Audioslave and SOAD Project
Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello and System of a Down singer Serj Tankian were thinking the same thing midway through last month's benefit for their Axis of Justice political action group. "Maybe we should release this," Tankian recalled." As it was going on, it just seemed like it was a really special, even historic, evening of musicians coming together for social change, but in an artistic atmosphere that was pretty unprecedented," Morello said. "So we started discussing putting it out."
Those discussions have led to Axis of Justice Concert Series Volume 1, a CD/DVD set recorded and filmed by friends for free at the July 17 concert at the Avalon in Hollywood "Everyone did everything out of [the goodness of] their hearts, and that's what made it so special," Tankian said. "It wasn't a gig, it was more like friends that care about causes getting together and making music."
Axis of Justice will release the collection on November 2 — Election Day. "It's making a statement in saying that we need a more just America," Tankian said. "We have the biggest hearts in the world, but the people who represent us don't show that and instead foster hate against us."
Both the CD and DVD will include the memorable all-star collaborations from the show, including an encore of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" with Tankian and A Perfect Circle's Maynard James Keenan on vocals, Pete Yorn on guitar and vocals, Morello on guitar, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea on bass, Audioslave's Brad Wilk on drums and Jonny Polonski on keyboards. That lineup, minus Keenan and Polonski and with Tankian on piano, also covers Bob Dylan's "Chimes of Freedom" and Funkadelic's "Alice in My Fantasies." An improvisational jam featuring Flea, Wilk and Tankian is also included.
The CD features Tankian's "Charades" and an improv piano number, two songs from Morello as the Nightwatchman ("Until the End" and "Union Song"), Pete Yorn's cover of Junior Kimbrough's "I Feel Good Again," two songs from Jurassic 5 ("What's Golden" and "Freedom"), and two spoken-word tracks from Knowledge: the self-explanatory "President Evil" and "Speak on It," about the Armenian genocide and featuring Tankian on piano.
As a bonus, the CD will include a cover of Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" performed by Chris Cornell and Keenan at last summer's Lollapalooza.
The DVD will include most of the same tracks, along with the Nightwatchman's "The Road I Must Travel" with Tankian on piano, Yorn on guitar, Polonski on bass and Wilk on drums, and Yorn's "Strange Condition" and "Broken Bottle."
Bonuses on the DVD will include excerpts from Morello and Tankian's Axis of Justice radio show, such as interviews with Michael Moore and Janeane Garofalo, as well as four songs from an early Axis show at West Hollywood's Troubadour.
Morello and Tankian have yet to schedule their next concert, although Axis is sponsoring a show Tuesday at the Knitting Factoring in New York featuring the Nightwatchman, the Coup's Boots Riley, Spearhead and a special guest. The Nightwatchman is also performing Wednesday at a protest of the Republican National Convention in New York, and the Axis of Justice radio show is taking over New York's K-Rock for three hours on Monday afternoon.
"I'll be playing rebel music and telling the truth as I see it, so look out," Morello said.
The Lord Giveth, And The Lord Taketh Away!!!