Chris Daughtry Once Turned Down a Collaboration With Chris Cornell – ‘How Do I Tell Him No?’
In a conversation with Chuck Armstrong on Loudwire Nights (Thursday, April 27), Chris Daughtry opened up about some of his dream collaborations and even mentioned that he and David Draiman have talked about trying to do something at some point.
"I'm still a fan of music and I've never been one to feel like I've got it," Daughtry said. "I feel like every time I write, I'm kind of starting over in a way, so when I work with other people it triggers something in my brain that maybe I would have never considered or thought of."
When he thought about the artists he'd be most excited about working with, though, his mind drifted to two people who are no longer with us today: Prince and Chris Cornell.
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"[Prince] would've been something that probably would have never actually happened, but I still think of it as if it could have," he told Chuck.
Cornell, on the other hand, almost did happen.
"I got to meet Cornell and he actually sent me a song once on tour," he explained. "[The song] just didn't work. It just didn't work. It was kind of heartbreaking because the song didn't go with what we were doing. Thematically, it was quite depressing actually. He's one of my all-time heroes."
While Daughtry didn't specifically name the track, he did say it was released on Cornell's live acoustic album, 2011's Songbook. The majority of that album featured previously released songs, like Temple of the Dog's "Call Me a Dog" or Audioslave's "I Am the Highway," but there were two new songs that Songbook marked their first official release: "The Keeper" and "Cleaning My Gun." The former was part of the soundtrack for Machine Gun Preacher, which leads us to speculate that the song Cornell pitched to Daughtry was "Cleaning My Gun."
"It was a bit of a downer and I still remember thinking, 'How do I tell him no?' How do I tell my vocal hero that this isn't going to work for us?'"
Daughtry shifted focus to a more positive topic, which wasn't just about a dream collaborator, but a dream co-writer: Bernie Taupin.
"I’ve always had this idea of how cool it would be to get lyrics from Bernie Taupin and try to come up with something half as good as what Elton John did, you know," he said.
"I look at people like that who write lyrics that are so outside of the box—they make you think, they just kind of take you out of your own consciousness in a way ... How do they come up with that? What is that? That would actually be pretty amazing."
Listen to Chris Cornell's "Cleaning My Gun"
Chris Daughtry joined Chuck Armstrong for Loudwire Nights on Thursday, April 27; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station. Check out Daughtry's collaboration with Lzzy Hale on their cover of Journey's "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" at this location.