“It’s more about the paradox of who he is and what people perceive him as. He’s a street musician [Seattle eccentric, Artis the Spoonman, who recorded a clack-tacular solo on the utensils- Ed], but when he’s playing on the street, he is given a value and judged completely wrong by someone else. They think he’s a street person, or he’s doing this because he can’t hold down a regular job. They put him a few pegs down on the social ladder because of how they perceive someone who dresses differently. The lyrics express the sentiment that I much more easily identify with someone like Artis than I would watch him play.”Chris Cornell (1063)
“The lyrics aren’t specifically about Artis the Spoonman. I didn’t know Artis yet, so the title was based on a title that Jeff Ament from Pearl Jam had come up with when he was doing some graphic design for the film Singles. He designed a fictitious record package, so he made up some titles and ‘Spoonman’ was one of them. I had known there was this guy Spoonman — his business card was these little disposable wooden spoons you would get with ice cream — but it was an ode to an imaginary person in my head, because I didn’t know him yet. And the song was based entirely on the title, so what’s happening musically is the attitude of supporting this guy who stands on a street corner and plays the shit out of some spoons. Then the song became a reality, and we got Artis to actually play spoons on the song.”Chris Cornell (1064)

The Day I Tried To Live

“It’s about trying to step out of being patterned and closed off and reclusive, which I’ve always had a problem with. It’s about attempting to be normal and just go out and be around other people and hang out. I have a tendency to sometimes be pretty closed off and not see people for long periods of time and not call anyone. It’s actually, in a way, a hopeful song. Especially the lines “One more time around/Might get it,” which is basically saying, “I tried today to understand and belong and get along with other people, and I failed, but I’ll probably try again tomorrow.” A lot of people misinterpreted that song as a suicide-note song. Taking the word live too literally. “The Day I Tried to Live” means more like the day I actually tried to open up myself and experience everything that’s going on around me as opposed to blowing it all off and hiding in a cave.”Chris Cornell (1065)
“With ‘The Day I Tried To Live,’ the attitude I was trying to convey was that thing that I think everyone goes through where you wake up in the morning and you just don’t know how you are going to get through the day, and you kind of just talk yourself into it. You may go through different moments of hopelessness and wanting to give up, or wanting to just get back into bed and say fuck it, but you convince yourself you’re going to do it again. And maybe this is the last time you’re going to do it, but it’s once more around.”Chris Cornell (1064)

Jesus Christ Pose

“The key word in that song is pose. That was a response to seeing a bunch of different photo shoots of models and rock stars doing the Jesus thing, posing on a crucifix. I’d seen it so much that year, and it seemed silly. It’s silly for other people to use it in some way to project themselves.”Chris Cornell (1065)
“‘Jesus Christ Pose’ is a criticism of fashion magazines using images of persecution rather than an anti-religious track.”Chris Cornell (1066)

Fell On Black Days

“It’s a feeling that everyone gets. You’re happy with your life, everything’s going well, things are exciting – when all of a sudden you realize you’re unhappy in the extreme, to the point of being really, really scared. There’s no particular event you can pin the feeling down to, it’s just that you realize one day that everything in your life is fucked!”Chris Cornell (1067)
“Well, I had this idea, and I had it for a long time. I’d noticed already in my life where there would be periods where I would feel suddenly, “Things aren’t going so well, and I don’t feel that great about my life.” Not based on any particular thing. I’d sort of noticed that people have this tendency to look up one day and realize that things have changed. There wasn’t a catastrophe. There wasn’t a relationship split up. Nobody got in a car wreck. Nobody’s parents died or anything. The outlook had changed, while everything appears circumstantially the same. That was the song I wanted to write about. No matter how happy you are, you can wake up one day without any specific thing occurring to bring you into a darker place, and you’ll just be in a darker place anyway. To me, that was always a terrifying thought, because that’s something that – as far as I know – we don’t necessarily have control over. So that was the song I wanted to write. It just took a while.”Chris Cornell (1061)
“‘Fell On Black Days’ is the feeling of waking up one day and realizing you’re not happy with your life. Nothing happened, there was no emergency, no accident, you don’t know what happened. You were happy, and one day you just aren’t, and you have to try to figure that out.”Chris Cornell (1064)

Pretty Noose

“It’s just sort of an attractively packaged bad idea, pretty much, something that seems great at first and then comes back to bite you.”Chris Cornell (1068)

Nazi Driver

“The song is about cutting up Nazis and making stew out of them — we used driver because it made a cool name. It sounds better than ‘Nazi Stew’, ‘Nazi Soupmaker’, ‘Nazi Cup-O-Soup’, or indeed ‘Cup-O-Nazi’. A title can be a poster sometimes. It can be a slogan. Hey, it can be an anthem!”Kim Thayil (1069)


“The only ‘demonic’ song we have is ‘Heretic’ and that talks about how ridiculous it is that scientists were persecuted in their times and appreciated years later. It’s not about witches or Satan — even though it refers to them.”Hiro Yamamoto (1070)


“It’s about a girl. About a girl who becomes a woman and basically invests everything in vanity and then burns out quick.”Chris Cornell (1070)