Tim Commerford has prostate cancer: “I kept it to myself throughout the touring we did and it was brutal”

Rage Against The Machine’s Tim Commerford has just gone public about his battle with prostate cancer.

Tim Commerford has prostate cancer: “I kept it to myself throughout the touring we did and it was brutal”
Emily Carter

Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford has shared the news that he has been battling prostate cancer.

In an interview with Spin, Tim said he had his prostate removed two months before he went on tour with Rage, and found the whole thing “brutal” as he was keeping it to himself – though his bandmates are aware now.

“I would be onstage looking at my amp in tears,” he says. “Then you just kind of turn around and suck it up. Because of Zack’s injury, we had planned these little video interstitials that came in between blocks of songs. We were meant to go onstage, play some songs, go offstage, and on to the interstitials for a few minutes. It was seamless. Then he got hurt and we couldn’t leave the stage. So during the interstitials, we’re just sitting there. That was surreal. I would sometimes sit down and try to not think about certain things. It was weird. I kept it to myself throughout the touring we did and it was brutal.”

Speaking about his current outlook, Tim explains: “You can find yourself in a situation like I’m in where it’s like, fuck, my whole life changed. With everything that happens to me now, I wonder, ‘Am I feeling this way because I have cancer? Am I losing my hair because I have cancer?’ 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. I’ve been trying to find support groups, and it’s hard to find people and hard to talk about it. The suffering part of it, the physical suffering after the surgery, I’ve never felt pain quite like that. I have metal plates in my head and cadaver parts in my body. I’ve done a lot of damage through sports and mountain biking and this sort of thing and I’ve always felt like I had a really high tolerance for pain, and that shit brought me to my knees. After the pain went away, I still haven’t really been able to get up, even though I’m working out and doing shit, but psychologically, the damage is severe. It’s very hard for me to not break down and get emotional.”

Since deciding to now go public, the musician says that he hopes people find out about his story and get themselves checked.

“It’s been hard for me to imagine cancer and getting anything good out of it. But there’s this little light at the end of the tunnel that I’m seeing right now where I feel like I can get some really solid goodness from it in other areas. I hope there’s one person who reads this and is like, ‘Fuck, I need to get checked out’ when they find out about it. It’s going to be okay because they found out about it, and for me, that’s good enough.”

Everyone at Kerrang! sends their love to you, Tim.

Read the full interview here.

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?