90 Chris Cornell Quotes about Life and Music

Chris Cornell was the leading voice for Soundgarden, a popular rock band known for albums like Badmotorfinger and Superunknown.

Post Soundgarden’s 1997 split, Cornell went solo, even collaborating with Timbaland on 2009’s Scream.

He also teamed up with former members of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave.

Born in Seattle in 1964, Cornell started his music journey as a teenager and was central in shaping Soundgarden by the mid-’80s.

His musical talents also spanned projects like Temple of the Dog and his acoustic “Seasons” for the Singles movie.

Audioslave saw significant success but eventually, Cornell left. He continued solo efforts, reunited with Soundgarden and released new content.

Tragically, in 2017, Cornell passed away. Posthumous albums have since celebrated his impactful legacy.

Here are some of the top quotes from Chris Cornell for you.

Top 10 Chris Cornell Quotes


“There wasn’t a key moment when I knew I wanted to quit.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“The words you say never live up to the words in your head.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“People don’t realize how much fun it is to be depressed.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“An acoustic show is all about you, and any little nuance or mistake is amplified.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“What makes that song, I think, is how stark it is.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“Everybody is influenced by someone.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“I don’t really go to clubs so I don’t know what sounds are made there.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“I’m looking California and feeling Minnesota.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“The focus on my wife and my children, it really helps me make sense of the music side of it somehow.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“At the end of the day it’s the fans who make you who you are.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Great Chris Cornell Quotes

“What’s important is to get into shape and then not to have to worry about it. I don’t want to get on stage and not being able to do something. Not being physically fit doesn’t work for me.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“If I’m going to go out to be a solo artist, it’s because I want to do something different without having to wait on someone else’s schedule or hobbies or be limited by other people’s prejudices. I’d be kind of stupid not to exercise that.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“I never wrote music or arranged songs or lyrics when I was under the influence of anything but coffee. That’s not gone away.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“To me, music shouldn’t be ego-driven. When you go out on stage and play songs, it is. But when you’re sitting in a room, writing songs, it’s a completely different process. It’s a completely different place. It’s a creative place, a musical place. It has nothing to do with who likes what.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I can go from one extreme to another, from playing at the Sydney Opera House on the Songbook tour to shows with Soundgarden at Voodoo Fest, all in a week.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“To a degree, rock fans like to live vicariously and they like that, music fans in general, but when indie music sort of came into prominence in the early ’90s, a lot of it was TV-driven, too, where if you saw the first Nirvana video, you’re looking at three guys that look like people you go to school with.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“And if you don’t believe the sun will rise, stand alone and greet the coming night in the last remaining light.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“There’s something about losing friends, particularly young people, where it’s not something that you get over. I don’t believe there’s a healing process.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“What do you think Jesus would Twitter, ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ or ‘Has anyone seen Judas? He was here a minute ago.'” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“I think it’s important for fans to know that but if I’m doing something that inspires me musically then I think it will inspire someone else too.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Friends of mine that are from here or that have spent time here have told me about Israel and how warm the people are and that I should someday come here.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“If you’re an American kid, you can’t help but be influenced by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones because they’re always on the radio.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Best Chris Cornell Quotes

“I’m not usually in a talkative mode.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“My first favorite band that made music important to me was the Beatles. I was a little kid. I didn’t know who was singing what song or who wrote what song.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Chris Cornell was best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band Soundgarden, as well as the former lead vocalist and songwriter for the supergroup Audioslave.

“Once you sit in front of people and start playing songs, it’s all on you. No matter what happens, it’s entirely your responsibility the entire time. I like that intensity.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Ever since I can remember I’ve had positive and negative fan reviews. And whether it was positive or negative it wasn’t always based in reality or what my perception of the music was. But judging from playing these new songs live and my feelings on the record [Scream] – and it’s a great record – there is definitely an audience for it. Also, I don’t really go to clubs so I don’t know what sounds are made there.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Sometimes, if a song is written, in essence, to be that stripped down, it’s very touchy when you start adding things, because even the smallest thing can have a huge impact. Somebody has to make the decision that there’s a better song in there if there’s less.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“I actually think to some degree that people are down for longer shows with an acoustic show.”

