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number01zero: ooomg carry on by chris cornell rocksssssss
09-27-2007 7:42:am
AllYourLies: so.. guess what. I'm banned now! Someone who isn't a total brainless loser care to unban me? O congratulations btw.
09-27-2007 1:15:am
AllYourLies: test
09-27-2007 1:07:am
Admiral Petty: Actually, Musicfan is probably just insane, probably has multiple personalities, one of them being a fictional Chris Cornell.
09-25-2007 9:59:am
GageAgainstTheMachin: I'd love to know the story behind the 'musicfan' phenomena. It's probably a member of Audioslave toying with us.
09-24-2007 10:29:pm
Spoonwoman: lolzerz
09-24-2007 9:05:pm
JAYTAY13: Hi I need to speak to Chris Cornell. First I am not going to be able to sing to WA in two months. But I did tell you my plans... May 28th. I am still on it. I hope so. I'm sorry, my cousin said the last time they were on music fan, there were some things that weren't nice. They asked me to tell you how bad they felt after this, Im sorry if they offended you in any way. Continue being as great in your songs and lyrics, really like that rock and roll, and I myself will mellow out.. like Richard Marx and Bon Jovi. My cousins do not even know how to sing your song for your eyes only and thats what I call a joke.... Its actually for your eyes only and you might wanna talk about us to that actor that I told you about. So that you know what we're going through. Pierce Brosnan, that other handsome 007 like you. we wish you all the best as always, look forward to hearing from you more, E. bye
09-24-2007 7:46:pm
GageAgainstTheMachin: zomg, me 2!
09-24-2007 12:32:pm
liz_bunny: i love you ethannnnnnnnnn!!!!!!! !!!!!!
09-24-2007 10:56:am
pamplemousse: I'm curious about the separate forums as well - but at the moment, just relieved that the site has been fixed. Thank you, Bill, and a treat it is to see you!
09-20-2007 8:01:pm
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Audioslave: Pushing Forward Back

The following is from the communities very own Clare O'Brien. The article was reprinted with Clare's permission and was just recently featured in Zero, a new rock mag based out of the UK. Pick up your copy to support Clare and the mag! Get the issue here!

by Clare O’Brien
Audioslave – the band that rose from the ashes of grunge metal legend Soundgarden and agit-rap rockers Rage Against the Machine – have spent their first three years doing their level best to avoid the ubiquitous supergroup tag and establish themselves as a brand new act, despite wholesale comparisons to 70s behemoth Led Zeppelin. “I want to make it very clear that I think it’s extremely cool of you guys to come out and listen to us, knowing where we come from, and listening to nothing but new rock and supporting us,” said frontman Chris Cornell from the stage at Donington’s Download Festival back in June 2003.

At that time, the crowd’s roar of approval endorsed Audioslave’s make-or-break decision to avoid their collective back catalogue live, choosing to concentrate on songs from their own potent debut album. Over that tour, Audioslave collected a whole new generation of fans too young to remember Soundgarden or RATM, let alone Led Zeppelin. “I’ve been at airports and someone comes up and says, ‘Hey, you’re that singer in that band Audioslave, that new band,’ “ an amused Cornell told American DJs Drew and Mike of WRIF Detroit. “And I go yeah, that’s me, I’m the new guy!”

The band certainly looked a healthier bet for the long haul than say, Velvet Revolver, which welded rehab regular Scott Weiland to the sagging rump of Guns 'n' Roses. So it seemed perverse of Audioslave to announce that for their second major world tour in 2005, they'd be more than happy to play some of their old material.

With new album Out of Exile outperforming the debut album, shifting half a million plus in America alone during its first month of release, and radio-friendly single Be Yourself topping the rock charts all over the world, why bother to revisit the past at all? Some critics thought it signalled a failure of nerve - or a lack of confidence in the new songs, a view which Tom Morello strongly refuted.

"We didn't want to use our pasts as a crutch," he recently told MTV. "We wanted to establish Audioslave, artistically, as its own thing, as its own independent entity. And we did that. We've made a record that we're tremendously proud of, that we think stands alongside our best work. Having done that, our histories and our previous bands are important parts of who we are, our lives and what makes us the musicians we are today. And they're songs we're very, very proud of."

