Chris Cornell Quits New Rage Project

Album still set for summer release, though project 'no longer moving forward,' according to Cornell's manager.

If Rage Against the Machine fans harbored some anger before, they’re about to be really pissed.

Fans hoping to catch the first glimpse of the new, Chris Cornell-fronted group on this summer’s Ozzfest will have to make do with the mental image they’ve built since the two parties began jamming together last year, as the former Soundgarden frontman has withdrawn from the project, effectively scrapping plans to participate in the annual summer metalfest.

The disappointing news comes just days after the group, which had yet to settle on a name, was announced as one of Ozzfest’s mainstage attractions, along with Ozzy Osbourne, System of a Down, P.O.D. and Drowning Pool. A reason for the split wasn’t given by Cornell’s manager, who said only that the project was “no longer moving forward.”

Cornell and Rage members Tom Morello (guitar), Tim Commerford (bass) and Brad Wilk (drums) recently finished recording an album’s worth of material in a Los Angeles studio, and the resulting as-yet-untitled LP is still expected to be released this summer by Epic. The status of the now-vacant slot on the Ozzfest roster was unknown, as spokespeople for the tour organizers didn’t return calls by press time. A management representative for the Rage members had no comment on the split.

The former Soundgarden vocalist joined up with the Rage guys last year (see “Chris Cornell To Rage With The Machine” ), following the departure of singer Zack de la Rocha in October 2000 (see “Zack Leaves Rage Against The Machine” ).

Ozzy Osbourne, for one, must be devastated upon receiving word of Cornell’s decision. He called Cornell his “favorite singer” in an interview with MTV News days before he and his family announced the Ozzfest 2002 lineup at a press conference Thursday in New York (see “Ozzfest Lands Rage/Chris Cornell, P.O.D., Rob Zombie, More” ).