“I think that sometimes almost the bigger tragedy in a weird way is all of the future imagined creative projects that could have happened that didn’t. I feel the same way about lots of brilliant people who die young, kind of senselessly especially.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I had to teach myself to let go of the conventional rock way of playing guitar and singing. Some things you wouldn’t expect to work, did and some things won’t ever work.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Famous Chris Cornell Quotes

“Maybe sincerity is the new punk. But to me, I think I have to connect with something emotionally, on some level, or I don’t care about it. And if I don’t care about it, then I don’t think anyone listening to it will, either.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“My brother brought home ‘At San Quentin’ when I was about 7, and we played it over and over again.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Led Zeppelin is just a bunch of stupid idiots who wrote cool riffs.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“The freedom I have as a U.S. citizen is unparalleled. Despite the fact people may not like American passports, having that passport affords me more freedoms than any other passport could.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I was going to be a musician, no matter what it took. I supported myself with blue-collared jobs so I could write music and be in a band and play shows. I even got into an underground art scene. I was going to do whatever.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“(Getting back together) would take the lid off that and could possibly change what up to now, to me, seems like the perfect lifespan of the band. I can’t think of any reason to mess with that.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“I don’t really go mountain biking per se, like a proper sport.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“He just complained and complained the whole time we were there…But it didn’t make any difference in terms of how our day went, because nobody there cared where we were from.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I think the concept of commercials, for example, I have had offers to do songs in different commercials, and it is not what I have liked.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I’m not a lyric writer to make statements. What I enjoy doing is making paintings with lyrics, creating colorful images. I think that’s more what entertainment and music should be.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I’ve had a long career and I want to continue to have a long career. The way to do that is not to go away.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Children should always feel like the adults are living in this world to nurture them, to take care of them, to protect them from any bad thing that might come.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Powerful Chris Cornell Quotes

“When you start your first band and it has an impact on the rest of the world you go through a lot with those guys and you become very protective of that legacy.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I don’t get in there and create a character. It’s more of a voice that I hear living inside the music.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Rock never meant the same thing to everyone, but when I was growing up in the late seventies, everyone could identify the five, ten bands that formed the center.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I think that one of the main privileges of what I do, which I am just starting to learn, is to have the ability to travel all over the world and experience different cultures.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“‘The Beatles’ did whatever they wanted. They were a collection of influences adapted to songs they wanted to write. George Harrison was instrumental in bringing in Indian music. Paul McCartney was a huge Little Richard fan. John Lennon was into minimalist aggressive rock.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Most frontmen are not born hams like David Lee Roth. We’re more like Joey Ramone: awkward geeks who somehow find our place in the world on the stage.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“I got in touch with the creative process between the age of 14 and 16, mainly because I was alone so much.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I play Texas Hold’em on my Blackberry. I have amassed a fortune on that. I have almost 30 million dollars from playing. It is unreal.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“When I was maybe nine years old, I listened to the entire Beatles catalogue, non-stop, for about a year.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I used to work in jobs I hated because I needed the money to buy a guitar. I know what it feels like to be depressed. On the other hand, I also know what it feels like to have money, to be successful, to be independent, but I can tell you that money and success never solve your problems.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“And I’m lost behind the words I’ll never find And I’m left behind As seasons roll on by” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Inspiring Chris Cornell Quotes

“It’s great when you play to an audience that knows the words to all your songs, and sings them back to you.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I think what we are trying to do as Audioslave is de-emphasize the cyclical nature of modern recording artists where a band tours for a year and a half and then vanishes for two years, … What we’d like to do is make records and tour. Write music, tour, record, tour. Keep it all going all at once like bands did in the ’70s. Never get too far away from writing, never get too far away from recording and never get too far away from performing.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“If I had a musical identity that was definable then it would be time to get into painting or something else. Race car driving.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I started as a drummer, so I sort of took on singing duties by default. I had sung backgrounds and some lead vocals from behind the drums in different bands that I’d been in, and I’d gotten great responses for the songs I would sing. I really started pursuing the possibility of being a lead singer based on the fact that I was working a full-time restaurant job and then playing gigs at night, hauling drums around. One day, it just dawned on me that, ‘Hey, I could be in a band and be the singer, and it would be a lot easier!'” ~ (Chris Cornell). 

“Radio and TV can still push a band, but things need to be shaken up. There is the Internet, but mostly what I see there is little kids on YouTube playing music.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“I feel like you’re not a real musician or entertainer if you can’t go into a room, pick up an instrument and entertain people.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“If you are trying to think ahead musically, it is not going to help you. It is better to ignore what is happening melodically and just look at the little dots coming at you and the corresponding colors and try to do it at the right time.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I don’t think there are too many rock bands in history that can look at the beginning and middle and ending of themselves and see what I see when I think of Soundgarden. I think from the beginning through the middle and the end it was such a perfect ride and such a perfect legacy to leave.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“She gives the night its dreams.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Inspirational Chris Cornell Quotes

“Due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences, I am permanently leaving the band Audioslave. I wish the other three members nothing but the best in all of their future endeavors.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“She’s known how to walk for about three months but she would only take steps if she was holding onto my finger, … Now she’ll just take off and go anywhere.” ~ (Chris Cornell). 


