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.”