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Dave Grohl Discusses Cornell, Bennington Suicides: ‘Depression Is a Disease’

Kevin Winter / Christopher Polk / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter / Christopher Polk / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The Foo Fighters‘ frontman Dave Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins are emphasizing the importance of treating depression like any other disease, and trying to remove the stigma that is often attached to it.

The topic came up in an interview with New Zealand’s The Rock FM, in which the band mates zeroed in on the root of fellow musicians’ Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington‘s recent deaths.

“When it comes to someone like Chris Cornell or Chester, depression is a disease, and everybody kind of goes through it their own way,” Grohl said. “I can’t speak for anybody else’s condition, but the hardest part is when you lose a friend. And I just always immediately think of their families, their bandmates, ’cause going through something like suicide, it’s a long road. And Chris was such a beautiful guy, man — he was the sweetest person, he was so talented, he had so much to offer — that it was a real shock to hear that he had gone.”

Grohl, who also lost Nirvana band mate Kurt Cobain to suicide in 1994, added, “I think that mental health and depression is something that people should really take seriously. And there’s a stigma attached to it, which is unfortunate, because just as you take care of yourselves in every other way, I think it’s important that people really try to take care of themselves in that way too. And it ain’t easy. You know, life’s hard.”

Hawkins piggybacked on Grohl’s comments saying, “People [think], ‘You’ve got it so together.’ It just goes to show you, it doesn’t matter what’s in your bank account, or how many hits are on your YouTube page, or all that kind of crap — it all goes out the window if, like Dave said, you’re not feeling right.”

Hawkins added that, although he didn’t know Bennington, he knew Cornell a bit. “We just loved [Cornell’s] records, man. Some of the first stuff me and Dave ever jammed on, when we would just goof around in the rehearsal room … I can remember as far back as when I first joined the band, me and Dave playing Soundgarden riffs together. And I remember making ‘There’s Nothing Left to Lose’ with the guy who engineered and produced some of their records, and we would just listen to their records a lot. They were a big inspiration for us as musicians, and Chris Cornell was just the master. So the loss, it’s a bummer, but, like Dave said, that’s a real thing. Look after yourselves, and if it looks like someone’s down, way down, check on ’em.”

Cornell, who had long struggled with substance abuse, took his own life on May 18. Bennington, who performed “Hallelujah” at his funeral, also penned an open letter to his friend. On July 20, Bennington also ended hisi life on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday. The two musicians had first bonded while touring together a decade ago.

If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Chris Cornell Through the Years: 1988-2017 Photographs

Chester Bennington Through the Years: 2000-2017 Photos

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