Rage Against The Machine Bassist Reveals Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

13 December 2022 | 8:42 am | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

"It’s gonna be a long journey, I hope."

(Source: Supplied)

More Rage Against The Machine More Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford has opened up about receiving his prostate cancer diagnosis. 

In an interview with Spin, he revealed, "I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious shit. Right before I was about to go on tour with Rage, I had my prostate removed, and I have prostate cancer."

The 54-year-old musician has always been the embodiment of fitness and health, and suddenly he began to face the toughest challenge of his life. He told Daniel Kohn that he wasn't planning on telling the publication about his diagnosis, but as he'd been struggling recently and had a weird experience that gave him courage, he started to open up.

"I was with my girlfriend, and we were watching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on TV. Duran Duran was on, and I was like, ‘Ah, fuck, I used to learn those songs when I was a kid. I saw them on stage and wondered, where’s Andy Taylor, and why do they have this other guy in here?!" Commerford explained.

"Then it was like, ‘Andy Taylor is suffering from stage four prostate cancer and is unable to make it.’ My life is sort of like that. There are a lot of people who have it. There are a lot of people who are like, ‘Where do you go?’ You can’t talk to a therapist. You can only really talk to someone who’s going through it."

Commerford then detailed how his diagnosis came to light. "I went to get life insurance, but my PSA (Prostate Specific-Antigen) numbers were up. I couldn’t get it. They wouldn’t insure me. At first, the number was very low — like one-point-something. I watched it over the course of a year and a half, and it kept elevating further. Eventually, they did a biopsy and found out I had cancer, so they took my prostate out," he said. 

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

"I had been thinking, well, because they’re watching it and let it get to this point, maybe it’s not that big of a deal. I blame myself. I should have said, ‘my numbers are elevated, and what does that really mean?’ I should have taken it more seriously.

"Now I’m in the situation that I’m in, which is, hold your breath for six months," he added. "It’s not a good one and not one that I’m happy about. I’m just trying to grab ahold of the reins. It’s gonna be a long journey, I hope. My dad died in his early 70s from cancer, and my mom died from cancer in her 40s. Split the difference to 65, and I’ve got ten years. I’m trying to get to the 100-song mark — I have some goals now."

Commerford recently started a new band called 7D7D with drummer Mathias Wakrat and guitarist Jonny Polonsky and unveiled their first song, Capitalism. The track tackles his main band's sociopolitical messaging in true RATM form. However, 7D7D approach music in a more laidback alternative rock fashion, with some jazzy vibes thrown in. 

Listen to Capitalism below.