The news of Audioslave’s breakup was met with a collective “finally!” in rock circles and hope from Soundgarden fans that the split was because of a possible reunion for the grunge legends. Well we quickly learned that there will be no Soundgarden reformation after all, and now Page 6 gets the dirt on the real reason for Audioslave’s parting ways: Cornell wanted more cash.

CHRIS Cornell quit his band, Audioslave, forever last week because of “irresolvable personality conflicts,” but sources say it was about the money. “Chris was unhappy with the financial arrangement within the group – he wrote all the music, yet the other three bandmates took an equal share in the multimillion-dollar publishing rights,” a Cornell friend said.

Think he was being greedy? Or should the principal songwriter always take a bigger cut? Coldplay splits it four ways, if that means anything to you. We’ve heard Radiohead splits their money evenly as well, although some say Thom gets “a little more, nothing major.” In the case of Audioslave, Chris wanted a larger share of the royalties, the band wanted an equal share; guess that qualifies as “irresolvable personality conflicts.” Although the band probably should have paid us for suffering through the self-affirming tripe of “Be Yourself.”

Comments (44)
  1. mentor  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 0

    didn’t soul coughing go through the same thing? good ol’ “mike” doughty wanted more of the pie, meanwhile the band was actually the ones who were coming up with the interesting shit on the records…

  2. chin  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 +2

    How very American of him.

    Most decent UK groups split profits evenly, even when the frontman does most of the work. Pulp and Belle & Sebastian both come to mind immediately. I think it shows the stark difference between the socialist mentality of Europeans and the selfishness of Americans. I mean, Audioslave formed to make money, not to be creative and have fun.

  3. CRQ  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 +2

    You would think Chris, or his “people,” would’ve pointed out that his solo album did not do nearly as well as even the last Audioslave album, presuming it is the worst seller of all three. If Chris was the dominant songwriter on both his solo album and the Audioslave albums, yet Audioslave was more successful, what’s the key ingredient? Wouldn’t it be the ex-Rage guys? Isn’t that alone worth an even slice of the pie?

    Ego. Ego. Ego.

    By the way, toward the end, did anyone even care that Soundgarden broke up? I’m sure Matt’s happier in Pearl Jam.

  4. allen  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 +2

    Sticky wicket, you know? When a person comes in with all the chord progressions and all the lyrics so the song could, essentially, be played acoustically, didn’t he or she write that song? More often than not, when a band does an even split of everything it’s because there was so much equal contribution that it’s impossible to determine percentages.
    I remember hearing that the reason Jane’s Addicition broke up was that all four of them shared in the music writing (25% each) but Farrell wrote all the lyrics so he was entitled to 50% of the entire song. He was getting 75% of the writing (Which is only half by the way, publishing is the other half) and they were getting 25%. To break it down, Dave Navarro would have been getting 12% of a song he helped create while Farrell was receiving about 37% of each song. Who would want to be a part of THAT organization?
    Then again, 12% of a song that sells 10 million units is a hefty sum.

  5. oh well,

    The band never seemed to find their own identity. Some solid work, but nothing exciting or different.

    One step closer to a Temple of The Dog reunion!

  6. I was on vacation last week and didn’t hear that they broke up…finally!

  7. ryorn  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 +1

    now when they say “wrote all the songs” , I can’t imagine thats anything more than lyrics, which are a mere 25% of what would go into an audioslave song…

  8. Audioslave was terrible. I am excited about Cornell’s solo CD. His last one was great. And you gotta love his song on the Singles soundtrack.

  9. rico  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 -1

    umm… the other guys in the band are communists, did you really think they would go for it?

  10. now when they say “wrote all the songs” , I can’t imagine thats anything more than lyrics, which are a mere 25% of what would go into an audioslave song..

    I doubt that’s the case. I only have the first Audioslave album (and regret that), and it attributes lyrics to Cornell, music and arrangements to everyone. But if you look at Soundgarden album credits, they were extremely detailed, with lyric and music attributed specifically to the responsible members on each song. So what I’m saying is that Cornell should know the difference between “writing the songs” and “writing the lyrics.”

    If he’s truly only responsible for the lyrics, he should be ashamed for claiming credit for “the songs” (not to be confused with being ashamed for writing said songs, which were pretty terrible). But if he actually demo’ed the songs with chord structures and everything, he might have a point in claiming credit.

