Looks like Audioslave's been shackled for good.
Frontman Chris Cornell says he is permanently exiting the supergroup he founded with former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tom Commerford and Brad Wilk, citing "irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences."
"I wish the other three members nothing but the best in all of their future endeavors," the rocker said in a statement released through his label, Suretone/Interscope.
Cornell, who shot to fame as the singer for Soundgarden before the seminal Seattle grunge act's demise in 1997, also confirmed plans to jump-start his solo career, which had been in limbo since the release of his 1999 debut album, Euphoria Morning.
The 42-year-old crooner announced that his sophomore disc, aptly titled Carry On, will hit stores on May 1.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the studio whiz who's worked with U2, the Rolling Stones and Phish, the album features 14 tracks, among them: "You Know My Name," the title song from the latest James Bond flick, Casino Royale, which was a Top 10 smash in Europe; a slow grind cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," a blues-tinged tune called "Safe and Sound" and hard rockers "No Such Thing and "Poison Eye."
Cornell dropped hints of a potential rift with his Audioslave mates last August.
"I think the biggest problem with people surviving in a band and getting along and appreciating each other is just the fact that for the most part, musicians aren't the kind of people who concentrate or worry about what the other guy thinks," he told Reuters.
Audioslave formed in 2001 after Rage vocalist Zach de la Rocha left the Los Angeles funk-metal outfit and Morello & Co. cast about for a new singer.
The Ragers jammed with Cornell and the chemistry felt strong enough to launch a new band.
Audioslave's self-titled debut came out in 2002 and sold 3.1 million copies. The follow-up, 2005's Out of Exile, tallied 1.1 million copies, but last September's Revelations, only managed to move 409,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan, perhaps due to Cornell's refusal to hit the road last fall to support it.
Audioslave did, however, headline the 2003 Lollapalooza tour with Jane's Addiction and in 2005 became the first American rock band to play a show in Havana. The group was also nominated for a Grammy in 2006 for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Cornell's exit seemed a fait accompli after Morello, Commerford and Wilk announced last month that they were reuniting with de la Rocha to headline the Coachella music fest in April.
While the reformed Rage's long-term plans are uncertain, Morello has revealed his own solo aspirations, telling MTV that he's been working on a solo acoustic project named The Nightwatchman and debuting politically charged material at coffee shops around Los Angeles.
"It seems like it was an appropriate time to get this music out," the guitarist said. "Some people might say it's kind of preaching to the converted, but frankly, the converted need a kick in the ass. Given the situation in our country and around the world, the fact that the White House is not ringed with pitchforks and torches means that people are not either paying enough attention or following through with how aghast they actually are."
Morello is compiling his protest songs for an album titled One Man Revolution, which Epic Records will release Apr. 24 under the Nightwatchman name. He'll also perform tracks from the album during a solo acoustic set at Coachella.