 2009 of Cornell’s Timbaland produced album Scream.

At the time, Reznor said listening to Scream was like “that feeling you get when somebody embarrasses themselves so badly YOU feel uncomfortable.” He later parodied the album on April Fools Day in 2009, claiming he’d release a new Timbaland produced hip hop album called Strobe Light.

Cornell responded on Twitter: “What do you think Jesus would twitter,” Cornell asked. ” ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ or ‘Has anyone seen Judas? He was here a minute ago.'”

Reznor also said in 2009, “In the case of Cornell, I don’t know Chris. I do know what label he’s on now and I do know who’s whispering in his ear. And heavily on the With Teeth album, I turned that record in and I would get back ‘Hey you know, you might wanna… maybe we need to put some beats on this record.'”

He added, “And I’m sure there was someone whispering in Cornell’s [ear] and he can put that off as some kind of sociocultural experiment, but what it was, was a money grab and when you do that you’re saying to other people that look up to you, it’s okay to do that and it’s not okay to do that. It isn’t.”

In the new Rolling Stone article, Reznor remembered apologizing to Cornell just prior to Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden’s 2014 co-headlining tour.

“Seeing Chris do that record felt like a blow to me,” says Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. “I thought, ‘He’s above that, man. He’s one of the 10 best vocalists of our time.’ ”

Reznor went public, blasting Cornell on Twitter – “which,” the former says now, “I immediately regretted.” Five years later, as Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails were about to start a co-headlining tour, Reznor wrote Cornell an e-mail, apologizing for that outburst. “He was very cool and generous about it – ‘It’s the past, fuck it. Let’s go on.’ The Chris I met on that tour was a gentleman that completely had his shit together.”

  • John

    My opinion obviously doesn’t count but I dig most of scream

    • Billy

      Scream is a great album, the bsides are better than a few of the album tracks. Why do you follow me should’ve been a single

      • John

        I thought I was the only fan of the album. Never far away & long gone rock versions are fantastic and yes the b-sides are also very good.

        • Billy

          his voice just melds to any style. Climbing up the walls is also a key track for me. i actually tweeted timberlake the other day to see if he had any good memories of recording Take me alive, but no response lol

          • IrregularJohn

            The N’Sync boy?

          • Billy

            lol yes, they both sing on Take me Alive, some pretty solid harmonizing.

          • John

            I just ignore trolls Billy. Thanks for the convo

          • Billy

            lot of ppl don’t like it, i know several ppl who hate it and have never listened to it. It’s def a weird combo but Chris sounds fantastic on it.
            Plus, where else are you going to have lyrics in reference to Plato’s cave with a dance beat? lol

          • ITURBIDE

            “no I don’t…but I can tell you a funny story the day I recorded ‘bye bye bye’…”

    • Shane McIntire

      Same here. I thought it was pretty solid. Different, but solid.

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      • John

        Yeah – that’s the thing, if one actually listens it’s not bad at all. A nice departure for CC

  • ITURBIDE

    Just because Cornell has passed away, that doesn’t mean scream suddenly became a great album.

    Cornell was the best voice of his generation. I love Soundgarden, I love Audioslave and I really love his solo acoustic performances. I have chills every time I listen his version of “nothing compares to you”. I mourned his death.

    but scream is a terrible album.

  • Carolyn

    Rezone probably just feels bad. Someone asked him and, being kind especially since Chris just passed away, he pulled back his opinion. He’s human. Sometimes. 🙂

    • Kooler Than Jesus

      Reznor/NIN toured with Soundgarden just a few years ago after King Animal was released and several years after the “Scream” comments, and just before their tour began Reznor talked about how he was a Soundgarden fan and how Cornell had an incredible voice, and now he has talked about how he apologized back then and how Cornell gently accepted his apologies.

      He probably still thinks that making an album with Timbaland when everybody made albums with Timbaland was a label suggestion that Cornell just accepted after his second solo album was not very succesful, Cornell probably thought that it could be a good idea to work with Timbaland, but Reznor obviously didn’t agree, but also probably thinks that he shouldn’t have been so harsh publicly, and that’s why he apologized before touring together.

  • Bilbo

    I just think that in memory of Chris we should just forget that he ever released that thing, really. One of those instances in which a piece of you dies inside was my feeling when he put that out… An absolute disgrace.