    It’s still a shitty thing to demand the money in this particular situation, though, because it’s not so much the songs – which were pretty unremarkable, but the arrangements (especially what Morello did to what I assume were Cornell’s far more simplistic guitar lines) that gave Audioslave’s music what limited appeal it had.

  11. It’s not about the money.

    The split on writer royalties is a very small piece of the overall financial picture for a band, which typically makes most of its money off of touring (split evenly), merchandise (split evenly), fan clubs (split evenly), and album and single sales (split evenly).

    Songwriters often view the writer royalty as a respect issue, with bands agreeing that whoever writes the songs gets the writer royalty. Some contracts specify the music is half of the writer royalty and lyrics are the other half, and everyone splits according to their percentage contribution to each.

    As a money issue, the royalty is often meaningless. As a respect issue, it’s powerful, and cerrtainly, I would consider it an “irresolvable personality conflict.”

    Whatever the decision, it’s essential that bands address the writer royalty issue contractually at the beginning so everyone understands the deal.

  12. Fiona  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 +2

    U2 and REM spilt everything evenly as well…
    Ha.. thanks for trying to turn this into an Anti-American debate ‘Chin’, but clearly it’s a personal preference among the bands memebers. Namely those that begin friends would like to keep it that way and avoiding ego and arguments from the start is the way.

  13. Adam Clayton is the luckiest man in show business.

  14. Song writing Royalties do matter when it comes to hit singles.

    Sting often jokes that he bought his house in France from the riff Andy Summers wrote on Every Breath You Take. Sting got the songwriting royalties and the lion’s share of the money.

    Eventually it will mean less, if pirating completely cripples the music business as we know it. For right now, it’s still a big money issue and make no mistake, Audioslave was all about the money. That’s what took so long for the first album to come out after most of it had been recorded, big fights over money splits.

  15. uglyredhonda  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 0

    Cornell definitely contributed more than just lyrics. Several Audioslave songs sound like his solo material. Look for the songs where Morello’s noodling sounds more like an afterthought (like “Doesn’t Remind Me”). (Heck, the bridge of “Revelations” sounds like it came straight off Cornell’s solo record.)

    And it’s definitely not an “American” thing. Take Ash, for example – Tim Wheeler generally takes the credits. Matt Bellamy does the same with Muse. It’s simply more common in instances where a band formed around a singer-songwriter as opposed to four people forming a unilateral group where songs are generally composed as group efforts.

    Aside: Nirvana almost broke up in 1992 when Cobain insisted on 70% of the royalties retroactive to the release of Nevermind.

  16. Lance  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 0

    Adam Clayton? Christ, U2′s freakin’ manager gets 20 percent. Crazy.

  17. If you’re in a band, to keep everyone happy surely it makes the most sense for everyone to be even in terms of money. That approach (to me) shows more respect for the other members of the band and more respect for the music. You’ve got to hate frontmen that want all the attention and the credit for absolutely everything. Odd that he actually wants more credit for the Audioslave stuff, didn’t think anyone would…

  18. blevo81  |   Posted on Feb 23rd, 2007 0

    Chin, are you Gwenyth Paltrow?

  19. jstarr  |   Posted on Feb 24th, 2007 +1

    Audioslave’s first album was really good. The other 2 albums were decent as well. His solo album sucked. I hear all these people talking about how much they loved it, but obviously nobody bought it. It didn’t even go gold, and it came out before people were downloading everything. Cornell works best in a band situation. Soundgarden are not getting back together and Audioslave were the last hope of him doing something at least close to Soundgarden.

  20. hard2xp1ain  |   Posted on Feb 24th, 2007 +2

    Audioslave was never as good as rage against the machine. Mr. Morello and the rest of the dudes from RATM had to mellow out a lil bit for cornells voice. I think that his voice was way to soft for the band. RATM has to get back together and continue what they were doing 7 yrs. ago. They better go ontour after coachella. It wouldve been my 2nd yr. in a row for coachella but i guess cuz of ratm it was sold out so quick…..

  21. tk.  |   Posted on Feb 26th, 2007 0

    I remember in “DiG!”, Courtney Taylor (Dandy Warhols) was talking about their arrangement… He didn’t mention specific splits, but basically mentioned that he does get a bigger cut for writing the songs, but that he pays for the rent on the studio etc. I guess I never really thought about it, but I guess that seemed fair enough.

