The Impact of Chris Cornell
When I first met Chris he said to me, “Man I saw you on Youtube, you were playing in the street, and I just stayed up all night watching your stuff.” Someone had sent him a link to Fantastic Negrito. Mutual parties connected us and my name surfaced as a potential tour opener on his “Higher Truth” tour. I was kind of hoping I would not get the gig because I thought I was too roots, blues and edgy to be paired with the Rock God, Chris Cornell. But credit to him, he thought if you listen to Soundgarden and strip it down, you can find roots music there too. He had the vision and just knew. He was right.
The first time I opened for Chris was in Oslo. I was nervous because people were sitting down. After my set, I went to the side of the stage and watched Chris. His body language taught me there was a way to do it, and then I realized I could do it. I can to play to people sitting down now because of Chris. He was my teacher in many ways. He was also my biggest supporter. The biggest lesson Chris Cornell taught me was that no matter what position you are in, being a loving, giving person was most important. Aside from him being one of the best vocalists rock music has ever had he was such a loving and giving person. He didn’t act like some big star. He’d come knock on my door each night and see how I was doing. I started calling him Christmas Cornell. Every time he would call me it would be something amazing. We went to Europe, I thanked him and told him how special it was. Then he’d call me and ask if I wanted to come open on the American run. After the third time, when he called to open for Temple of the Dog, I immediately thought?—“Christmas Cornell”. I’m the only band that only opened for Temple of the Dog, it’s unbelievable and it was such an amazing experience. He’d always say, “you’re a force.” He had a heart of gold. I would go to shake his hand and he would hug me.
from Artist Waves