SOUNDGARDEN guitarist Kim Thayil told Kerrang! magazine in a new interview that the unveiling of a statue of the band's late singer, Chris Cornell, last month at Seattle's MoPOP Museum was both "surreal" and a "source of great pride."
The life-size statue, commissioned and donated to the museum by Vicky Cornell, stands outside MoPOP's south entrance facing Fifth Avenue North. The statue sculpted by artist Nick Marras showcases the rock legend in one of his iconic poses with his signature boots, dog tag, layers and long locks.
Thayil said: "It was a lot of things. It was very surreal, for starters, but obviously a source of great pride to be able to honor our brother. It was awkward too, because there was a certain aspect of it that was a show, so it was a public event. Matt [Cameron], Ben [Shepherd], and I were onstage to some degree, which made us a bit uncomfortable. We, Chris included, were the guys who'd never turn up at the big events and parties, though we were always invited.
Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd — the surviving members of the group — attended the ceremony with Cornell's widow Vicky, his three children and other longtime friends and family members from the Seattle community.
The three remaining members of SOUNDGARDEN, along with METALLICA, FOO FIGHTERS and members of AUDIOSLAVE, will perform together for the first time since Cornell's May 2017 death at a benefit concert honoring the singer on January 16, 2019 at the Forum in Los Angeles.
"I miss his company and presence," Kim told Kerrang! "I miss the collaborative inspiration he brought, too, and the team and family that we built together over the years."
Cornell was pronounced dead on May 18, 2017 after being found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room. SOUNDGARDEN had played a show earlier that evening. The 52-year-old had sedatives and an anxiety drug in his system, but died as a result of hanging himself.