During a recent appearance on SiriusXM, guitarist Tom Morello singled out what he sees as possibly the biggest musical contribution of his late Audioslave bandmate, singer Chris Cornell.
“I got to be in a band with the dude for some years – one of the greatest rock singers of all time.
“From his spectacular rock-god presence to his tremendous creation of melody to his very unique voice, I think his greatest contribution might have been that he and his band Soundgarden, with the help of one or two other groups – maybe Jane’s Addiction and Living Colour – redeemed hard rock music.
“Because growing up on hard music, it was about groupies and the devil, and those were the subject matters… [Soundgarden] was music that combined nuanced, poetic intelligence in the lyrics, but with unapologetically kicking your ass with rock and roll.
“And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! That’s for me.’ So that really opened the door for the entire… all the bands – from Rage to Tool to Smashing Pumpkins; all of it – was [because of] the doors opened by Chris and his embracing those two things: the hard rock music and the intelligence.”