AUDIOSLAVE Drummer Says Trip To Cuba Was 'Humbling And Inspiring'

The Grand Rapids Press recently conducted an interview with AUDIOSLAVE drummer Brad Wilk. Several excerpts from the chat follow:

On being the first American rock band to perform in communist Cuba:

"At the end of the day, we had to get Dick Cheney's signature and Fidel Castro's signature, and it was not an easy thing to do. But it feels pretty good to say we were the first American rock band to put a stop to the rock 'n' roll embargo."

"We went to a music school that was once a high-falutin' country club before (the revolution). They turned it into a free school of music and we went in and watched these kids who couldn't have been more than 19 or 20 years old just do these jazz improvisations, and it was both humbling and inspiring.

"It just blew my mind. The people and the culture there are incredible. What they don't have as far as materialistic goods that we have in America, they just make up for it ten-fold in their spirit and in the arts and in their music."

On comparisons to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE:

"I'm very proud of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. And with AUDIOSLAVE, I don't really want to say it's better or worse, it's just completely different. With Zack, it was very percussive and rap-oriented. With Chris, he is a true singer, and he says a lot without using a lot of words, and it's a much more open, spacious feel. It completely changed the chemistry."

On performing songs live from RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and SOUNDGARDEN:

"We both come from bands that had pretty important histories. But we felt like we had succeeded on that level as our own entity, and we didn't use our other bands as crutches to prop up AUDIOSLAVE. When we started playing old RAGE and SOUNDGARDEN songs and actually embracing our past, we got a very warm response to that. It makes it great every night, we have so much music to choose from."

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