With the track listing nearly finalized for its May 24 Interscope/Epic release "Out of Exile," Audioslave hits the road tomorrow (April 14) in Las Vegas for a 19-date North American tour. Guitarist Tom Morello hints that aside from new material, fans may be treated to a few gems from band members? erstwhile outfits Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden.
"Let?s just say there are going to be some surprises this time out," Morello tells Billboard.com. "We feel that we?ve established Audioslave as its own titanic powerhouse that can stand with our previous work. It was very important the first time around not to lean on that crutch. To really stand on our own work and having done that, we?re feeling a little more liberal about looking at the possibility. There are exciting things happening in the rehearsal room."
Morello says Audioslave recorded 21 songs for consideration on "Out of Exile." The guitarist excitedly confirms several of the songs that made it on the album: "?Your Time Has Come? is a ferocious rocking anthem; ?Doesn?t Remind Me? is very different from anything we?ve ever done before and combines a sweetness and brutality rarely mixed together in a song; ?Out of Exile? is a huge riff rocker mixed with almost a Civil War melody; and ?The Worm? is probably the heaviest track on the record."
Written last spring and summer and recorded last fall and winter, "Out of Exile" represents a wholesale change for Morello, who decided against his normal recording modus operandi of walking into the studio with "20 great riffs." Instead, he relied on spontaneity and eliminated self-censorship when recording his guitar parts.
The result was "the craziest I have been on any record," Morello says. "It was a little bit scary, to not have that security blanket but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the kind of ideas that were coming up were just as exciting or more exciting than music we?ve made before."
After completing its Stateside leg and hitting the European festival circuit, Audioslave expects to book another American jaunt for late summer or early fall.
"We?re itching to play these new songs and to get back on the road to rock," Morello says. "The intensity and the excitement in [small theaters] is something you really can?t beat. And there is going to be plenty of guitar shredding for everybody."