Rage Against The Machine’s Bass Guitarist Tim Commerford, 54, Reveals He Has Prostate Cancer

The iconic band's bass guitarist also explained how the diagnosis has left him struggling to remain optimistic.

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Tim Commerford of Rage Against The Machine is speaking out about his cancer diagnosis. The iconic bassist, 54, opened up during an interview with Spin, getting both raw and real about how the prostate cancer label is affecting him. “I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious s—,” the Irvine, California native told the outlet for an interview published on Monday, December 12. “Right before I was about to go on tour with Rage, I had my prostate removed, and I have prostate cancer.”

Tim Commerford
Tim Commerford performs in London on June 9, 2017. (Rmv/Shutterstock)

The musician also lamented how taking care of himself over the years didn’t seem to make a difference in the face of cancer. “I’ve been someone that’s taken a lot of pride in being in shape and taking care of myself,” Tim admitted. “But it’s something where either you’re either lucky or not.

According to the outlet, his girlfriend and sons Xavier, 20, and Quentin, 18, have been supportive in the face of the illness. And, he explained, finding out he had cancer was also a process. “Now I’m in the situation that I’m in, which is, hold your breath for six months,” he told the outlet. “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 10 years. I’m trying to get to the 100-song mark — I have some goals now. 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.”

On an even more personal level, Tim, who has been with the band since its inception in 1991, revealed why it’s a difficult journey psychologically. “Prostate cancer is a very, very, very tough one because it’s connected to your sexuality,” he said during the interview. “It’s hard to disconnect from that and when you’re forced into that situation, it’s a brutal psychological journey. I’ve been trying to find support groups, and it’s hard to find people and hard to talk about it.”

The backing vocalist, however, is finding ways to be optimistic. “It might not sound like much, but to get through a conversation and not choke up and get emotional is a win for me,” he said in part. “It’s a little victory.”

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