Smiling and happy on their Cuban adventure, members of US rock band Audioslave promised to play the loudest, best concert of the band┤s history Friday, at Havana┤s Tribuna Antimperialista Jose Marti.
In a press conference at the emblematic Hotel Nacional de Cuba┤s Salon Vedado, the artists said it was an honor for them to be the first US rock and roll band to play a concert in Cuba.
The show by vocalist Chris Cornell of the grunge pioneers Soundgarden, along with guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk, former members of agit-rock band Rage Against the Machine, will be opened by Cuban singer-composer X Alfonso.
“We are very appreciative to have been invited here by Cuba for this historic event,” guitarist Morello said. “In our short time in Cuba already we┤ve enjoyed our stay and we┤ve heard a great deal of Cuban music and I have been very impressed.”
“I am looking forward to returning the favor tomorrow by playing the loudest rock concert that Cuba will ever hear,” the guitarist announced.
When we got the thumbs up that we were going to be able to play in Cuba,” Morello recounted, “we postponed part of our tour in the US, having to cancel several dates in order to come down to be with you to play this concert.”
In the very first Audioslave show in Latin America, “we are going to honor our past by performing Soundgarden, RATM and Audioslave songs from our first album and brand new songs that no one has heard before included the not-yet-released CD,” Morello announced.
When questioned, Chris Cornell talked in favor of repeating the experience gradually between the countries.
“I think we all hope that it will be the start of something that continues,” the singer said. “Hopefully, this concert will help to open the musical borders between our two countries.”
Regarding the concert, he said “First of all, we will play the longest concert we┤ve ever had as Audioslave. Two is that we will endeavor to play the best concert we have ever played as Audioslave,” he said, immediately quipping “But in return, the Cuban people have a responsibility as well: they have to come to the show and go absolutely crazy tomorrow!!”
During their visit to Cuba, the band will film the concert for a DVD, as well as visit various places in Havana and spend time with Cuban youth.
“This has gone so well so far, we think it will go fantastically tomorrow that it should help to make it, hopefully, easier for other bands to do the same in the future,” the guitarist stated. “Music can transcend politics and this trip is absolute proof of that.”
In March 1979, Billy Joel, Kris Kristofferson, Weather Report, Rita Coolidge, Billy Swan and Jaco Pastorius visited Cuba, but they performed indoors, at the Karl Marx Theater.
In the late 90s, the show Bridge to Havana [MUSIC BRIDGES?] came to the same venue, bringing Burt Bacharach, Bonnie Raitt, Gladys Knight, Peter Frampton, Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland, Mick Fleetwood, Joan Osborne and Montell Jordan, but some of them did not perform or only collaborated in the music workshop.