Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford has been secretly battling prostate cancer.
The 54-year-old rocker revealed his illness in an interview with Spin published on Monday. He said he was diagnosed two months before the band was set to embark on their reunion tour in July.
“I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious s–t,” Commerford said. “Right before I was about to go on tour with Rage, I had my prostate removed, and I have prostate cancer.”
Only his bandmates, close friends and girlfriend knew about his health issues before the interview, and Commerford said he wasn’t even sure he wanted to talk about it until another legendary band inspired him.
“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, f–k, 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?! Then it was like, ‘Andy Taylor is suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer and is unable to make it.’
“My life is sort of like that,” he continued. “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 also added that while he’s taken pride in being in shape and taking care of his body, he explained: “I’ve been someone that’s taken a lot of pride in being in shape and taking care of myself. But it’s something where either you’re either lucky or not.”
“I hope there’s one person who reads this and is like, ‘F–k, I need to get checked out’ when they find out about it,” he said.
While he tries to keep a positive mindset about it all, Commerford admitted that the illness has been difficult mentally.
“Whatever it is, it makes me wonder if it’s happening because I have cancer, and prostate cancer is a very, very, very tough one because it’s connected to your sexuality. It’s hard to disconnect from that and when you’re forced into that situation, it’s a brutal psychological journey,” he said.
But music is getting him through. Commerford has also been recording music for his other band, 7D7D.
“I’m trying to get to the 100-song mark — I have some goals now,” he replied when asked about his positive outlook. “Songwriting has become a catharsis for me. Back to the original question, how do I find the time? That’s all I’ve got, is time.”