While Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil enjoyed performing at the Chris Cornell ‘I Am The Highway’ tribute show in Los Angeles in January and many of the performers, he has now called the show ‘sort of a clusterf**k’ with celebrity ‘bullshit’ that felt ‘a little bit uncomfortable.’
Miley Cyrus and Adam Levine were two performers that raised the eyebrows of longtime Soundgarden fans, and while Brad Pitt, Rita Wilson, and Josh Brolin were known friends of Cornell, there were many celebrities who appeared that didn’t have any known ties to the late Soundgarden and Audioslave singer, which seems to be who Thayil is referring to. A popular 90’s Seattle Grunge singer even revealed in a new interview that when a Foo Fighters member saw him backstage, he wondered why he wasn’t performing.
Thayil told Kerrang, “The best thing about it was playing those songs again with Matt [Cameron] and Ben [Shepherd], and the next best thing was having our friends and guests join us. The rest was a little bit uncomfortable. It was sort of a clusterf**k. It was picking at an open wound, emotionally, and nobody was that thrilled to do it.
We were thrilled to play the songs for our audience, and to play with each other on stage. The takeaway was the band being together with our family, crew and friends. To see that family together again was love. Everyone was happy and teary-eyed. It was the Soundgarden family together, doing what Soundgarden does and honouring and missing our beloved, departed member. That was important.
The rest of it – the celebrity nature, promotion, and focus was bullshit, and we knew it was bullshit going into it. We did it for each other, to support Chris’s legacy. There was something awkward and un-intimate about it. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around it, but I’m glad we did it for our friends and family.”
Thayil recently claimed that Soundgarden have been rejected in their requests to get demo files they need from Chris Cornell’s estate to complete their final album that was in the demo stage in May 2017 when Cornell died by suicide, though he did not directly address Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky Cornell or estate management by name.