    I wonder how The Beatles did it, that songwriting credit thing got to be a rather sticky wicket for ‘em.

  22. If Cornell wrote the lyrics and the melody, then case closed, he wrote the song. Everything else is arrangement. Now, how you include arrangement in the publishing royalties is another question entirely. Common practice is that songwriting and arrangement are split 50/50, so if the four guys arranged the songs equally, which itself may not be true, then, really, Cornell is due 62.5% while each other member is due 12.5%.

    Note that this doesn’t include mechanical royalties, which provide payment for the musicians who actually play the song. This would probably be split four ways in this case, maybe five if you split by instrument and Cornell plays guitar and sings. Generally, non-writers in hit bands make their money with these mechanical royalties. Ergo, Sting is unbelievably mega-rich while Stewart Copeland is just merely rich.

  23. reeen  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 +3

    I love it. This has Vicky written ALL OVER IT. He is so pussywhipped that the bitch probably told him “you are worth so much more than the rest of the band” and the dumbass believed it.
    Looks like a downward spiral all over agaon. Didn’t he try a solo career and fell on his face once before?
    I can’t wait to see how this all pans out for him and that witch(with the schnoz).

  24. Anna  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 +3

    to: reeen
    I absolutely agree!
    I mean, take a good look at Chris before and now, with her.
    She really has been f***in’his brains: a bar/restaurant in Paris, modelling for Varvatos and who-knows-what-else, Casino Royale??? He used to be so vital and full of energy to always create something new, but now he’s just all about the money. I’m just very sad about that.

  25. Anna  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 +3

    P.s. You probably know that the rest of the band weren’t even invited to the Chris-Vicky wedding. ..just for the record..

  26. nate  |   Posted on Mar 7th, 2007 +1

    yes….let the rage guys make their one dimensional music…go for it….I ain’t buying it…but I’m sure a lot of people will…same old shit….boring to me.

  27. gaz  |   Posted on Mar 12th, 2007 0

    I note that the person responsible of accusing Cornell of wanting more money was an un-named friend. There seems to be a lot of naysayers involved in this thread purely because they like to see American rock bands fall. What was wrong with Audioslave? Maybe they weren’t different, but who is these days in the rock pantheon? The Kaiser Chiefs? Welcome back to the 70s. Coldplay? Travis were a far better band, they just didn’t get the populist sound down as well as Coldplay. And honestly, I don’t like Travis or Coldplay. And as for Rage… going from the first album to Evil Empire? Give Cornell some credit, he’s a great songwriter and a great singer. I didn’t say ‘finally’ when I heard Audioslave had split, because I thought they were a good band, but I’m happy he’s making another solo album because his first one was amazing. Some of you here should listen to it before condemning it just because it didn’t get into the top ten.

  28. mark  |   Posted on Mar 19th, 2007 -2

    Seriously? American selfishness? Yeah the thing that all you hippie commie countries need to understand is that if a person has no incentive to do something, they wont do it. I am not saying he deserves half, even though he is the reason that audioslave was able to write three albums in less than half the time it took rage to write their three, so it would seem to me he is the driving force behind audioslaves money machine, it certainly doesnt reflect poorly on Americans.

  29. euclid  |   Posted on Mar 27th, 2007 0

    ‘uglyredhonda’ is on the ball on this one. Being a working musician who writes, sings, blah de blah…I’ve followed Cornell since the beginning. He’s a craftsman at his art in which no one can doubt. Morello is a ‘riffer’ and a ‘gearhead’, with all his fancy electronic toys that manipulate the guitar to an almost obnoxious point. Play the f*%^ing thing already!!
    I could go on, but it’s past my ‘me’ time now.

  30. jeffrey lloayd hinshaw  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2007 0

    i can tell you that I wrote the lyrics to be yourself its all on about speed of sound the birds go flying from the seattle center key arena when the concert inside starts to play and futher more sound garden soper unknown spoon man rustycage black hole sun yea chris got allott of sum in through out the years and thats a true fact i on the other hand am liuing on fourty dollars a week ssa cold play hire an att and sue i lay for the day some one ik helped swim through the lyric pond still and silent free to the music cause thats what creative ness exisist in nothing more nothing for write something out of spite teen spirit yea i hung the gutars ujp in the lights 6 ave heart ache mite mistake some some body who claims its about him or her ive got the ine drawn on me like atracts like i could go on spitting out more story and breath allot more truth when some gold is found a claim is named when i write some one goes gold

