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Tom Morello Hints at ‘Great Audioslave Material in the Vault,’ Praises Chris Cornell’s Guitar Playing

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Tom Morello says there is some “great Audioslave material in the vault” which he hopes will see the light of day. He also reveals in a new interview that there were more shows being talked about with the supergroup featuring the core of Rage Against the Machine with Chris Cornell on vocals.

“It’s so sad,” the guitarist tells Music Radar. “We had talked about playing more Audioslave shows and releasing that material and doing something together in the not-too-distant future.”

When asked if his latest outfit, Prophets of Rage – also built on the Rage Against the Machine foundation with rappers Chuck D and B Real on vocals – had used the funk aspects of the final Audioslave record, Revelations, as a springboard for their current project, Morello says, “Certainly.”

“First of all, what a great thrill it was to make records with Chris Cornell, but it allowed us to explore chord progressions and melody and harmony in ways that we hadn’t before, and those things are now part of our DNA as well,” he says. “It was an incredibly collaborative process making this record, and I’m sure that some of the Audioslave genes are still present in us.”

Asked about the guitar playing of Cornell, Morello says it actually creates a bit of a challenge for him to be able to play some of the unique chord progressions the Soundgarden frontman would come up with at times.

“He had a very wonderful and unorthodox songwriting talent – it was sort of part-Beatles, part-Black Sabbath, but he had this internal non-4/4 time signature clock in him that was really interesting, and it’s in some of those Audioslave songs where he would contribute chord progressions,” the guitarist says. “One of the most difficult parts of any Audioslave song for me to play was the bridge of ‘Like a Stone,’ which was Chris’s chords. Because it was just so counterintuitive to me; he just had very unique chordal inclinations that made for beautiful music, then he would weave his gorgeous melodies on top of them.”

The guitarist concluded, “Still to this day, I have to have a cheat sheet onstage when we do the tribute to Chris, playing ‘Like a Stone’ — I just have to make sure I don’t mess up the bridge. [laughs]”

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