My Tribute To Chris Cornell - Blow Up The Outside World
I feel I need to provide some context for this one...Chris Cornell was my hero. He was the guy who changed my singing and songwriting forever, but he also provided the soundtrack and emotional backdrop to some of the most important experiences of my life. Through my teens with Soundgarden to the start of a 15 year relationship with Temple of the Dog, through to the birth of my daughter with his "Euphoria Morning" album and into the breakup of said relationship with Audioslave. In other words, his music permeates my life and his influence permeates my entire being as a musician.
The reason I felt such an affinity with Chris was his depression; the despair and suffering in his lyrics echoed my own. I'm not afraid to admit that my mental health is and has been a problem for much of my life, and I've been at the point of attempting suicide on more than one occasion, but I've fought on and haven't given up. Hearing that one of my heroes who'd gotten me through some of those difficult times had finally taken that final step just broke my heart. I wept as if I'd lost a family member as I recognized the sadness, the anger and pain in his heart as he did what he did and it tore me apart.
It feels ridiculous to be so upset over a musician, but this ran deeper than simply the music. It was a wake up call for me to actually TALK about my problems and tell people when I needed help, not just wear the mask I've become so good at wearing. Cornell never seemed to talk openly about his mental health, which was something that was known to be an issue by his own admission earlier in his career. He had this amazing platform to help both himself and other people to speak up about mental illness without judgement, but the pain of living must have gotten too much for him and he made the last choice he'll ever make which is bother angering and heartbreaking at once.
Anyway, I've rambled enough. This is a song whose lyrics now seem painfully relevant, but I felt that if I confronted this grief head on then I could process it better. I make no apologies for getting upset during this, but I felt that the preamble would at least make sense of it; I didn't do a second take because I wanted to keep this honest, genuine and sincere. I did do some production on the audio, which is a mix of a recording on my phone taken simultaneously with the video since the camera isn't great by itself, but it's just compression and EQ with a little bit of reverb to glue the two tracks together.