Soundgarden was the grunge band that captivated me most as the lyrics, especially those in songs like Fell on Black Days, felt especially real to me.
There is a hope in those of us who are on the outside of fame, listening or watching the famous deal with struggles of life. That hope is that, perhaps, there is a way to overcome such things - and perhaps there is, but now it is within question that Chris Cornell didn't find the ease from his struggles. Today it was officially announced that he had passed away with the most common announcement also stating possible suicide.
In the past, with the passing of other famous musicians that I had a particularly fondness towards (Bowie and Cohen, for example), it always felt as though they had lived these vibrant and completely full lives. They chased the things they wanted, they achieved what they wanted, and then they wanted more and found it, too. It always felt as though their growth was endless until the end, when they were both ready to say, "my life has been grand. My life is tapped out and if I end tomorrow, I've done more than I could have imagined ever doing before I did it."
With Chris Cornell, at least from my perspective, it feels more like a man who still had so many desires but just lost the drive to get them. Perhaps it is premature to feel that way considering he hasn't been officially determined as a suicide, but I remember when Audioslave broke up and he'd make statements about how he wasn't enough for the rest of the band. He would talk about his voice wasn't what it used to be, and from interviews he sounded so lost with who he was and wasn't.
That pain of not knowing where you're going, where you want to go, what you want to be is what always shined through so brightly in his music. It is what made it so related for fans of his music. If it is determined to be a suicide then it is tremendously sad that he was devoured so intensely. If it isn't determined to be a suicide, it is still equally as painful of a loss but at least fans won't have to live with the notion that he was devoured by his own pain, internal as it may have been. At least fans can hope to find a relief from their own pain.
-Dustin S. Stover