“I’ve had to be somewhat in denial,” Vedder said. “I don’t even feel like I had a choice. I was just terrified where I would go if I allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel or what I was instinctively wanting to feel or how dark I felt like I was gonna go.
“And because I didn’t see him that often in the last 10 years – probably only, like, four or five times, and usually at a gig or something – I still haven’t quite dealt with it. I’ll get stronger as time goes.”
Vedder went on to say that he and Cornell were “close” friends, “and it wasn’t just because we were playing music.”
He continued: “I would hang out with him outside of the band more than even the other band guys, and I didn’t know that many people in Seattle. So we would go on crazy hiking adventures, or we would go mountain biking, or we would chase the dog in the rain while drinking shitty beer— and it was cool.
“And it had nothing to do with anything like being around other music people or being around some kind of LA life. It was just cool. Like, wow, this is what a quote-unquote legit rock star, this is what he’s doing – he’s chasing a dog in the rain with his buddy on a Saturday night with a 12-pack of Schmidt?”
You can watch the conversation in full above.
Back in August, Vedder spoke about the loss of Cornell with the Soundgarden frontman’s daughter, Lily, during her mental health web series Mind Wide Open.