Chris Cornell’s Prediction About The Future Of Rock
Although not every era establishes an original artistic direction, when it comes to music, the dominant genre can only be contextualized in reference to the social structure of the period in question. While the popular genre is often impacted by the social factors of its era, it also influences them. Thus, this process can be seen as an intertwined and interactive one. Recalling the period when blues and then rock ‘n’ roll entered the mainstream supports this argument.
The EDM boom in the 2000s can also be contextualized, especially in relation to the ever-increasing use of technology in our daily lives. Many artists from different genres have started using technological methods, but electronic technology is EDM’s defining and distinguishing factor. Since technology has become one of the primary mediators while perceiving and interacting with the world, it is not surprising that music also takes on this form of interaction.
There are many other social components to which this boom in EDM can be attributed, such as the music industry that encourages the popularization and circulation of the genre and the big market woven around EDM and festivals. However, for Soundgarden and Audioslave’s Chris Cornell, it was also ushering something about the future of rock music.
What Was Chris Cornell’s Prediction About EDM and Rock Music?
By its very nature, rock music has always been a reactive genre. From the themes it explores to the sounds it uses, rock often protests its social and political context, offers a critical aspect, and can even be seen as a counter-genre that occasionally gets intertwined with social movements. Some rock subgenres have emerged as a reaction to the mainstream music of the period, which was the case with the clash between disco and punk rock in the ’80s.
During a conversation with Howard Stern in 2014, while remembering the ’80s music industry, Chris Cornell made several predictions about rock music. Referring to the results of a survey that appeared around those days, Cornell announced that 70% of the participants, which he believed were young, enjoyed electronic dance music. He said that this rate is increasing yearly, and he cannot predict how much it will increase.
According to him, this increase could herald a great new movement in rock music. He compared it to the music scene in the ’80s. Disco elements were the dominant sound in the mainstream during the ’80s, and punk rock was born as a reaction to it. According to the rocker, electronic dance music may also cause a reaction and a new rock movement in the future.
The Soundgarden icon’s prediction regarding rock music:
“I actually heard somebody quoting a percentage the other day that 70% of people polled nowadays, and it must be young people, are into electronic dance music, and that it goes up every year, which I don’t know how much more it can go up. The only thing I can say is that tends to be the beginning of like a really great new movement in rock, which is the same thing that kind of happened when disco was dominating.
All of the sudden, then you had punk rock, that came as a reaction to it, where everyone said: ‘You know, this sucks.’ So maybe that will happen now. Now people will be looking at each other at a rave, their E will kick in, and they’ll go, ‘This sucks.'”
Pop punk, electronic rock, and rap rock are just a few rock subgenres that have entered our life since the 2000s. There have also been deliberate attempts to return to the roots of rock, such as the 2000s revivals of garage rock/post-punk and techno-pop. Nowadays, technology has started being used more widely in rock music, similar to many other genres. Thus, as the music industry continues to evolve, it seems possible that a rock movement will be born in response to EDM, just like Chris Cornell envisioned.