Why Rage Against The Machine's Tim Commerford went Full Punk

Wakrat 2016

When you’ve had a successful career playing bass for two of the biggest bands of the last 20 years, namely Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave, then it’s hard to wonder what a man like Tim Commerford would have left on his checklist to achieve in music. But it seems there is one itch that he still has yet to scratch…

“I love fast, angry, aggressive punk rock music,” he tells us, “and I really believe that the style of music I’m doing with Wakrat is a style of music that I grew up on – whether it be The Minutemen or Fugazi or Bad Brains or Helmet – that hasn’t gotten a lot of the attention that it deserves. And Wakrat,tome, is smart. It’s fast, it’s unrelenting and it’s exciting for me.”

Combining Tim’s love for intelligent, forward-thinking, yet raw punk rock with hooks and a knack for huge, instantaneous rock pleasures, Wakrat feature the bassist front and centre of a band for the first time in his career – something that even he wasn’t convinced could have ever happened.

“I’m amazed every time we step out of the rehearsal studio and I’ve got through it,” he says

with audible surprise in his voice. “I never thought that I could do that. I put many years and blisters into playing my instrument, but I’ve managed to front a band without any previous experience. I’ve always kept a little notebook with my thoughts, lyrics and poetry in it. And it’s exciting to write a song and then look at the other two guys in Wakrat [Mathias Wakrat on drums and Laurent Grangeon on guitar and vocals] and say, ‘I’ll be back in the morning with lyrics ready to go’ and then make that happen.”

And it’s not just experiencing a new process – it’s also a whole new personal outlet for Tim.

“Getting to draw on my personal life as inspiration is cool,” the bassist tells us. “I’m a conspiracy theorist, and that comes out in my lyrics – I don’t trust the system that we currently are governed by and I hate a lot of people.” Having inked a deal with Earache Records, we’ll be able to judge the music for ourselves when their debut, eponymous album arrives later this month. Although it’s hard to know who is more excited for it…

“I’m so delighted to be signed to a label with the reputation like Earache. That’s a real big thing for me, being signed to a label from the UK. That part of the world has always been good to me, and I really think the people in the UK are going to understand what we’re trying to do.”


Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.