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Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell Recalls ‘Rivalries’ With Nirvana, Alice in Chains

Cory Schwartz, Getty Images

With the twentieth anniversary of Soundgarden’s ‘Badmotorfinger’ nearing on Oct. 8 (not to mention the birthdays of Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’ and Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind, also out in 1991), lead crooner Chris Cornell is reminiscing about the band’s coming out year, and he says he wouldn’t change a thing.

“We were pretty savvy,” Cornell told Billboard. “The most sensitive and risky period was that initial shift from being an indie-rock band to a major-label rock band. The whole industry, including radio and television, all kind of transformed at the same time. In terms of how we conducted our business, I don’t see us any making any huge mistakes. We did pretty well.”

Cornell says during those early days, he felt a sort of healthy competition with other baby grunge acts, such as Alice in Chains and Nirvana.

“…I remember hearing songs from the Mother Love Bone album, and hearing Alice in Chains, and feeling like this is more than just a fad or moment,” he said. “I remember the first time I heard Nirvana’s demo cassette that became “Bleach,” and feeling that there was a lot of great music here… it was friendly, but there were rivalries in a sense. If there’s a whole bunch of good bands, it forces you to up your game a little bit.”

The reunited Soundgarden plan to record a new album in 2012, and recently Cornell revealed that the album is ‘different’ and more stripped-down than previous releases.

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