Back in the early ’90s, Soundgarden were at the forefront of the grunge movement. Here in 2012, singer Chris Cornell tells the Sun that he feels another musical shift in primed for the taking.

The vocalist says, “I’ve always believed that rock music benefits from an obstacle. The worst rock is made when everybody loves rock, like in the late ’80s. That’s the only time hard rock has been the biggest-selling genre of music – and it was mostly crap.”

Cornell says the Seattle scene was the antithesis of what was going on at the time, and he believes that music is stagnating to the place where it could happen again. He explains, “You have a better chance of a very healthy and vital rock scene coming out today because there’s something to react against. Contemporary pop music couldn’t be any worse than it is now.”

While he rails against the pop scene in general, he does add, “The one bright spot was Adele having the biggest-selling record last year. They’re actually song and she can really sing, so obviously the biggest market still responds to a human being creating music.”

The singer says he believes that one reason why his band stood out was because they weren’t an easy listen and it took a while to get their diversity. In the end, he’s fine with Soundgarden’s legacy. He adds, “In terms of overwhelming commercial acceptance, that hurts you. But in terms of longevity and having a lasting impact that’s legitimately culturally important, it helps you. We stand alone outside of genres. We’re not like anybody else. We can’t be imitated.”

We’ll see if Soundgarden can break the mold again when the band issues their first new album since 1996 this fall.

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