Blow Up The Outside World

Album: Down On The Upside (1996)
Charted: 40


  • Don't we all want to blow up the outside world (metaphorically) from time to time? Written entirely by lead singer Chris Cornell, this song finds him wishing he could retreat from the people and pressures of everyday life. His songs could be very dark, but he ascribed to the theory that sad songs can make you feel better - kind of like horror movies.
  • This song was written differently than most of Soundgarden's previous work. Instead of building off riffs, which was usually their strategy, Chris Cornell built this song with vocal melodies as the foundation. "Chris went that direction of singer/songwriter guy," guitarist Kim Thayil told us. "And the band was more accepting because of the success of singer/songwriting stuff as opposed to more guitar oriented rock."
  • Jerry Casale directed the video. He was a founding member of Devo, a band that was making innovative videos years before MTV went on the air. He directed all Devo's videos, and has worked on videos for many other artists. In our interview with Casale, he talked about working on the clip: "I directed the epic video, the last video they made before they broke up. Everybody had their own dressing rooms and only came out for the takes and then disappeared back in their dressing rooms. They were very professional - when they would come on the set, they were ready to do what they were supposed to do, but it was all business. I only found out during the shoot what was really going on with them, I had no idea they were about to break up until we were in the middle of this 3-day shoot of this epic 5-minute-and-20-second song that was a very depressing song. I guess it was Chris' final statement about how he was feeling. It certainly left you with a depressed energy after you heard it."
  • In an interview with Chris Cornell back when the video was released, the interviewer asked him, "If you could blow something up on the outside world, what would it be?" Chris replied with: stupid people, mini malls, racists, and hardcore religious rights people. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Elies - Surrey, Canada
  • Until their 2010 reunion, this was the last single Soundgarden released in the US or Europe. In April 1997, the band announced they were breaking up. Lead singer Chris Cornell released a solo album, then formed the band Audioslave with members of Rage Against The Machine.

Comments: 7

  • Daniel from Indianapolis, InMy favorite soundgarden song.
  • Dewayne from EnglandIts about the feeling of wanting to forget about the world outside and create your own world in your head where you feel safe. Like me, Cornell had social anxiety, depression and insecurity. One way people deal with these things is to retreat into whatever makes them feel safe and relaxed, the intense chorus is reflective of putting all your effort to blocking out everything else outside your comfort zone, almost begging to run away.
  • Audra from Columbus, FlI thought this song was about not caring about what the world thought about you, and just ignoring all the ignorance, and bad things in this world.
  • Joe from Hobart, AustraliaAs a teenager, Chris Cornell suffered from hardcore depression and isolated himself from everyone and everything after a bad drug trip. It was then when he discovered music and started playing drums and guitar. This song could be referring to a reoccuring depression and uncomftorble view on society and people, where you feel the only solution is destruction, be it self-destruction(nothing can do me in before i kill myself) or otherwise.
  • Marco from Stanfield, United Stateswell i dont know it might have alot to do with them breaking up, since that was happening as they made the video. but another thing to think about is that he might be talking about the media. in the video they have cornell straped to a chair making him watch his own video (portraying how they over play songs and videos) andmoments of his own life good and bad (people exploiting the lives of celeberaties and making documentaries about them on tv) but in the end everything is blown up and chris is smiling meaning that he liked it even when he was forced to watch. saying that there is little music out there that is good and meaningful and his own is not one of them...
  • Kurt from Downers Grove, IlActually they broke up several months after this video was made; they still had a tour after the video. Ben Shepherd was a big part why they broke up; he was somewhat volatile during their live shows and I think he actually walked out on one right before they split.
  • Travis from Blicksburg, Vawell the song is about isolating yourself from the world: so its kinda ironic that they broke up in the middle of this video
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