Soundgarden: Chris Cornell tribute like "picking at an open wound"

10 September 2020, 12:12 | Updated: 10 September 2020, 13:45

Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayill with image of late frontman Chris Cornell inset
Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayill with image of late frontman Chris Cornell inset. Picture: 1.Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images 2. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Guitarist Kim Thayil has admitted the band found some of the celebrity elements of the Cornell tribute concert "uncomfortable".

Soundgarden's Kim Thayil says the Chris Cornell tribute show was like "picking at an open wound".

The grunge icon and Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman tragically lost his life to suicide on 18 May 2017 and a star-studded concert: I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell was held last year in his honour.

Though Thayil and the remaining members of the band Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd loved playing together with their friends, the rocker admitted that he found the rest of the memorial "a little bit uncomfortable".

The guitarist explained to Kerrang!: "The best thing about it was playing those songs again with Matt and Ben, 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 cluster****.

"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 onstage. 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."

READ MORE: Proof that Chris Cornell could cover absolutely anything

READ MORE: Soundgarden drop benefit gig counter claims against Vicky Cornell

Despite the good feelings that came from it, the Black Hole Sun rocker described the promotion of the event as "bulls***".

"That was important," he mused, referring to mourning with their family, their crew and their friends.

"The rest of it - the celebrity nature, promotion and focus was bull***. And we knew it was bull*** going into it. We did it for each other, to support Chris' 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."

The I Am The Highway gig saw performances from Chris Cornell's Soundgarden and Audioslave bandmates as well as the likes of Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus, Jack Black, Brad Pitt and Muse's Matt Bellamy.

READ MORE: Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky shares intimate texts he sent her before his tragic death

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