VIDEO: Chris Cornell Performs ‘Black Hole Sun’ Live in the Stern Show Studio

Rock legend discusses Soundgarden, Audioslave, and more

June 12, 2007

Chris Cornell came into the Stern Show to promote his new solo record, “Carry On.”

In anticipation of his arrival, Howard and Robin discussed how the rock legend had once reportedly been a difficult guy to interview. Once in the studio, Chris said many of those rumors stemmed from his days in Soundgarden. He said that back then he and the band were trying to look cool and indifferent in front of each other.

Chris told Howard he started writing songs at the age of nine, but “being famous came much later.” Before he began singing at 21, he said he was the drummer in about 10 “horrible” bands. Despite the quality of the music, Chris said girls’ attitudes toward him changed the second he stepped on stage with any band.

Howard asked what he thought of Eddie Vedder and Chris said the Pearl Jam frontman was one of his “best friends in the world.” On the other hand, Chris said he was never close with fellow grunge rocker Kurt Cobain.

Chris also opened up about the breakup of his rock supergroup Audioslave, which featured Rage Against the Machine’s Tim Commerford, Tom Morello, and Brad Wilk alongside himself.

Later, Artie Lange asked if his Soundgarden song “Spoonman” was about heroin. Chris replied it was actually about “Artis the Spoonman,” a spoon-playing street performer from Seattle. He then spoke about “Black Hole Sun,” one of the biggest hits he penned for Soundgarden. Chris revealed he wrote the tune at 4 a.m. one morning while he was driving home. He then performed the song for Howard and his listeners.

Watch Chris Cornell’s live, in-studio rendition of “Black Hole Sun” (above).