May 6, 2005
The longest, the best, the craziest
concert of our lives
Audioslave in the Jose Marti Anti-imperialist
Tribune, tonight at 8:30 pm,
A CubaNews translation by Maria
Montelibre. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Pedro de la Hoz
- Why Cuba?
-That's what we wanted.
-Any special motivation?
-Music transcends all barriers. It is the universal language. A bridge between
-Do you know that your stage will be on the
Yes, we are aware about its name. It is a magnificent name for a cultural forum.
-What do you expect from this visit?
-To sow the first stone on the road of our musicians' reunion.
-What do you hope about the concert?
-To have a large audience, because it will the longest, the best, and the
craziest of all concerts Audioslave has ever performed.
Questions from the press and answers by Audioslave members, a prestigious U.S.
rock band, which will perform tonight under the patronage of the Cuban Institute
of Music, at 8:30 pm, on the Jose Marti Anti-imperialist Grandstand. Tom Morello,
ex-member of Rage Against the Machine, and Chris Cornell, ex-vocalist of
Soundgarden, were the most talkative.
It is Audioslave's first concert in Latin America, and they consider it
significant that it is in Cuba. They expressly tried it to be so. Their
paperwork was hard to process, because of the practically unsurmountable
barriers put forth by the U.S. Administration, which wants to torpedo Cuban-U.S.
cultural relations. They think that obsession is absurd, and they re sorry that
because of this, Cuban musicians have not been able to perform on U.S. Stages
for years. They thank the Cuban Institute of Music, represented in the press
conference by its First Vice-President, Orlando Vistel, by their interest shown
when they applied to come.
Morello stated, "We are going to satisfy all wishes, because we will also play
themes from Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden, since we know in Cuba
there are fans of our previous bands . But we will also include a repertoire
from Audioslave and new things, which have not been heard up to now by anybody,
from the second album, Out of Exile, which will go out on the market on the
The concert will be preceded by the presentation of X Alfonso, Audioslave's host
for this visit. "For us," Cornell stated, "it is an honor to share the stage
with such a prestigious Cuban musician. In the few hours we have been in Cuba,
we have been surprised by the variety of his music."
Brings American Rock to Cuba
Brings American Rock to Cuba, Billed As First Outdoor U.S. Rock Show on
By JOHN RICE
The Associated Press
From left, Tim Commeford, Brad Wilk, Chris Cornell and Tom Morello,
members of rock group "Audioslave" of the US, meet with reporters at the
National Hotel in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, May 5, 2005. Audioslave
announced it will give a free, open-air concert on the Havana waterfront
this week. (AP Photo/Jorge Rey)
May. 5, 2005 - It's been a long time maybe
forever since an American band has rocked the Havana waterfront, where
crowds are more used to denouncing the United States than dancing with it.
Now Audioslave is promising to make its Friday night concert the longest,
loudest and best Cubans have ever heard.
have an obligation too, guitarist Tom Morello told a crowded news conference
Thursday: "They have to come to the show and go absolutely crazy."
concert, hastily organized by the government's Institute of Music, is being
billed as Cuba's first outdoor rock concert by a U.S. band, though some
Cuban artists have disputed that claim.
show at the Anti-Imperialist Tribunal certainly has the potential to be
Cuba's largest, far bigger than the few relatively controlled indoor
concerts involving artists such as Billy Joel and Bonnie Raitt. Crowds of a
million people have turned out for government-sponsored demonstrations
against the United States that file past the Tribunal stage for hours.
will require authorities to block off the broad Malecon boulevard, which
snakes along Havana's seawall where the U.S. diplomatic mission is located.
Audioslave's members are known for their socialist bent, but they went out
of their way to avoid political topics here.
about the music, period," said bassist Tim Commerford.
broke away from a U.S. tour promoting their upcoming album, "Out of Exile,"
to come to Cuba after what Morello described as a lengthy effort to win
approval from both governments.
concert was called on such short notice that many Cuban rock fans were just
getting word of the event Thursday. Those who can't make it from here or
abroad may be able to see and hear it later on DVD.
government's restrictions on Cuba's communist government often have made it
tough for artists to travel to the island.
government considered rock subversive in the 1960s, but has since warmed to
some of it even dedicating a park to John Lennon. But it has been slow to
celebrate the grungier, more rebellious forms of rock.
Officials closed Havana's most important rock club about two years ago, but
allow twice-monthly performances at another venue and have authorized
several outdoor rock festivals around the country, said Juan Manuel Montoto,
who promotes a thrash group called Agonizer.
with approval from both governments, the biggest threat may be the weather,
which has been glum and rainy.
Regardless, Audioslave will rock.
hope it will be the start of something that continues," said lead singer
important to us that this could be a free concert," Morello added, "so that
everyone in Cuba who wants to come can come and hear the music."
