Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil: A Lot of the Chris Cornell Tribute Show Was ‘Bullsh*t’
In January of 2019, the "I Am the Highway" tribute concert to Chris Cornell, organized by his widow Vicky, took place at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil recently opened up about the experience to Kerrang!, and explained that although it was nice honoring the legacy of their bandmate, a lot of it was "bullshit."
“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," Thayil said. "The rest was a little bit uncomfortable. It was sort of a clusterfuck. It was picking at an open wound, emotionally, and nobody was that thrilled to do it."
They were, however, happy to be onstage together again, and the guitarist noted how emotional it was. "It was the Soundgarden family together, doing what Soundgarden does and honoring 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," he admitted.
Soundgarden played a select number of songs at the concert, joined by guests like the Pretty Reckless' Taylor Momsen, Buzz Osbourne and Taylor Hawkins. Among other performers were the surviving members of Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, Metallica, Foo Fighters, the Melvins, Cornell's daughter Toni, Maroon 5's Adam Levine, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton and Miley Cyrus.
"We did it for each other, to support Chris’ legacy," Thayil reflected. "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.”
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