Tim Commerford

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Tim Commerford
Commerford in 2007
Commerford in 2007
Background information
Also known as
  • Timmy C
  • Y.tim.K.
  • Tim Bob
  • tim.com
  • S.W.I.M.
  • Tim the Bassist
Born (1968-02-26) February 26, 1968 (age 54)
Irvine, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician
Instrument(s)
  • Bass guitar
  • vocals
Years active1988–present
Labels
Member of
Formerly of
Websiteratm.com

Tim Commerford (born February 26, 1968) is an American musician, best known as the bassist and backing vocalist for rock band Rage Against the Machine, and supergroups Audioslave and Prophets of Rage. Since 2013 and 2015, he has also been the lead singer and bassist of the bands Future User and Wakrat.

He was ranked eighth on Paste magazine's list of "20 Underrated Bass Guitarists" in 2014.[1]

Early life[edit]

Commerford was born on February 26, 1968, in Irvine, California.[2] He is the youngest of six children. His father, an aerospace engineer, worked on the Space Shuttle, and his mother was a teacher/mathematician.[citation needed] He is of French and Irish descent. His idols in rock include Gene Simmons, Sid Vicious, Steve Harris, and Geddy Lee.[3] In the fifth grade, he met future bandmate Zack de la Rocha. Around this time, his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Shortly thereafter, his father divorced and remarried. Commerford stayed with his father, while his mother moved to Sacramento, to live with her sister while seeking treatment. Commerford's father abused him during the period when they both lived in Irvine together. During this time, de la Rocha introduced him to bass, and Commerford soon found an outlet in music and poetry, playing bass in the band Juvenile Expression. Commerford's mother died of brain cancer in 1988.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Rage Against the Machine (1991–2000)[edit]

In 1991, following the break-up of the band Lock Up featuring guitarist Tom Morello, the band's drummer, Jon Knox, encouraged Commerford and Zack de la Rocha to jam with Tom Morello. Tom soon called Brad Wilk, who had unsuccessfully auditioned for Lock Up. This line-up went on to form Rage Against the Machine. After frequenting the L.A. club circuit, Rage Against the Machine signed a record deal with Epic Records in 1992. That same year, the band released their self-titled debut. They achieved a phenomenal amount of mainstream success and released three more studio albums.

In late 2000, after Commerford's stunt at the VMA's, a disgruntled de la Rocha quit the band. On September 13, 2000, Rage Against the Machine performed their last concert at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Audioslave (2001–2007)[edit]

Commerford performing with Audioslave at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2005

After Zack de la Rocha left Rage Against the Machine, music producer Rick Rubin suggested the three remaining members of Rage get together with then-former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, and "see what happens".

By May 2001, they had begun to work in the studio, writing their first song "Light My Way". By April 2002, the newly formed band had split due to "outside" pressures, mainly from management companies. They soon got back together though, and on November 19, 2002, they released their eponymous debut, which would attain triple platinum status. Audioslave attained a large amount of success, and released another two studio albums. On May 5, 2005, Audioslave played a free concert in front of 65,000 Cuban fans, becoming the first American rock band to play a concert within Cuba.

On February 15, 2007, Chris Cornell officially announced his departure from Audioslave, thus disbanding the group.

Rage Against the Machine reunion (2007–2011)[edit]

On April 29, 2007, Rage Against the Machine reunited at the Coachella Music Festival. The band played in front of an EZLN backdrop to the largest crowd of the festival. The performance was first thought to be a one-off, but this turned out not to be the case. The band played seven more shows in the United States in 2007 (including their first non-festival concert in seven years at the Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin), and in January 2008, they played their first shows outside the US as part of the Big Day Out Festival in Australia and New Zealand, and then at the Reading and Leeds festival in the summer of 2008, in England.

The band continued to tour around the world, headlining many large festivals in Europe and the United States, including Lollapalooza in Chicago. In 2008 the band also played shows in Denver, Colorado and St. Paul, Minnesota, the locations of the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention, respectively. Their most recent performance was in 2011, at The Coliseum at Los Angeles.