Gives Outdoor Concert in Cuba
Causes Sensation With First Outdoor Appearance by U.S. Rock Group in Cuba
By JOHN RICE
The Associated Press
May. 7, 2005 - The American group Audioslave
broke decades-long barriers with a thundering concert before thousands of
Cuban fans who knocked over barriers to get closer to the first U.S. rock
band to play an outdoor concert in Cuba.
Cornell's scream "I won't do what you tell me!" boomed off the high-rise
apartment buildings on south side of the stage Friday night as feedback
shrieks from Tom Morello's guitar drifted into the night breeze over the
Caribbean to the north.
the best thing that has happened here this year," said 25-year-old rock fan
thing in your life," shouted a nearby friend who darted back into a crowd of
more than 3,000 people many with dreadlocks, body piercings and tattoos. A
few swooped around the edges of the crowd on roller blades.
It was a
distinct difference from the orderly, clean-cut crowds who march in massive
anti-U.S. protests along the Malecon waterfront at the same venue: the Jose
Marti Anti-Imperialist Tribunal before the U.S. Interests Section, or
before the concert, hundreds of fans were so eager that they sent metal
security barricades clanging to the pavement and rushed forward to fill a
50-yard long area that had been reserved for special guests mostly workers
and teachers with exemplary official records.
allowed the fans to stay in the invaded space and several joked with
tattooed youths in Metallica T-shirts swigging rum.
travel restrictions on Cuba and the Cuban government's ambivalence toward
rock music have limited visits by U.S. rockers to Cuba.
often cite Billy Joel's 1979 indoor performance as a rock and roll landmark
elemental grunge, thrash and metal are the most popular styles of rock on an
island rich in its own complex, polyrhythmic popular music.
had the whole crowd screaming and dancing when it went back to its frantic,
pounding, grungy roots, but left those in the back merely toe-tapping on
some of the newer, less frantic songs.
"We would like to have stronger music bands like Metallica," said a gaunt
man sitting alongside friends on the Malecon seawall who gave his name as
Walter Delgado, 32. Even so, he said, "We are happy for the first time in
our rock and roll history."
6 de mayo 2005
El más largo, el mejor, el más loco
de los conciertos de nuestras vidas
Audioslave en la Tribuna Antimperialista José Martí,
esta noche a las 8:30 p.m., con conocimiento de causa
Pedro de la
—Era nuestro deseo.
—¿Alguna motivación especial?
—La música trasciende todas las barreras. Es un
lenguaje universal. Un puente entre nuestros pueblos.
—¿Saben que el escenario donde actuarán se llama
—Sí, estamos conscientes de que así se llama. Es un
magnífico nombre para un foro cultural.
—¿Qué esperan de esta visita?
—Sembrar la primera piedra en el camino del
reencuentro entre nuestros músicos.
—¿Qué esperan del concierto?
—Que vayan muchas personas, porque será el más
largo, el mejor y el más loco de todos los conciertos que Audioslave haya dado
en su existencia.
Preguntas de la prensa y respuestas repartidas entre
los integrantes de Audioslave, una célebre banda norteamericana de rock, que
bajo el auspicio del Instituto Cubano de la Música, se presentará esta noche, a
las 8:30 p.m., en la Tribuna Antimperialista José Martí. Los más locuaces fueron
Tom Morello, ex integrante de Rage Against The Machine, y Chris Cornell, ex
vocalista de Soundgarden.
Es el primer concierto de Audioslave en América
Latina y consideran significativo que se produzca en Cuba. Quisieron
expresamente que así fuera. Les llevó arduos trámites, debido a los obstáculos
prácticamente insalvables con los que la actual Administración norteamericana
pretende torpedear las relaciones culturales entre Cuba y EE.UU. Piensan que es
absurda esa obsesión. Lamentan que debido a esta, se prohíba, desde hace dos
años, la presencia de músicos de la Isla en escenarios estadounidenses.
Agradecen al Instituto Cubano de la Música, representado en la rueda de prensa
por su vicepresidente primero, Orlando Vistel, el interés mostrado ante su
"Vamos a satisfacer todos los gustos —afirmó Morello—,
pues también interpretaremos temas de Rage Against The Machine y Soundgarden,
debido a que sabemos que hay fans de nuestras antiguas bandas en Cuba. Pero
haremos el repertorio de Audioslave y cosas nuevas, que nadie ha escuchado hasta
ahora, del segundo álbum, Out of Exile, que saldrá a la venta el próximo
El concierto estará precedido por la presentación de
X Alfonso, anfitrión de Audioslave en esta visita. "Para nosotros —afirmó
Cornell— es un honor compartir con un músico cubano tan talentoso. En las pocas
horas que llevamos en Cuba, nos llama la atención la variedad de su música".