cosmic joining of two of the greatest rock bands of
the'90s created Audioslave, a musical entity for the
new millennium. After the commercial and critical success
of their first single, "Cochise," the super-band
is in the radio.wazee spotlight with the follow-up,
"Like A Stone," from their self-titled debut
record on Epic.
When Zack de la Rocha left Rage Against the Machine
in October 2000, the band's future dynamic was obviously
in question. In early 2001 rumors swirled about the
future of the band, and Rage guitarist Tom Morello,
bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk were auditioning
B-Real in Los Angeles. The remaining Rage members had
nothing but praise for the Cypress Hill rapper, but
they wanted someone who sounded nothing like Zack de
Chris Cornell, lead singer of now-defunct 'Seattle sound'
posterboys Soundgarden, was simultaneously writing his
second solo album in Seattle. Cornell had met Morello
a few times over the years and even once talked about
singing on a Morello solo album that never got off the
ground. He had been courted by other bands but never
considered joining another group until he received a
call from music mogul and super-producer Rick Rubin.
Among Rubin's list of groundbreaking and landmark projects,
Rubin produced Rage's final release, the covers album
"Renegades." He saw a magical collaboration
in the making between Cornell's introspective material
and Rage's take on world issues and he set up a jam
session in May 2001.
Cornell says he was stunned by the musicianship he heard.
"I just thought, 'I am lucky. I get to be the singer
in this band if I get up there and I am good.' So I
decided to be good."
"It didn't just sound good," says Morello.
"It didn't sound great. It sounded transcendent."
Cornell got the gig, and after a few months together,
Audioslave (their first choice for a name, 'Civilian,'
was taken) declared themselves a band and signed up
to headline Ozzfest.
But as quickly as they had come together, the plan seemed
to fall apart. Just four days after the Ozzfest announcement,
Cornell quit Audioslave, only to rejoin six months later.
The band won't go into detail about the split, except
to say it had nothing to do with each other and everything
to do with their quarreling managers.
The band played their first-ever concert dates overseas
in January, and will tour the United States beginning
February 21st in Denver, Colorado and wrapping up March
22nd in Seattle, Washington.