Made up of members of Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden, Audioslave were arguably one of the greatest supergroups of all time, yet according to a new interview with drummer Brad Wilk, the early days of the band were fraught with trouble, with the group actually breaking up prior to the release of their debut album.
Speaking on Dean Delray’s Let There Be Talk podcast, Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk revealed that the drug addiction of frontman Chris Cornell actually caused the band to break up prior to the release of their landmark debut.
“It was incredible when he actually did come down, and all of a sudden we’re writing music,” explained Wilk. “We were such a prolific band, we wrote music really quickly. He had a hard time, he was going through hard times as well during that time. We were just getting to know him, before the record even came out we already had him in the process of trying to get him clean.”
“We already broke up, Audioslave broke up before the first record even came out.”
“So that was frustrating because we had this record in the can, and then we weren’t a band,” he continued. “That was tough. But we got it together, he got it together, and we were able to make three records.”
Likewise, Wilk also explained how hard it is to believe that Chris Cornell, who sadly passed away in May of 2017, is really gone, though he concedes Cornell’s brilliant legacy allows his spirit to live on.
“I wake up some mornings and kind of forget. It’s like, ‘Oh.’,” he explained sadly. “It felt so great to be on stage with him again [in January of 2017]. He wanted to do a tour and make music. I was like, ‘Fuck yes! This would be incredible. I love playing with you, I love making music with you.’”
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“Unfortunately it never happened. He will be greatly missed. The beauty of it is he did leave so much amazing work behind, and we will always have that.”
“I love that man. At his core he was a really sweet, thoughtful, smart guy,” he continued. “A true artist. He felt the pain of people. News was a hard thing for him. You could see it physically hurting him, taking on pain… I think any artist, and anyone I’ve ever played with, suffers from this.”
“You take on the energy of rooms sometimes, and you feel the pain as much as you feel joy. I think that’s what makes for really great art, when you can feel that. It’s also what makes it so tough to live on a daily basis without masking that, or taking drugs to try to not feel that for one day, or a few days.”