LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Audioslave singer Chris Cornell has quit the short-lived “supergroup,” citing “irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences,” he said on Thursday.
Cornell, 42, who rose to fame with defunct Seattle rock group Soundgarden, will reignite his solo career with the May 1 release of “Carry On,” his second solo album.
“Due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences, I am permanently leaving the band Audioslave. I wish the other three members nothing but the best in all of their future endeavors,” the part-time Paris restaurateur said in a statement.
The Audioslave split was not unexpected. His colleagues, guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk, have reunited with singer Zack de la Rocha to resurrect their former band Rage Against the Machine, which will play its first show in seven years at California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 29. Rage’s plans beyond this show are unknown.
Audioslave formed in 2001, a year after Rage broke up, and recorded three studio albums. In May 2005, it became the first American band to play an outdoor show in Cuba.
Its most recent album, “Revelations,” has sold a disappointing 409,000 copies in the United States since its September 2006 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its self-titled 2002 debut sold 3.1 million copies, and the 2005 follow-up “Out of Exile” 1.1 million.
Amid rumors last August that Audioslave had broken up, Cornell told Reuters that the band was like a sociology experiment because of the various members’ complex relationships with each other. He indicated that a solo existence could be a less stressful option.
“I think the biggest problem with people surviving in a band and getting along and appreciating each other is just the fact that for the most part musicians aren’t the kind of people who concentrate or worry about what the other guy thinks,” he said.
“Carry On,” produced by Steve Lillywhite (U2, Rolling Stones), marks Cornell’s first solo release since 1999’s “Euphoria Morning,” which came out two years after Soundgarden broke up.
The Interscope Records release will include “You Know My Name,” Cornell’s main title song for the latest James Bond film “Casino Royale,” as well as a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” Among the brand new tunes are “No Such Thing” and “Poison Eye,” both described in the statement as having a “harder edge,” and the “redemptive” song “Your Soul Today.”
The statement also described Cornell as “acrimonious,” which a publicist said was the intended term.