Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath revealed an email that late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell sent him months before his death in a new Kerrang interview.
“I was a huge fan of Soundgarden growing up, and I played with Chris in London at his solo show and we became friends after that,” Tim continues. “We traded some emails, and one of the biggest regrets in my life is an email he sent me that said, ‘If you ever want to work on songs together, let me know.’
Why I didn’t get on a plane that day and work on songs? The idea of a world without Chris Cornell was not something I would have considered. I was like, ‘Yes, I do, and one day we will do that.’ It’s so bizarre. Chester [Bennington] as well.
“With Rise Against we’ve achieved so much, I feel very lucky to have what we have, but there’s not many places left to go. I saw those two guys as much more popular singers than me, their legacies much deeper and broader – they were people to aspire to.
Whenever I talked with Chester or Chris I always thought of them as the scene veterans who had made it, raised families and were really good people. That was one of the most rewarding parts of knowing those guys, they were just nice fucking dudes. They seemed to have their heads on straight – I saw my future self in them. Obviously, there were far more things happening than I was aware of.”
McIlrath recorded with Chris Cornell’s Audioslave bandmate Tom Morello last year for The Atlas Underground album.
He told NME, “Tom came to me at the eleventh hour, saying he’d written a song with Steve Aoki but that it didn’t have any vocal on it, and would I like to be part of it,” McIlrath recalls. “They just wanted to take a short sample of my voice, but when I actually heard the song, I heard all of these things in it I could do. They asked for a little, but they got a lot!”