Published Feb 01, 2000Two years after the amicable demise of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell has returned with his adventurous solo debut, Euphoria Morning , an album that may garner as much praise for its eccentric rock and brooding experimental ballads, as it may draw scorn and derision from Soundgarden fans. Talking with Cornell, it becomes painfully obvious that he isn't worried about pleasing anyone but himself - not fans, critics, or his label.
"My job isn't to create a body of work that can be understood by anyone. I don't think it's the artist's job to worry about it," Cornell says. "When I was making records, and no one knew who I was, it wasn't an issue, so I don't see why it would be an issue now."
Cornell's view of the situation may be coloured with a little bit of both innocence and naivety. The temptation to continue in what has been a successful music vein - whether that pressure comes from fans or label - can sometimes be difficult to resist. While Cornell says he felt no such pressure from his new home at Interscope, it's the result of a long process of stubborn isolation and the rejection of any corporate meddling, a freedom Cornell treasures.
"You can't give any indication, at any point in your career, that you're willing to conform or take direction. If that is common knowledge, then they'll leave you alone, and their options are really only to accept you and leave you alone entirely, or tell you to fuck off. And you have to be willing to accept that possibility. If you're willing to accept that, it creates a certain amount of confidence and shows a certain amount of strength that people are attracted to, and they want to be a part of it."