Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello discussed why Chris Cornell was ‘super mythical’ and ‘mysterious’ in a new Q on CBC interview.
“He was also a mythical guy. Let me just tell you that – in real life, he was a super mythical guy, let me tell you that. I never stopped being a fan of Chris. He was a friend, he was a bandmate, but he was a mysterious dude.
I’ll tell you briefly the first time that we met – we ran into Chris at gigs, maybe at a barbecue or something, but when Tim [the bassist], Brad [Wilk, drums] and I had spoken with [producer] Rick Rubin. He was our friend and we knew that he was going to make our record or whatever it was, and so Rick and I went up to Chris’s house, he was living in Ojai, was about an hour-and-a-half north of Los Angeles, and it’s in the darkening skies, and it’s woodsy and almost Transylvania-like.
Of course, Chris lives at the last lonely Spanish castle-like thing, at the last loneliest hill. We pull up into the driveway, there’s some motorcycles around, there’s this long stairway, and Rick and I are in my van kind of looking up. And the doors open Adams Family style, no one opening the doors, and now comes Chris’ lanky six-foot-two form as he comes slowly lumbering down the stairs…
Rick turns to me and goes, ‘Let’s get the fuck out of here!’ [Laughs] We really felt like our souls were in peril. There was certainly something in Chris – I think a significant part of his artistic genius was interwoven with these demons that were baked in from an early age. And you felt that in his music, in his lyrics and in his life, and there were definitely corners that I never had access to.
The only silver lining is that those memories and those records, and he made a lot of great music that we can enjoy forever. I think about him every day – every single day.”
Chris Cornell joined Audioslave in 2001 and departed in 2007 when Rage Against The Machine reunited. Audioslave reunited for a final performance in January 2017 in Los Angeles just a few months prior to Cornell dying by suicide in May. Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Morello’s comments.