During a recent interview with Steve Baltin from Forbes, ‘Long Live Rock… Celebrate the Chaos’ producer and Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale talked about their reaction to Chris Cornell’s passing while discussing how it impacted their community.
‘Long Live Rock… Celebrate the Chaos,’ is a documentary that dives into the culture and history of hard rock music. In the documentary, dozens of influential musicians from iconic bands such as Metallica, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Guns N’ Roses, Halestorm, Greta Van Fleet, and many more, talk about their experiences in the rock scene and their close relationship with their audience and other bands.
The documentary premiered on March 12 and it has already achieved great success. Gary Spivack is the Executive Vice President for Danny Wimmer Presents, and he’s the main guy behind popular music festivals such as Rock on the Range, Chicago Open Air, Carolina Rebellion, and Fort Rock. Thus who would be a better person to produce ‘Long Live Rock… Celebrate the Chaos.’
Spivack and Lzzy Hale recently spoke to Steve Baltin for Forbes, and both of them revealed their feelings and thoughts upon receiving the heartbreaking news about Chris Cornell’s passing. Spivack said that he was shocked and heartbroken as they ‘had lost one of the greatest lead singers in the past fifty years.’ He was apparently also confused as it was the time when Rock on the Range was happening and Soundgarden was supposed to be the Friday night headliner.
As for Lzzy Hale, she said that Cornell’s death hit him as hard as David Bowie’s. She went on to explain that Bowie and Cornell are not just musicians, but they are her rock gods. She was out touring at that time and she just struggled to wrap her head around the idea that one of the rock vocalists who had contributed to her career and self-improvement the most was gone.
Lzzy Hale went on to say that the reason why she had such a difficult time accepting that he passed away was because their community, especially the new-generation rock community, views Bowie and Cornell as gods, and thus, it was unbelievable that something could happen to them. Hale also said that she respects both of them immensely because they are ‘the people that carved out a space that now you are able to live in.’
Here’s what Steve Baltin asked:
“Where was Rock on the Range in relation to Chris passing?”
To which Spivack responded:
“We had Metallica on Sunday. And Soundgarden was to be our Friday night headliner. And I guess it was Wednesday in Detroit. Or Thursday morning at midnight or whatever he took his life. I got woken up at five a.m. on Thursday morning. I was in Columbus, I had arrived the night before. Danny Wimmer, my partner, called me and said, ‘Gary, Chris Cornell is dead.’
So not only do we have a festival of 40,000 people a day to deal with, we had lost one of the greatest lead singers in the past fifty years and he was our Friday headliner. And that’s how the film started. So everybody that we interviewed – and Lzzy, you weren’t there this particular night – everybody from Jonathan [Davis] of Korn, Jacobi, and Lars. The interviews started with, ‘Do you want to talk about Chris?’ And that became a story arc.”
Baltin went on to ask:
“Lzzy, where were you?”
To which she responded:
“We were on the road somewhere. But it’s similar, when [David] Bowie passed away. I remember we were in our old apartment. And I remember how the room felt and stuff. But then with Chris, because we were out, it’s almost like your brain protecting you from something. You just like to blur it out. And I just remember everybody talking to me about it. And I couldn‘t really wrap my head around it.”
She went on to say:
“And with Chris, as far as voices go, personally I wouldn’t be the singer that I am today without hearing that. It’s just weird, the same thing as I said with Bowie. These people are so much more than people to us. They‘re the rock gods. They’re the people that carved out a space that now you are able to live in because they carved out that space. It’s like, they can’t die. It was a really strange time and it’s still ongoing. This is an ongoing conversation that I have with all of my peers about that great loss.”