Interviews, Podcast

Tim Commerford Talks Rage Against the Machine, Prophets of Rage, and Audioslave

Commerford discusses his legendary bands on the Culture Creature podcast

tim commerford interview

Photo by Humberto Romero

Today on the Culture Creature podcast: an interview with bassist Tim Commerford. Listen to the Tim Commerford interview above or in your podcast provider of choice. Commerford is a current or former member of bands including Rage Against the Machine, Prophets of Rage, and Audioslave.

tim commerford interview prophets rage

Prophets of Rage

Tim and Prophets of Rage are currently preparing to release their self-titled debut album on September 15th. Prophets of Rage is Chuck D and DJ Lord of Public Enemy, B Real of Cypress Hill, and Tim Commerford, Tom Morello and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine.

Tim Commerford Interview Highlights

Tim Commerford on Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha: “I can only say that he’s the greatest frontman that ever lived, you know? There’s nobody like that, and there won’t be anyone like that. Obviously, that talent of just being to be able to command an audience is just insane.”

Tim Commerford describes Chuck D’s ‘Five Levels of Being in a Band’: “Chuck D has the ‘five levels of being in a band.’ Creating your music is level one. Recording your music is level two. Performing your music is level three. … Level four is belief in what you’re doing. Believing the message, and believing the music. That’s a level that you can get to and stay at. And then there’s level five, and the way Chuck puts it, level five is bleeding your music. Bleeding your music is a level that you don’t stay there. You may get there, and you can stay there, but it takes work, and it’s easy to fall off. So, you might get to level five for one show, and then the next show, you might fall back down to level four. Level five is the ultimate and there’s so much that goes into it.”

Tim Commerford on Rage Against the Machine’s Evil Empire: “I look at that album as our most punk record. A lot of times when I read things about Rage Against the Machine, they’ll say, ‘they’re heavy metal and rap.’ I used to bum out on that because I don’t hear the heavy metal in us. I don’t see it in that way. I see us as a heavy rap punk band. That’s the way I see it. Evil Empire was that. It was our second record and we were like, ‘Okay, how do we want to be perceived? Do we want to be perceived as a heavy metal rap band, or do we want to be perceived as a heavy punk rock rap group?’ For me and all of us, that was the focus. That’s why that record sounds the way it sounds. It’s raw man, it’s a raw album. We recorded it in a raw way in our rehearsal studio. First, we went to a regular studio and tried to work on it. We didn’t really like anything that we were doing. Eventually, we ended up staying where we were rehearsing at Cole rehearsal studio in Los Angeles. Brendan O’Brien, our producer, said, ‘Why don’t you guys just stay here and I’ll make a hole in the wall and bring the cables through the wall. I’ll bring the mixing board into another studio in this place and we’ll make the record here.’ So that’s what we did. That really helped us capture the essence of what we were about at that time. We were a punk band. I look at Rage as a mixture of Public Enemy and Cypress Hill and Bad Brains and Fugazi.”

Listen to the complete Tim Commerford interview on the Culture Creature podcast: Apple Podcasts | Android | Stitcher | RSS

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