Jane’s Addiction members Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro paid tribute to Chris Cornell in a new Spotify video. Alternative Nation transcribed their quotes.
Dave Navarro: Historically if you look through the ages, artists in general are very vulnerable creatures. Chris was able to summon the angels, and he was also equally able to summon the demons within the same song, with the same instrument. The range of emotion that he had was never paralleled.
Perry Farrell: Chris Cornell spoke about his life, and trials and tribulations, the agonies, the ecstasies. We need people like that, we need our heroes and our musicians and our singers to be messengers.
Dave: It’s strange to speak about his legacy moving forward since we’re all still so traumatized by it. We lost one of the greats, we lost one of the best there ever was.
Perry: He was actually a very gentle person, and that’s how he got out his angst was by singing. He got in front of the mic, and it was time to kind of tear open his soul, and that’s really amazing to witness.
Perry: It was a very special world where we came up, we were very rough around the edges. What was great and grand about the whole situation was we were writing songs about our life, and our life was kind of fucked up, but also it was great and exciting.
Dave: First time I heard Soundgarden was cruising around in my car in Hollywood. A buddy of mine had a cassette tape, he goes, ‘Dude, put this on, and go to a track called Hands All Over.’ I was just hit in the chest with this sound, this groovy avalanche that was relentless and didn’t let up, and it was repetitive, and it was hypnotic. Sonically, it was pretty much unlike anything I ever heard before, and then Chris Cornell comes in.
Perry: It feels good to kind of yell and scream about something. It could be negative, but it’s just a way of getting something off your chest, then you feel better.
Dave: This guy was a good looking dude, and had the voice of the angels. He was vulnerable, he was introverted, and he was intense, and I think that resonated with people.
Perry: Early early years, they were everything you would wish for in a group. They were wild, they were untrained, they were dangerous, patient, and they were gonna fucking lay a ton of hurt on you man if you opened up your ears to it. They don’t give a fuck, they’re just going to let you have it. I like that.
Dave: Chris as a musician was coming from another dimension. A lot of the Soundgarden material was done in very odd time signatures. What he was doing vocally tended to straighten out the odd time signatures of the band, and was able to trick the audience into thinking that they were pretty standard, because it made sense. Now your attention has gone into what’s going with the passion, what’s going on with the lyrics, what’s going on with the voice. The voice was god given, a god given voice.
Perry: They had hit a height as a group [on Superunknown], songwriting, melodically, especially ‘Black Hole Son.’ He left a song that the whole world remembers, and now the whole world has a song for their heart, and that’s all you can ask for out of life.