OK, no, that’s a lie, I was a huge fan of the “Black Hole Sun” video first, and a Soundgarden fan second. Chris Cornell‘s voice was so different from the feminine voices coming from my boombox (Mazzy Star, Veruca Salt, Luscious Jackson, *cough* frente!) it was an exciting time for my cassette collection. All of a sudden, lyrics were being growled out with gravel-infused tones that ebbed and flowed between octaves by a dude in ripped jeans and a flannel button-down.
In 1997, Cornell did an interview saying “I’ve done my best to get in touch with my feminine side, and it turns out my feminine side is a dyke. So I’m stuck with women for the rest of my life!” And in trying to appeal to the gay community with his new Timbaland-produced pop album, he clarified his lesbian side in an interview with gay rag, HX:
There is this sort of Northwestern, clumsy logger side to me that’s always there. As far as my sexual orientation and what appealed to me, it was really simple when I was a little kid: I saw that poster of Raquel Welch and I watched Barbarella, and it was like, “Okay, that’s what women are. Got it. Awesome.” My beauty aesthetic stopped there, and that’s where I’ve lived ever since.
Straight men just love to be honorary lesbians, and Cornell finds himself a “Northwestern, clumsy logger” one, apparently. Barbarella can do that to someone.
HX also asked about his 2007 song, “She’ll Never Be Your Man,” which featured lyrics such as “She can be your lover / She can be your friend / She can be your vision of a mother like the one you never had / She will know your troubles better than I can / But she’ll never be your man.” Says Cornell:
It was inspired by a friend of mine whose wife left him and then became a lesbian. As a guy, I know the feelings of jealousy and heartache when someone leaves you; it brings up all these feelings of inadequacy, like, what does that guy have that I don’t have? But I thought about what can go through a man’s head if a woman leaves him for a woman: Not only did you put her off you, you put her off guys period? How does a man compete with a woman for another woman’s affections?
Wow, and he still anticipates his new album to be embraced by the gay community. His song “Part of Me” is already being remixed and played at gay clubs.
“I have gay friends who listened to this album eight months ago, so I got the feeling from their responses that it might appeal more to that audience, which appeals to me,” Cornell says. “I didn’t really think about it going in, but the feedback I’ve gotten from the gay community has been great. It’s exciting. The more people my music speaks to the better, and that’s really what it’s all about to me: making a connection.”
What part of your music is speaking to the people Chris? The leftover samples (check out “Get Up” and tell me you don’t hear some of Nelly Furtado’s “Say it Right”) or is it such prolific lyrics like, “No that bitch ‘aint a part of me” or “Get up, get up off the floor. Get up (do somethin’ more)” that is the voice of a new generation? Your “music” isn’t touching any lives, it’s just a sad fact that music doesn’t need to be good for gay clubs to enjoy it. Let’s try it out.
Personally, I’m willing to overlook the d-bomb he threw out in 1997. I don’t really understand what he was trying to say there anyway. Maybe he has a thing for dating all of his exes or moving in with a woman after the second date. What is inexcusable is this album.