As it turned out, the move was a resounding success. Silencing critics who thought he could never replace RATM's Zack de la Rocha, this year Cornell has made the angry outpourings of Killing in The Name and Sleep Now In The Fire utterly his own. Similarly, Morello, Commerford and Wilk have embraced the complexities of Soundgarden songs like Spoonman, Outshined and even a remodelled version of 1989's alt-metal anthem Loud Love. " We've been having a great time doing it, and people lose their ever-loving minds," Tom Morello told Billboard on the phone from the band's Helsinki show in June.

It certainly looked that way on Audioslave's recent European tour. Audiences from fiery Madrid to cool Cologne went crazy for the new recipe - with the familiar songs almost elucidating the new, more diverse material from Out of Exile. Suddenly, it was possible to hear something of the rhythmic complexity of Spoonman in Drown Me Slowly, the heavy swirl of Outshined in The Worm, the wired energy of Sleep Now in The Fire in Man or Animal.

"I think [playing these songs] draws us closer as a band," Chris Cornell recently told MTV. "Because when we're onstage doing songs that I may have written 12 years ago, they're suddenly included in a big part of my past. And then, when we start to do a Rage song, and the audience goes wild, they know every single word, they're jumping up and down, they know every single part. Suddenly, I'm a part of their pasts. And that was something I hadn't really thought about or expected."

Driving backwards in the fog
The triumph of these songs for a new audience was more than an exercise in nostalgic celebration, though. Audioslave is a band which casts a long, dark shadow - reaching back into death, dysfunction and despair.

Never really a part of the so-called “Seattle sound”, Soundgarden were always a law unto themselves, edgy, raw and deeply individual. From their initial appearance on Seattle’s legendary Deep Six compilation, they graduated from releases on indie labels Sub Pop and SST to become the first Seattle band to sign to a major. And as time went on Soundgarden’s punk ethos, coupled with a savage metal soundscape, incisive lyrics and Cornell’s predatory roar, first confused and then seduced audiences hungry for more than spandex silhouettes and poodle perms.

Early accounts recall a singer almost in a trance – wild-eyed, uninhibited, ferocious. “It’s weird sometimes,” Cornell said at the time. “People tell me things that happened while I was onstage and I don’t even remember them.” However, Cornell’s shamanic presence and the band’s atonal ferocity was proving less than totally marketable to a mass audience. Early albums Ultramega OK and Louder Than Love failed to make a mark on the mainstream despite the former’s Grammy nomination, and the band that had predated the grunge explosion in Seattle was soon overtaken by its shock wave.

One died in pieces in his bed with a head full of gold
There was one more wild card to be played, however. At the turn of the decade, charismatic Mother Love Bone singer Andy Wood – Seattle’s “mythical love child” and putative superstar – shaped one of the city’s most unforgettable albums. Sadly, it wasn’t his own. Wood’s death from an accidental overdose in 1990 left fellow band members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament leaderless and old roommate Chris Cornell bereft. Co-opting Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron and friend Mike McCready, their tribute to their “beautiful friend” became Temple of the Dog – a one-off musical collaboration which not only helped them exorcise their grief but also saw the tangled energy of Cornell’s early work with Soundgarden coalesce into something more comprehensible. “The more we talked about it, the more songs kept flying out,” Cornell told Reflex magazine in 1991,” and it ended up being an album. It didn't feel like a morose project. It felt sort of celebratory."

His singing on the album, too, was a revelation; the medieval chaos of earlier performances seemed to be giving way to something more measured and soulful. There was a keening gospel edge that nobody had really heard before; some songs also revealed a deep sensuality that had previously been submerged under anger. Although the album made little impact on its original appearance, its re-release after grunge became a world phenomenon yielded a top 30 single in Hunger Strike. But the other material has seldom been heard live until this year - when Audioslave incorporated Call Me a Dog and then All Night Thing into their set.

