Outshined

We’ve just lost Chris Cornell.

I don’t even know how to begin to talk about how much it hurts to lose a hero like that. For years I’ve considered him one my favorite living singers, one of my favorite living songwriters, one of my favorite living guitarists, one of my favorite people alive today. I don’t know what it’s going to take to remove the operative word from how I describe my respect for him.

Soundgarden changed my life on three separate occasions. Discovering them in high school (I know, I was late to the party) gave me permission to explore the heavier side of things, and I think ultimately birthed my fascination with that style of guitar playing and my desire to absorb it, to emulate it in my own compositions.

Being in control of the monster inside of you is ultimately the only thing that redeems your spirit.

I kind of rediscovered them in college, this time with a focus on his lyrics, and lyrics of grunge bands in general. It was like hearing the human voice for the first time all over again. It gave me a new meaning to explore with the possibilities of the written word, how incredibly dark ideas can be expressed with such power as to make them holy and jubilant, how being in control of the monster inside of you is ultimately the only thing that redeems your spirit.

I did all this hero worship under the assumption that I’d never see them live.

And then I did.

A short time after I moved to LA to pursue the career that Soundgarden had a hand in inspiring, they played at the Hollywood Bowl with Nine Inch Nails. Perhaps if I was more like Chris, I’d have the words to describe the explosive power of their stage presence, and how inspired I was to go home and write, and write, and write, to find places to play, and play on, and play on.

His passing will grant a meaning and a hopefulness to my own.

These new words are gone from me, gone from the world. Left to us are the old words of a demigod rejoined to the force that created him, and I will honor his legacy until I am no longer capable, and his passing will grant a meaning and a hopefulness to my own.

We’ve just lost Chris Cornell.
So now you know

Who gets mystified

Show me the power child

I’d like to say

That I’m down on my knees today

Gives me the butterflies

Gives me away

‘Till I’m up on my feet again

I’m feeling outshined

Outshined

Outshined

Outshined

Written by Matt Smith