Red Hot Chili Peppers Member On Why Chris Cornell Had ‘Rough Disease’ With ‘Mental Illness’


Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith discussed Chris Cornell’s death in a recent 94.3 The Drive interview. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

“It’s obviously very sad. Chris is an incredible artist and musician and he was a friend of ours. We toured with [Soundgarden] at Lollapalooza in 1992, the bands you mentioned, Pearl Jam, and Lollapalooza was a great fun tour. It felt like, as you alluded to, things were changing, music was changing, obviously Soundgarden being a big part of that scene up in Seattle. They were great, and we’ve been friends ever since.

I didn’t know him that well, but it was shocking. Incredibly talented, one of the greatest singers of our generation. It’s really sad when somebody goes too young, especially in that way seems so crazy to me, and unfathomable. I know that today was his memorial down in Hollywood, some of my friends were down there, I’m close with the Pearl Jam guys, and of course they’re very close to him. Everyone was just shocked and stunned, and didn’t see it coming. Mental illness and depression is a rough disease man, you just never know how it’s going to manifest itself.”

“Fame, and all of that stuff that goes with it, and then you’re alone with your thoughts. It makes me especially sad being a Dad and having young children, and he does too. That’s really rough. He’s just a guy, trying to navigate his way through life.”