ABC/Randy HolmesPearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament shared his thoughts on the passing of Chris Cornell with NBA.com‘s NBA Soundsystem podcast. While the late Soundgarden frontman was revered for his voice, Ament focuses on Cornell’s skills as a songwriter.
“Jimi Hendrix included, I would say that Chris was the greatest songwriter to ever come out of Seattle,” Ament says. “Jimi Hendrix could play the guitar like crazy, but Chris had the songwriting chops that we all sort of hope to get to at different points in our songwriting careers.
Along with being a member of a fellow iconic grunge band, Ament played with Cornell in Temple of the Dog.
“[Cornell] was a beautiful wordsmith,” Ament says. “If you look at his lyrics, he obviously was processing his pain and his depression and all those things. I think that’s part of what people, myself included, responded to.
“And then with the songwriting, he had that voice,” Ament continues. “There’s not too many people that had that many options with their voice. I mean, he could do a lot of different things with it, inhabit a lot of different characters in that voice.”
Ament concludes, “I feel so lucky that I got to be in a project with him and got to hang out with him and just sort of witness his greatness.”
Cornell died the early morning of May 18 at age 52.
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