Chris Cornell's new solo album Scream has only been out for two weeks, and already it's the victim of numerous negative reviews from both fans and critics. In an interview with Alternative Addiction, Cornell talked about the unique sounds of his new album, and why he thinks some people have so negatively received it.
"Older American fans don't like it because they are typically my core fans that really supported me in Soundgarden and really loved that band," Cornell said. "To them, that's kind of who I am. I'm that guy in that band, and I'm that guy who wrote those songs."
Cornell says he understands the unenthusiastic response from fans, mainly due to the album's stark contrast in sound compared to his work with Soundgarden. However, he is still a musician that needs to take chances to grow imaginatively with his music.
"As a songwriter and creative person, I have to do what makes me happy. That changes; it goes into different worlds," Cornell explained. "Sometimes its going to be in the world that those core fans of my earlier period love, and sometimes it won't."
When Cornell released his first solo album in 1998, he says he was asked many of the same questions about that particular album's departure in sound; his only previous work at the time was with Soundgarden. "When you look at Euphoria Morning that came out in '98 - that was different musically and lyrically from anything I had done up to that point. People asked me, 'So is this what you always wanted to do and Soundgarden was just something that the band made you do?' because the album was so mellow compared to Soundgarden. Then the next record I did was the first Audioslave record which was extremely aggressive."
Much of Cornell's latest release was produced by Timbaland, an unlikely pairing that was sure to make some fans blink. For Cornell, the chance to take a fresh approach was really the reason he was making a solo record in the first place."I sort of thought, well why not? That's sort of why I am a solo artist - so I can do anything I want, when I want. That was really all the thought that went into it."
Cornell said the biggest difference for him on this record wasn't the sound, but just working as a solo artist again. That process is so different as opposed to working on an album with a band.
"Band experiences are sort of long, pragmatic - often drawn out, democratic processes where you get everyone's opinions and you weigh them to figure out what's best." In contrast, Cornell said this time around he and Timbaland went in to this project with the mindset that they were dedicated to seeing it completed. There were no drawn out periods of waiting for input from other band members. The result is an album that Cornell is very proud of, regardless of what critics and fans think. "I'm thrilled with the album that I made. I think it's really exciting. I have listened to it as much or more than any album I have ever made."