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Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell Reflects on Chris Cornell’s Death: ‘It’s Always Going to Hurt’

Janette Pellegrini / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Janette Pellegrini / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Alice in Chains guitarist / vocalist and Seattle grunge scene legend Jerry Cantrell has opened up on the death of Chris Cornell, whom the musician had known for decades. In a Rolling Stone piece compiled with memories from Cornell’s many contemporaries, Cantrell praised Soundgarden’s late frontman, adding his death is “always going to hurt.”

The tributes for Cornell have continued to pour in during the week and a half following his death. The world was shocked to hear of Cornell’s apparent suicide, as were those who knew him best. Like many others, Cantrell held the belief Cornell was “the last guy in the world I thought that would happen to,” adding, “That’s not the way that book was supposed to end. And it was not the way that book was going.”

With Soundgarden being the first Seattle act to release a record with Sub Pop, they became “a beacon to follow,” Cantrell recollects. “Our town’s not that big. Everybody kept an eye on what those guys were doing. And it was inspiring.” Once Alice in Chains began attaining their own praise, they shared a manager with Soundgarden and worked closely together to support each other’s work. “We loaned each other money so our bands could tour,” Cantrell explains. “We had the same T-shirt guy. It was all intimate s—t.”

Cantrell also recalls Cornell’s character, “He was always so honest, from the moment I met him. There was something that I recognized and aspired to – to have your own voice and sound. Nobody else sounds like that guy. Nobody will.”

The Alice in Chains legend concludes, “There is a space now and forever empty because of that. It’s never going to make sense. It’s never going to feel right. And it’s always going to hurt.

For more words on Chris Cornell from musicians like Serj Tankian, Tom Morello, Dave Grohl, Stone Gossard and more, head over to Rolling Stone.

20 Greatest Chris Cornell Lyrics

10 Unforgettable Chris Cornell Moments

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Chris Cornell, 1964 – 2017

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