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Corey Taylor: ‘I Didn’t Realize the Impact Chris Cornell Had on Me as a Writer and Singer’

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The news of Chris Cornell‘s tragic death broke early Thursday morning (May 18), and later that day, Stone Sour were set to play a pre-Rock on the Range gig at the Express Live club in Columbus, Ohio. As the venue doors opened, fans wondered whether Corey Taylor and company would pay tribute to the fallen Soundgarden singer.

Toward the end of a stellar set, Taylor addressed Cornell’s death and announced that the band would play a song that they had just learned that day, which turned out to be Soundgarden’s classic hit “Outshined.” Stone Sour proceeded to deliver a powerful performance of the legendary track, unleashing a surge of emotion throughout the sold-out venue.

The next day, Taylor stopped by Loudwire’s space at the Artist Lounge at Rock on the Range, and he discussed the moment with Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez, as well as the impact Cornell’s music had on him personally and professionally.

“That song is no joke. It’s hard. We learned it that day,” explained Taylor. “I felt like we pulled it off; I felt like the audience loved it.” He added, “For me, I guess this is a posthumous thing, I didn’t realize the impact that Chris had on me as a writer and a singer until I really started thinking about the fact that he had no boundaries when it came to writing music and doing whatever he wanted … I was so inspired by that, whether it was the heaviness of stuff like ‘Jesus Christ Pose’ or the beautiful acoustic stuff like ‘Seasons’ he did on the Singles soundtrack.”

Taylor went on to say that he met Cornell several times, but regretted that he never got to tell the Soundgarden singer what his music meant to him. And Taylor also described what Cornell was like as a person, remarking, “He was super cool. He was very quiet … he was almost shy. He came out of his shell onstage.”

For the full interview in which Corey Taylor discusses Chris Cornell’s impact on him, watch the video above. Hours after our interview, Taylor would close out Day 1 of Rock on the Range with his Stone Sour bandmate Christian Martucci, performing Pink Floyd‘s “Wish You Were Here” and Temple of the Dog‘s “Hunger Strike” as a tribute to Cornell on a night where Soundgarden were scheduled to be the headlining act.

See Corey Taylor + Chris Cornell Among Our Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Frontmen of All Time

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