“Be yourself is all that you can do.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Most of the time, reading through treatments, it’s like it could be any band, any song — it doesn’t matter that it’s you or your song. The ideas are completely disconnected from the music and the image of the band.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“My head was much more in it. We were able to write very quickly, all four of us in the room, and to do that, you have to be very present and very open-minded.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Nick and Vicky were raised in a restaurant family and they have a very familial Greek way of doing things. Nicholas was the one in charge at first, but bounced ideas off other people, particularly Vicky and I and my mother-in-law.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I will say Soundgarden if Audioslave draws a blank stare. I’m not beyond that.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Rock will always have CBGB, whether it’s open or closed.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“When Soundgarden formed, we were post-punk – pretty quirky.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“We want to have the next record filled up with songs that were performed for people before they were done in studio.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“We are your ambassadors in a sense, and it was an extremely successful trip.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“First and foremost, it was a lesson in propaganda. We were wound up, thinking we might be under surveillance, there would be hidden cameras in our hotel rooms, our phone lines would be bugged, they’d go through all our stuff. As Americans, we really aren’t allowed to know much about Cuba or the people there.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“To answer your question, probably not, … The fans, as well as ex-Soundgarden members, should feel the songs are a tribute and that’s all.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Tom and Brad and Tim were huge fans of Soundgarden before I ever met them. The (Soundgarden) songs we have played they play incredibly well, they take very seriously and they love.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“What formed me as a musician, a songwriter, the sound and personality of my band, a whole lot of that happened well before 1991.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Interesting Chris Cornell Quotes

“The show was very emotional. We all have so much experience that we were trying to trick ourselves into believing we weren’t nervous. Afterward, we were sitting around saying the normal things you say after a show. Then suddenly we all became quite overwhelmed as it dawned on us that we had just done a very special thing.” ~ (Chris Cornell).


“And if you don’t believe the sun will rise, stand alone and greet the coming night in the last remaining light.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“Probably before that record comes out we’ll be out playing shows again. The idea is just to break down what has been the normal cycle of a year and a half on the road, a year and a half making a record, not get so far away from one world or the other world. I think that that makes better music, I think it makes for a better live show, I think it makes a better band.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“In the United States, workouts tend to focus on body image and how you look. For me, it’s really all about the brain.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“The freedom I have as a U.S. citizen is unparalleled. Despite the fact people may not like American passports, having that passport affords me more freedoms than any other passport could.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“A Bullet is a man, from time to time he strays, I compare my life to this, To this I relate. And I’m willing to listen to your answers, and I’m not ashamed to tell you I need you today.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“It’s like a tour diary on video that goes a bunch of places where Americans don’t get to go.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Popular Chris Cornell Quotes


“There’s a lot of music that I don’t like.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I’m sure I could start a band tomorrow that would have different influences and would want to do something completely different than anything I’ve done.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“The reason there’s no modern-day Shakespeare is because he didn’t have anything to do except sit in a room with a candle and think.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I didn’t have the same focus (when I was in Soundgarden) I have now. Now everything has come together. The focus on my wife and my children, it really helps me make sense of the music side of it somehow.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“I have a hard time narrowing things down to ten or 12 songs. If I walk off stage in anything less than two hours, it just feels strange. It feels early.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

“A true musician, like Johnny Cash, should be able to walk into a room with nothing but an instrument and capture people’s attention for two hours.” ~ (Chris Cornell).

Also Read:

Short Biography of Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell, born Christopher John Boyle, was a pivotal figure in the 90s grunge scene, best known as Soundgarden and Audioslave’s lead.


With a near four-octave range and influential songwriting, he left a mark with solo works and soundtracks.

Full Name Christopher John Boyle
Born July 20, 1964, Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Died May 18, 2017 (aged 52), Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide by hanging
Resting place Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Occupations Singer, Musician, Songwriter
Years active 1983–2017
Spouses Susan Silver (m. 1990; div. 2004), Vicky Karayiannis (m. 2004)
Children 3
Relatives Peter Cornell (brother)
Genres Alternative metal, Heavy metal, Grunge, Alternative rock, Hard rock
Instrument(s) Vocals, Guitar, Drums (early)
Labels SST, Sub Pop, A&M, Epic, Suretone, Interscope, Mosley
Formerly of Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, Center for Disease Control Boys
Website chriscornell.com

Recognized globally, he sold millions of records and won several awards. Despite battling depression, his legacy as a top rock vocalist endures.

