Metallica’s James Hetfield reacts to Chris Cornell’s death

James Hetfield speaks with radio station WAAF
James Hetfield speaks with radio station WAAF

Metallica’s James Hetfield has spoken about the death of Chris Cornell.

The Soundgarden frontman died by suicide last week following a show at Detroit’s Fox Theatre leaving the music world stunned.

Asked about Cornell’s death, Hetfield tells Boston radio station WAAF: “It does make you hug those around you, for sure – bandmates, family. It makes you realise that there is a darkness that anyone and everyone can find and feel that they’re trapped in.

“And when you’re there – and at least I know the depth of my darkness at times – it is difficult when you’re in that space to even fathom that there’s someone there that can help you or has been through that before. Sometimes you’re at such a loss.

“I obviously can’t explain what he was going through, but we all have our darknesses. Check in with each other – let each other know how you’re doing.”

He adds: “It’s a sad story – and there’s a lot of sad stories recently, especially in the grunge world losing a lot of people. And for us, Lemmy and all of the things that have been happening in the last couple of years, it just makes us feel even more grateful to be out here doing what we’re doing.”

Cornell was found on the bathroom floor of his suite at the MGM Grand Detroit with a red rubber exercise band around his neck, according to The Detroit News.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, who carried out the autopsy on Cornell, ruled his death as “suicide by hanging” but the singer’s family have questioned the coroner’s findings. They say Cornell may have taken a higher dosage than prescribed of Ativan, which could have affected his actions.

The toxicology report from the Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to be released, according to the Cornell family attorney Kirk Pasich.

Cornell’s ashes will be buried at a private ceremony on Friday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Celebrating the genius of Chris Cornell

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.