Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello gave an interview to Revolver’s Fan First and praised Chris Cornell‘s music. In the interview, he also claimed that Cornell was the one who saved metal music.

Tom Morello is known for his tenure with Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave. In late 2000, RATM disbanded, and Morello, Wilk, Commerford, and Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell formed Audioslave. Although quite successful, Audioslave dissolved on February 15, 2007, due to Cornell’s departure. Moreover, Cornell’s death on May 18, 2017, eliminated the possibility of a reunion.

Cornell was a prolific musician during his tenure in both Soundgarden and Audioslave. He was also one of the key figures of the grunge scene in the 1990s, known for his powerful vocals. Although he enjoyed a successful career, Cornell was struggling with depression, which led to his suicide.

In the interview with Revolver’s Fan First, Tom Morello talked about his music career with Chris Cornell. At some point, the interviewer asked the guitarist about Cornell’s influence on him and their relationship. Morello said that although they were friends and bandmates, he was also a huge fan of Chris. He then said he also liked the singer’s musical efforts in Soundgarden.

Following that, Morello stated that Soundgarden was among the bands that embraced heavy metal’s great aspects. According to the musician, their sound featured huge riffs and intelligent, relatable, and poetic lyrics. Moreover, Morello claimed that Chris Cornell was the one that brought poetry and metal together in a successful way, so we all owe him for saving metal.

Tom Morello told Revolver’s Fan First that:

“First of all, I was a bandmate and a friend of Chris, but I never stopped being a fan. Do you know what I mean?

It was when I was on tour with my band lock up before Rage Against The Machine. When you’re in the van, the rule is when you’re driving, you get to pick the music. I would always pick those early Soundgarden demos and EPs.

I credit Chris Cornell and maybe two or three bands, Chris’ Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction, or Living Colour as the bands that embraced all that was great about heavy metal in the musical sense. Like the unapologetic huge riffs. The lyrics were also intelligent and they were relatable, artistic, and poetic.

They had a life of their own. They weren’t just sort of singing about chicks and the devil on top of some kick-ass riffs. There was nuance and depth. You could get into them if you were a smart person. Also, it provided a greater breadth for the genre.

I love metal, and I loved poetry. Chris Cornell was one of the people that brought those things together in a way it was commercially successful at the top of the chart. So, we all owe him a grade of debt for saving metal in a way, that’s 100%.”

You can check out the rest of the interview below.