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Kim Thayil Discusses Final Soundgarden Show, Coping With Chris Cornell’s Death

Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil hasn’t opened up about the band’s final show and the tragic suicide death of frontman Chris Cornell that took place afterward in a Detroit hotel until now.

In an interview with Billboard, Thayil responded to claims that Cornell seemed out of sorts during the show with, I thought the show was good.  I remember Chris had just gotten in [to town] and was a little tired and his voice was a little rough, but by about the fourth or fifth song it kicked in and then it was just, like, super amazing -- beautiful, clear and strong and, I thought, particularly emotive.”

As for how he’s been coping with the loss of his bandmate, Thayil said, "Everything has improved day by day.  Obviously, there's still emotional shadows and ghosts. Like anything else, it's something that improves with time.”

While the future of Soundgarden still remains uncertain, Thayil has stepped back on stage as part of MC50, an outfit led by Wayne Kramer honoring the 50th anniversary of the MC5 that kicked off their North American tour September 5 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“I thought two things -- 'Am I ready to come out of the fetal position?' and then 'How could I be any more ready than this opportunity to play with what I consider to be my favorite band,'” said Thayil.  "So I made myself ready. It was like, 'Fix your head. This is The One!' When I mentioned it to friends of mine they didn't hesitate; They said, 'Omigod, jeez, this is your dream. You should do this!' The timing was pretty good, I think. I was allowing myself to be ready."

MC50’s next show is tonight (September 7) in Atlanta.  For a complete list of upcoming tour dates, head over to MC50th.com.


Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.