Audioslave mashes up of two of the grunge movement's most successful groups by pairing Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell with Rage Against the Machine's guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk. The unusual combination began after Zack dela Rocha left Rage in 2000. The band was looking to keep things moving and searched for a new lead singer. After jamming with several vocalists who didn't quite fit their style, they worked with Cornell and a new sound emerged. Audioslave began recording in May 2001. Before their album was released, however, the band broke up due to management issues, but reformed and released their self-titled debut in November 2002. With a sound more in-line with '70s rockers Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. To promote their follow-up album, 2005's Out of Exile, they band played a series of gigs at small clubs around the country performing their own songs as well as versions of songs from Soundgarden ("Spoonman," "Black Hole Sun," etc) and Rage ("Bulls on Parade," "Killing in the Name," etc). In 2005, Audioslave also became the first American rock band to perform in Cuba, which resulted in the "Live in Cuba" CD/DVD that they released in October of that year. In 2006, the song "Doesn't Remind Me" from Out of Exile was nominated for a Grammy award. The band's third album, Revelations, is set for release in September 2006.
When rock superstars converge, musical magic can happen, and it certainly did with Audioslave. Fusing Chris Cornell's voice and the unique sound from the musicians of Rage Against the Machine created an all natural, unconventional sound that proves they've all evolved from their grunge roots into mature songwriters of the new millennium. Unlike Rage Against the Machine's songs, Audioslave's tracks move away from politics and focus more on Cornell's classic radical imagery meshed with the heavy, yet psychedelic sound of Morello's guitar. The music ends up as hard-edged new age rock and roll that has gotten better and the band has found their footing, distancing themselves from their former projects and acknowledging that Audioslave is a band of its own. With its sophomore album, Out of Exile, Audioslave shows that it's not just a fluke collaboration, but that they have blended as a band, producing more straight-up rock than any of them ever have before.