Looking California but feeling Minnesota
As Soundgarden eventually gathered speed through the release of hit album Badmotorfinger, Cornell’s enviable six-pack, bright blue eyes and dark corkscrew curls turned him into an alternative sex symbol and his film-star looks were frequently taken more seriously than his art. Unwilling to be reduced to a sex object and embarrassed at the sidelining of his fellow band members, Cornell backed out of the limelight, downplaying his own visual impact in promo shots and videos, growing steadily more cautious about other people’s perceptions. "All of a sudden, there's pictures of me with my shirt off in all these metal pin-up magazines," a self-conscious Cornell told Kerrang in 1996. "That shit gets on your nerves really quick. One photographer told me, 'It's alright, I know how to photograph naked bodies. I do pictures for Penthouse and Playboy'."

This new austerity was reflected in the music. Superunknown - probably Soundgarden's masterpiece - is a stark, uncompromising piece of work, full of tortured melody, strange rhythmic geometry and oblique lyrical puzzles. It doesn’t give up its secrets easily. But through one of those odd pieces of alchemy that sometimes turn the darkest jewels to gold, audiences the world over embraced it. An immediate #1 album in the States, it netted Soundgarden two Grammys, shifted millions of units worldwide, and introduced the band to the MTV middlebrow mainstream via the David Lynch influenced video for Black Hole Sun. At the same time it explored a threatening interior landscape teeming with pain, fear, fury and defiance. The songs might have been full of suffering – but it was evident that the singer was a survivor, unlike fellow Seattle native Kurt Cobain. Although only bassist Ben Shepherd had been really close to Cobain, his suicide in April 1994 nearly caused Soundgarden’s European tour to implode in an orgy of alcohol-fuelled anguish.

Nothing seems to kill me no matter how hard I try
Cornell’s own inner strength may have laid him open to periodic attacks of survivor guilt, but it was an immunity that was to repeatedly help save his sanity. 1997 was not a good year for him or for his band. Their next album, the scratchily angry Down on the Upside, had achieved about half of Superunknown’s sales despite continuing the band’s musical development out of metal into hard-edged melody and lyrical murk. A vastly underrated album, it’s perhaps their darkest of all – though not without its moments of black humour. Exploring themes of imprisonment, inertia and self-disgust it ends, in the oddly truncated Boot Camp, with a wistful yearning for freedom that approaches the transcendental.

With the death of Cobain and Pearl Jam’s deliberate downsizing policy, the fashion for bands perceived as grunge was fading fast, and there were growing rumours of growing schism within Soundgarden. The band finally went out with a whimper after a series of shows in Hawaii; the band weren’t happy and Cornell was looking thin, haggard and troubled. At what proved to be their final gig at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu on February 9, Ben Shepherd gave the audience the finger, threw down his bass and walked offstage mid-show. Soundgarden formally disbanded in April.

A month later, Cornell’s close friend the singer/songwriterJeff Buckley accidentally drowned while swimming in Memphis’s treacherous Wolf River. He’d been there to spend some time alone, working on songs for his second album. The bereaved Cornell would eventually explore his grief from inside a song – although the album on which Wave Goodbye appeared would not emerge until 1999. When it did, his solo album Euphoria Morning proved at least as profound – and just as misunderstood – as any of Soundgarden’s work.

There is no other pill to take, so swallow the one that makes you ill
Despite the climate of freedom that surrounded the making of Euphoria Morning, as Cornell temporarily decamped from his marital home and moved in with his old friends Alain Johannes and Natasha Shneider of LA art-rock band Eleven, its themes are loneliness, frustration and aching loss. With hindsight, it's tempting to read much of the album as an elegy for Cornell's failing marriage to Soundgarden manager Susan Silver, and his slide into grief, addiction and isolation. He has since described the final stages of the 17-year relationship as "horrible", a "daily disaster" - and yet the musical settings for these forays into darkness are perhaps the most surprising and diverse of Cornell’s career. Influences seem to come from everywhere; opener Can’t Change Me is exotically Middle Eastern, When I’m Down mingles soul inflections with piano-bar blues. Perhaps most surprisingly, Cornell’s farewell to Jeff Buckley, Wave Goodbye, channels Prince and Lenny Kravitz - with a central section which wheels into a yearning, gospel-choir falsetto.

