Tim Commerford says he had prostate cancer surgery shortly before Rage Against The Machine's summer tour

Tim Commerford of Rage Against The Machine, Prophets Of Rage and Wakrat
(Image credit: Neil Lupin\/Redferns)

Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford has disclosed that he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous prostate just two months before the band toured North America in July. 

In an interview with Spin, Commerford explains that only his family, bandmates and a few friends were aware of his diagnosis. Post-surgery, the bassist explains that the psychological implications have been "severe".

"Prostate cancer is a very, very, very tough one because it’s connected to your sexuality," says the bassist. "It’s hard to disconnect from that and when you’re forced into that situation, it’s a brutal psychological journey. I’ve been trying to find support groups, and it’s hard to find people and hard to talk about it.

"The physical suffering after the surgery, I’ve never felt pain quite like that," he adds. "I have metal plates in my head and cadaver parts in my body. I’ve done a lot of damage through sports and mountain biking and this sort of thing and I’ve always felt like I had a really high tolerance for pain, and that shit brought me to my knees. After the pain went away, I still haven’t really been able to get up, even though I’m working out and doing shit, but psychologically, the damage is severe. It’s very hard for me to not break down and get emotional."

Commerford, whose new band 7D7D released their first single Capitalism on Black Friday, says that he aims to write 100 songs with drummer Mathias Wakrat.

“Songwriting has become a catharsis for me," he says. "I just go in with nothing and get inspired by Mathias’ weird-ass drumming and build on the spot. There’s this little light at the end of the tunnel that I’m seeing right now where I feel like I can get some really solid goodness from it in other areas."

For more information about prostate cancer, visit the Cancer Research website.

Check out the video for Capitalism below.

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.