Future User and Wakrat (2014–present)[edit]

Commerford co-founded provocative band Future User, together with Jordan Tarlow (keys), Jon Knox (drums) and producer Brendan O'Brien (guitars). He plays bass and is the vocalist of the band. Tim Commerford hid several months under the S.W.I.M persona on the first music videos, before unmasking himself in the "Mountain Lion" video.[4] In the band's first video, tennis player John McEnroe subjected himself to waterboarding.[5] The "Mountain Lion" video featured road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong, a close friend of Commerford,[6] while a skateboarding Commerford appears to inject himself with a steroid.[5][7]

In 2015, he formed "punk and hardcore-influenced band", named Wakrat. The band also features drummer Mathias Wakrat and guitarist Laurent Grangeon. The band debuted their first single, "Knucklehead", in September 2015.[8]

Prophets of Rage (2016–2019)[edit]

In 2016, Tim Commerford reunited with Tom Morello and Brad Wilk, and was joined by Chuck D and B-Real to form supergroup Prophets of Rage. They play covers from their Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill material, and new material as well.

Other contributions[edit]

Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk contributed to Maynard James Keenan's side project Puscifer and his album "V" Is for Vagina on the track "Momma Sed". Both have taken part in the production of Dave Grohl's 2013 Sound City soundtrack, with the track "Time Slowing Down".

Personal life[edit]

Commerford is known as a biking enthusiast. In 1995, Rage Against the Machine was forced to cancel a concert after Commerford broke his wrist in a biking accident.

In 2001, Commerford married his longtime girlfriend, Aleece Dimas. They have two sons together, Xavier and Quentin, and the family lives in Malibu. In November 2018, the couple announced they were divorcing.[9]

In 2010, Commerford was interviewed and appeared in the documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.[10]

Political views[edit]

Commerford is a self-described "conspiracy theorist". In a Rolling Stone interview in 2015, he claimed that the Moon landing was faked and he confronted Buzz Aldrin about it at a John Cusack movie premiere. In the same interview, Commerford also stated that he doesn't believe ISIS is real and cast doubt upon the ISIS beheading videos:[11][12]

They're not real. They're high-def. They have a soundtrack. The parts of those videos that you couldn't fake are edited out. At first, I thought it was edited out by our government so our kids wouldn't be seeing it on the Internet, but no. That's the way those videos came. The knife starts to cut the neck, and then it fades out. There's too much stuff that doesn't look real. They've edited out the parts that would be too hard to fake. We created Jihadi John and ISIS so we can go drop bombs.[11]

Equipment[edit]

Commerford's has been using various Music Man StingRay basses since 2016, a brand he likes since his beginnings with Rage Against The Machine.[13] . MusicMan released several custom Artist Series basses in 2021. [14] . He previously used Fender Jazz Basses with Fender Precision Bass necks and Lakland basses. [15]

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barrett, John (July 9, 2014). "The 20 Most Underrated Bass Guitarists :: Music :: Lists :: Paste". Pastemagazine.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 2163. ISBN 9780857125958.
  3. ^ "FBPO Exclusive Interview with Tim Commerford". For Bass Players Only. June 14, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  4. ^ Tilles, Jay (January 27, 2015). "Who is Future User? New Band Reveals Identities in Exclusive Interview". Radio.com. CBS Corporation. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Lance Armstrong Talks Trash in RATM Offshoot Future User's 'Mountain Lion' Video". Rolling Stone. January 27, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  6. ^ Andriakos, Jacqueline (January 27, 2015). "Lance Armstrong Makes Cameo in New Drug-Related Music Video". People. Time Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Mandell, Nina (January 27, 2015). "Lance Armstrong makes cameo in new music video about PEDs". USA Today. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  8. ^ Bowar, Chad (September 25, 2015). "Rage Against the Machine Bassist Tim Commerford Forms New Band Wakrat Read More: Rage Against the Machine Bassist Forms New Band Wakrat". Loudwire. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  9. ^ "Tim Commerford splits from his wife Aleece Dimas".
  10. ^ Greene, Andy (June 16, 2010). "Rush "Fired Up" By Career-Spanning Documentary". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  11. ^ a b Newman, Jason (October 2, 2015). "Rage Against the Machine Bassist Gives Band Update, Talks ISIS, Trump". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  12. ^ Hartmann, Graham (October 2, 2015). "Rage Against the Machine's Tim Commerford: 'I Don't Believe ISIS Is Real' Read More: RATM's Tim Commerford: 'I Don't Believe ISIS Is Real'". Loudwire. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  13. ^ "Rig Rundown - Tim Commerford". YouTube.
  14. ^ "Ernie Ball Music Man: Tim Commerford Artist Series StingRay Bass". YouTube.
  15. ^ "Tim Commerford – Fender News & Tech Talk". fender.com. September 18, 2009. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2014. I like Jazz basses. I've been playing Jazz basses with Precision Bass necks, and I'm almost thinking that I want to switch to Jazz Bass necks, because I have one regular Jazz Bass out here on tour and I end up playing that one because it's the most comfortable one for me.

External links[edit]