It was always possible that the millions who’d bought into the Soundgarden legend might turn away from a Chris Cornell who dared to leave his grunge-metal persona behind. Euphoria Morning’s sonic experimentation failed to sell, though many of Cornell’s fans still count it as a forgotten masterpiece; like Joni Mitchell’s classic Blue, some cite it as perfect therapy for a certain kind of broken heart. “I’ve never been somebody who feels comfortable around a lot of people,” Cornell confessed to Alternative Press in 1999. “But if you relate to it and it makes you less lonely…that’s uplifting.” Many remember the low-key solo tour with special affection, despite the singer's growing problems with alcohol. “He had this elusive grace and style,” recalls a fan from Seattle. “His presence on stage was otherworldly -- and yet so human and vulnerable, even fragile.”

Help me find the dawn of the dying day
Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, activist Zack de la Rocha was not a happy rapper. Rumours about Rage Against The Machine’s demise had been circulating as far back as ’97 -- so when the implosion came and de la Rocha upped and left the band in October 2000, it was by no means unexpected. “Our decision-making process has completely failed,” said the press statement.

The rest of the band – guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Timmy Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk – had been in limbo for some time already, but that didn’t make the end any easier to take. "Tom, Brad, and I, we come from a very dysfunctional band and we wanted to make it right," explained Commerford in an recent interview with The New Zealand Herald. "We wanted to continue working together and we wanted to not feel the way we were feeling for 10 years." Commerford credits star producer Rick Rubin for being the catalyst that brought Audioslave together. "I call him the angel at the crossroads because if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today," he says. "Rick Rubin was the one who said, ‘You guys should jam with Chris Cornell’. That was a great piece of advice." He also persuaded the three of them to go into group therapy with $40,000 a week therapist Phil Towle, who's also been credited with mending the cracks in Metallica. "That was a lot of cash," recalls Commerford. "But now we have a great relationship and we work great together and we’re all very proud of that."

Crack a smile and cut your mouth and drown in alcohol
Up in Seattle, Cornell had begun to think about a follow-up solo album while struggling with deepening depression and addiction. "Drugs never interested me while I was busy and working, but when things got quiet, I began not to give a fuck," he told Q magazine in 2003. "I felt less significant than ant piss. I didn't care what I did."

What happened next is unclear. In a January 2001 interview with Rolling Stone, Morello claimed no decisions had been made about the RATM vacancy. But Commerford was letting slip some of what he envisaged for his band: " I think it's a great opportunity for someone, a singer who has a different style. Like, 'Wow, what a great place to speak from.'" By February’s Grammy Awards pre-show in February, Morello felt confident enough to mention the band had been working with Chris Cornell. And meanwhile, Rick Rubin had been dropping heavy hints to Rolling Stone’s David Fricke. “It could turn into a Yardbirds-into-Led Zeppelin scenario, “ he said in January. “In many ways Tom Morello is the Jimmy Page of today”. Small wonder, then that the mysterious new frontman turned out to be someone whose whole career with Soundgarden had been dogged by comparisons with Led Zeppelin. This time round, they weren’t a bad role model to follow. They were, after all, another band who’d learned early how to sidestep the “supergroup” curse by stamping out their own identity with crunching power and relentless touring.

Still, the announcement came as a surprise to many who’d expected Cornell to stay focused on his solo career - including, by all accounts, to backing band members Johannes and Shneider. But the rapport with the remaining RATM members was instant. “Within ten minutes of us just making stuff up and playing, it sounded incredible, we sounded like a band that had been together for a long time,” Cornell told Detroit DJs Drew and Mike in 2003. “It just sort of took on a life of its own immediately.”

Although the new band of brothers famously wrote 21 songs in 19 days of rehearsal, the business, in its wisdom, almost strangled the infant project with legal quibbles and management infighting. Cornell was reported to have left the band – and then to have joined it again, although Commerford now claims the early hiccups were more attributable to lingering differences between himself, Wilk and Morello. Despite the brinkmanship, Audioslave’s debut album – with Rick Rubin at the helm – safely launched in 2002 with Mark Romanek’s million-dollar firework display lighting up the video for its first single, the distinctly Zeppelinesque Cochise.

