Soundgarden Reveal Why They Weren’t At Hotel When Chris Cornell Died


Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil is returning to Detroit on Friday with his band MC50 for the first time since his last performance with Chris Cornell on May 17, 2017 at the Fox Theatre. Cornell died just an hour later in his hotel room at the MGM Grand Hotel.

The return to Detroit comes with “complicated and dark” emotions, Thayil says in a new Detroit Free Press interview.

“There certainly seems like there’s an offering of closure. I doubt that it will happen. But it seems available,” he says. “There’s also an element of irony to be asked by Wayne [Kramer] to play on a tour with my favorite band, which is from Detroit, that would culminate in a Detroit show. The poetic irony and the opportunity for closure were not lost on me.”

Thayil and other Soundgarden members were already en route to Columbus for the band’s next date when they got word that Cornell had died back in his Detroit hotel room.

There had been no signs anything was particularly amiss that night, he says — “nothing that would have allowed us to anticipate what would happen.”

“There were a few minor difficulties (early) in the show that I felt adjusted themselves within a few songs,” Thayil says of Cornell’s Fox performance. “And then the rest of the show went pretty well.”

Cornell had flown in himself from New York the day of the concert, so he appeared to have different travel arrangements from his Soundgarden bandmates.