Cornell passed away in 2017, leaving behind a profound musical footprint. His early life in Seattle shaped his rebellious and questioning spirit, contributing to his unique artistry.

Quick Facts about Chris Cornell

  • Chris Cornell was born on July 20, 1964, in Seattle, Washington.
  • He formed Soundgarden in 1984, along with Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto, later joined by Matt Cameron.
  • Cornell had a brief audition with Alice in Chains before focusing on Soundgarden.
  • Soundgarden’s “Superunknown” album in 1994 reached number 1 on the Billboard 200.
  • Chris Cornell released his debut solo album, “Euphoria Morning,” in 1999.
  • He collaborated with members of Pearl Jam to form Temple of the Dog in 1991 as a tribute.
  • Cornell recorded “You Know My Name” for the James Bond film “Casino Royale” in 2006.
  • He won Grammy Awards for Best Metal and Best Hard Rock Performances.
  • Soundgarden disbanded but reunited in 2010 until Cornell’s passing in 2017.
  • Cornell joined members of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave in 2001.
  • He wrote “Misery Chain” for the film “12 Years a Slave,” nominated for an Academy Award.
  • His philanthropic efforts supported organizations like the Innocence Project.
  • Featured in the “Sound City” documentary by Dave Grohl.
  • Collaborated with Timbaland for the album “Scream” in 2009.
  • Released his fourth solo album, “Higher Truth,” showcasing introspective songwriting.
  • Soundgarden was pivotal in shaping the grunge genre.
  • Cornell’s “Songbook” acoustic tour in 2011 highlighted his musical versatility.
  • Recorded “Live to Rise” for “The Avengers” movie in 2012.
  • Collaborated with Alice Cooper on performances and in a music video.
  • Received a Golden Globe nomination for “The Keeper” from “Machine Gun Preacher.”
  • Advocated for LGBTQ+ rights and equality.
  • His final studio album, “Higher Truth,” was released in 2015.
  • A tribute concert in 2017 celebrated his life and music.
  • Collaborated with Carlos Santana on “Whole Lotta Love.”
  • Known for an extraordinary vocal range and captivating voice.
  • Cornell was also an accomplished poet and lyricist.
  • Posthumous releases provided fans with previously unreleased tracks.
  • Collaborated with Slash on the track “Promise.”
  • Renowned for his charismatic stage presence.
  • Passed away on May 18, 2017, leaving a profound impact on music and fans.

Top Questions about Chris Cornell

Q: Which band was Chris Cornell most famous for?

A: Chris Cornell was most famous for his band Soundgarden, which delivered hits such as “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman.”

Q: Why did Chris Cornell adopt a different last name?

A: Chris Cornell changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name, distancing himself from his father after his parents’ divorce and as a form of rebellion against his Catholic upbringing.

Q: Did Chris Cornell have a career on his own apart from his bands?

A: Yes, Chris Cornell also had a flourishing solo career, producing albums like “Euphoria Morning” and “Higher Truth.”

Q: Who was particularly close to Chris Cornell in the music world?

A: Chris Cornell had a close friendship with Bennington for many years.

Q: What other musical groups did Chris Cornell contribute to?

A: Beyond Soundgarden, Cornell was part of Temple of the Dog and Audioslave, collaborating with various artists.

Q: At what age did Chris Cornell pass away?

A: Chris Cornell passed away at the age of 52, after a performance in Detroit, Michigan on May 17, 2017.

Q: What recognition did Chris Cornell achieve in his music career?

A: Throughout his career, Chris Cornell was honored with multiple awards, including Grammy Awards.

Q: Where is Chris Cornell laid to rest?

A: Chris Cornell was laid to rest near the memorial of Johnny Ramone, which features a statue of the punk rocker.

Q: What charitable efforts was Chris Cornell known for?

A: Cornell was known for his support of children’s charities, addiction recovery programs, and anti-homelessness campaigns.

Q: What was the cause of Chris Cornell’s death?

A: The cause of Chris Cornell’s death was determined to be suicide by hanging.

Q: What impact did Chris Cornell have on the music scene?

A: Chris Cornell left a legacy marked by his exceptional talent, creativity, and influence in the alternative rock and grunge music scenes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar

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