Save yourself and take it out on me
The powerful performance video wasn’t all Page, Plant and pyrotechnics, however. It ended with a silent and shadowy group hug, which seemed both spontaneous and very genuine. Cornell had lost another close friend in heroin addict Layne Staley (of Alice in Chains) earlier that year, and news soon emerged that he had later spent two months in rehab to kick his own addictions. He'd also finally separated from his wife and was about to go through the strains and stresses of divorce. Through all of this, the support of his band colleagues seems to have been crucial. At Audioslave’s earliest shows, he told audiences that “these guys saved my life”, and their support seems to have been a continuing factor in the singer's long-term rehabilitation. Since then, a new marriage to Parisienne Vicky Karyiannis, a new baby - and another on the way - have remade his emotional landscape, and the dark, pain-wracked lyrics of Audioslave's debut album have largely given way to songs about love, fatherhood and the joys of rejoining the human race. And in second single Your Time Has Come, Cornell confronts his multiple bereavements, placing the personal loss of Wood, Buckley and Staley alongside the larger losses suffered by wartime populations.

Soundgarden – rechristened “Frowngarden” by Axl Rose – had often been criticised for taking life too seriously. And Rage Against The Machine had always been beset by internal strife. "It was definitely more of a battle creatively," recalls Brad Wilk in a recent interview with Classic Rock. "And that's one of the reasons it just stopped working." In contrast, he says, Audioslave's working methods are "definitely more collaborative, and definitely more satisfying." On Out of Exile, it's plain that Morello, Commerford and Wilk have developed way beyond the RATM template in terms of breadth and range of musicianship, and Cornell has found a solid base within which he can work as a songwriter. "Before, when [Rage] played on stage together, we would never look at each other ‘cause we didn’t like each other," Commerford told The New Zealand Herald. "It would just be weird to even look over to a guy that you don’t like on stage, and you wouldn’t even know how to respond. With this band it’s different, I look over at Chris when we’re playing and he’s smiling and it’s just like, ‘Yes, this is dope’. It just feels great."

When life comes alive the past moves aside
Where will Audioslave go next? Some fear that Tom Morello will find insufficient outlet for his activism within a band with no overt political agenda. Yet Audioslave made the news headlines around the world with their recent five-day trip to Cuba - the first American rock band to play an open-air show as a guest of Castro's regime, and for Morello, the fulfilment of a long-held ambition. Some wonder whether the urge to experiment outside rock will eventually overtake Cornell again – or whether he’ll continue to find all he needs in the thunderous resonances and close alliances of his new band. “Chris has a natural gift that is not bound by limitations,” says ex-colleague Natasha Shneider. “If he so chooses, he could do whatever he wants.” However, at every live show he’s been telling audiences that what he wants is Audioslave – and that they’re in it for the long haul. New album Out of Exile points the way to a coherent future for a band which many wrote off as a one-album cash-in project, and on this tour Cornell has been dedicating songs to anyone who "believed we were a real band from the start".

Soundgarden and RATM both pushed the sonic envelope in a way that perhaps Audioslave doesn't, and the supergroup tag continues to follow them around. But it doesn't seem to matter. "Bands like Led Zeppelin came from other bands that had success," Cornell recently reminded Classic Rock magazine. "Where 'supergroup' became a bad thing was in the 80s where you had Power Station and Asia and Damn Yankees, where it seemed a convenient way to remarket the crap that these idiots already did….with absolutely no dedication towards making great music." Like Led Zeppelin's, Audioslave's music is sleek and resourceful, serious in its musical intent; content-heavy, but full of glamour and grace.

Perhaps the real key to Audioslave's survival is that no-one has an ulterior motive. “Everyone is doing this because it’s what they want to do and they want to have fun doing it, “ Cornell told Dutch radio station CCAS in May 2003. “We don’t need the money - we don’t need more pats on the back.”

"And no one’s afraid," Commerford told the NZ Herald. "No fear, no one’s saying I don’t like that, and that’s what prevented us from doing those sort of things in Rage. Ideas come up, we turn them into songs, and then we let them grow. That’s a beautiful place to be."

And for Chris Cornell himself, maybe the secret is that he’s simply gone back to where he started. He’s no longer the wild child who entranced incredulous audiences back in the day, but now he's past forty, he’s learned to let go once again. To accept all the things he can’t change, to rely on his friends and family to help carry his emotional baggage, and to simply enjoy being himself. Because, like the song says, it's all that you can do.

- Clare O' Brien

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Posted on Thursday, September 01 @ 20:40:00 CDT by Audioslaved

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