Alice In Chains Collaborator Reacts To Chris Cornell’s Final Words Before Death


Tim Branom, a Seattle musician who was an early collaborator of Layne Staley and Alice In Chains, discussed Chris Cornell’s death in a recent Music Festival interview.

“I am still extremely saddened by his death. His music, voice and personality are very comfortable to me and we have lost another great songwriter. It was hard for me to visit his grave (in Los Angeles), but I went with my friend Angel and a group of friends from Seattle on my birthday. It helped me emotionally to have them with me. It was very quiet and final – to see all the flowers and notes from people was like seeing all of our thoughts in front of us.

Maybe I identify with him so well because we are both from Seattle and we both went to the same singing teacher (Ron Anderson). I also went to high school with Chris but don’t remember ever meeting him. He used a different last name then (Boyle), so I only recently found out we were in school at the same time (he was a year older), and I think our high school expelled him for poor attendance or he just dropped out. Apparently he just worked a day job instead of graduating and played in bands as a drummer. This would be right about the time Def Leppard had the big hit “Let It Go”, so everyone looked and sounded like that.

As far as a theory on how or why he died, as a fellow singer, I think you have to consider the last thing he spoke about, and apparently he said he ‘blew his voice out.’ That might not sound important to anyone else, but to a singer, if you can’t sing, you’ve lost your gift. People need to hear what they are told when someone is troubled and on medication. Don’t ignore someone’s words. They are literally telling you their problem. Suicides can be prevented. Please listen. Words matter. Now we have lost the last great rock singer (and don’t forget Chester Bennington). I almost feel it is my duty to carry on where Chris left off. Chris must have been talking about himself in the future when he sang: “No one sings like you anymore.”