The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Ben Weinman on Chris Cornell: “He Was Just This Unicorn That You Stared at in Awe”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Ben Weinman, revered guitarist for The Dillinger Escape Plan, is in a unique position to comment on today’s tragic news that Chris Cornell has died (possibly from suicide): he’s friends with Kim Thayil, he wrote the liner notes for the Superunknown reissue, and DEP had just opened a string of shows for Soundgarden and were about to go open more.

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All of which makes Clrvynt’s new interview with Weinman about Cornell a must-read. Speaking about the iconic vocalist, Weinman said:

“Chris Cornell was, to me, the example of the unicorn. He was the guy that I said, ‘When I’m 50, if I could look half as good and be half as prolific and be half as good at my craft, I’d be happy.’ So, it’s such a shock. Even though Dillinger Escape Plan did a bunch of dates with Soundgarden, he didn’t really talk to anyone. The rest of the guys would hang out before the show and all of that, but he would fly into the show and go back to the hotel. On the last tour that we were on together, he was sort of very quiet. But at the end of the day, he was just this unicorn that you stared at in awe. How does he do it? ‘I’ll have what he’s having.’ He’s got a beautiful family, unlimited amount of resources, looked like the perfect picture of health. What kind of vitamins is he taking?”

Weinman later added:

“[H]e was a very private guy. Seemed to be very into his family, which is [what’s] so shocking about all of this. And the other band guys were the ones kind of hanging out backstage; Kim and I talk on the phone all the time. It’s such a blow to Cornell’s family and all of that, but also to the band, I can’t imagine what’s going through their heads right now.”

Weinman went on to call Soundgarden “the most innovative” of the ’90s grunge bands, and to reveal that his favorite pieces of music Cornell ever recorded were the solo songs “Seasons” and “You Know My Name,” from the respective soundtracks to the movies Singles and Casino Royale.

The whole interview is really great, so I strongly encourage you to check it out. You can do so here.

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