The True Meaning behind Audioslave’s ‘Like A Stone’

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Like a Stone is the 2nd single from the debut album of Audioslave ‘Audioslave’ released in 2003. Audioslave was formed when Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell joined the Rage Against the Machine members, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk.

So, one might probably think that Like a Stone is a regular love song. When I first listenend to Like a Stone, I thought that Chris Cornell was so deep in love that he had nothing else to do apart from waiting for someone who he desperately wanted to be with. But surprisingly, the song is actually about something totally different from love.

The song as Chris Cornell explained was about death. Chris spoke about the song being about someone who is sitting in a hotel room contemplating death, where you go after you die, what it means and what are the various possibilities of that. If one has been been good enough one might go to heaven as a lot of philosophical stories talk about good people going to heaven after they die. So, the guy sitting in the hotel room has lost all his friends. He is waiting for death to happen to him and meanwhile he is contemplating about where he would go after that and would he meet his friends in the afterlife or not.

Even band member Tim Commerford originally thought that Like a Stone was a typical love song. He was pretty amazed to learn that it was about a guy waiting to die. He then went back and check a lot of songs by Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog to see what they actually meant.

I went back and looked at the song and I got kinda saddened by what he is singing about is like a guy waiting alone in a house of death. And all his friends are dying and he is just waiting there and I’m picturing this man in a rocking chair like waiting to die and it changed everything for me. That made me go back and look at all the songs like Temple of the Dog songs and Soundgarden songs and I started going ‘Ohk, I get Cornell now and he is a genius’. He fooled me for 15 years where I maybe thought that some of the things he was singing about were slightly trivial but, they are never trivial. He is deep. He is really deep.

Tim Commerford

Interesting fact: The video for ‘Like a Stone’ was shot in Jimi Hendrix’s old house where he wrote ‘Purple Haze’.

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