  31. B  |   Posted on Apr 17th, 2007 +2

    Chris Cornell did not write all the Audioslave songs. Morello and Commerford actually start the songwriting process by jamming out riffs and developing chord progressions. Then they take it to Wilk and Cornell. Cornell hears what the others have and plays off of it, writing the lyrics and the vocal melodies of which he sings.
    I’m sure there were times Cornell has come in with a riff or a progression and the band worked from it making it into a song. The point is that it took EVERYONE in the band to create these songs and without one it wouldn’t be what it is. I personally think that Tim Commerford has a major influence and comes up with more than his share of song ideas and riffs. All this is obvious in the music. I feel like Cornell was tired of being in a supergroup and needed his own space and his own name alone on the bill. So what does he do? What we all would do in that situation. “Well guys, I don’t really want to do this anymore, I got this solo thing. But I guess I could stay, if I get a bigger cut.” You know. Give me a raise or I quit.
    Audioslave is awesome!

  32. Chris Cornell is the man & will always be the man… anyone who doesn’t agree is just deaf, or a jealous hater, or just doesn’t like his style of music, period! His first solo cd didn’t do so well because he was still labeled as ‘grunge’ and that ‘era’ was still trying to die off; AND not many people heard of him without knowing him just as the front man for Soundgarden or Audioslave… I still run into people who never heard of Chris Cornell yet love Soundgarden and/or Audioslave…. I just seen him in Philly & HE ROCKED THE PLACE HARD!! He sang PERFECTLY, even better than a studio recording could’ve captured, and left everyone in the house MORE THAN IMPRESSED!!! As much as I liked most of their works, Audioslave held him back if you ask me, it sounded too much like Rage with a different attitude. I have always loved ALL of Cornell’s projects and I have always really liked Rage, so I never took sides in that controversy like most Rage fans were doing. So, if somehow people would recognize the name CHRIS CORNELL with who he really is & not just recognize his face as a singer for a past band/project, his cds would more than fly off the shelves!!! He’ll be making records until the day he dies, thank God for us, his true fans… And to whomever up above wonders who bought his solo cds, I myself purchased THREE copies… and if you like his type of music, you should also check out RIVA at Jason Filyaw is the singer/writer/multi-instrumentalist, and is good friends & ex-bandmates with Chris’s brother Peter Cornell from Black Market Radio…

  33. Liz  |   Posted on Apr 28th, 2007 -3

    Kinda crazy we can’t be happy for the success of people, in general. I just wanted to make a couple of points I don’t think I saw here.
    1. Chris is RICH. I don’t believe greed would be the driving factor here.
    2. Chris lives in Paris partime with his wife. I think he is proving he is not an “ugly American” by adapting to their lifestyle and even contributing to their social lifestyle with his restaurant.
    3. Chris is married to Vicki. He has children with her. Of course, she would and should have some input about the the things he does as they impact the lives of their entire family.
    4. Chris’s modeling stint with Vavartos simply proves that Chris is a very powerful catalyst in the mainstream, and beyond.
    I thank Chris Cornell for sharing his life with all of us through these many years, and only hope we will hear more of him for years to come.

  34. Brock  |   Posted on Apr 30th, 2007 0

    To the idiot at the beginning who was trying to say that American’s are greed, you should look up some numbers on charity work and donations in America. And I heard that some socialist country passed a law to pay for make over’s and spas to unemployed women so that they would be confident enough to go out and get a job. I’m glad socialisms workin out for you. P.S. I love Chris Cornell’s music, and OWN every one of his records with soundgarden, totd, solo, and audioslave. I’m pretty sure that he atleast wrote all of the singles that audioslave released, except parts of cochise. So I think that might be what the problem was. Plus he was probably tired of Tom playing stupid sounding solos on some of the better songs.

  35. I have heard the project from the BAND RIVA !! They has ties to Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Chris and Peter Cornell, Clutch and lenny kravitz!I purchased the RIVA record and it has crazy old blues hendrix stoner soundgarden feel! Jason Filyaw has worked with Quick Kill Formula, Black Market Radio, Britney Spears, Leaves of Mary and so on! Filyaw is an old school rock star plays vintage rock style and no gay pop stuff you like real guitar rock without being gay girlfriend music its a must to buy
    or just google Jason Filyaw

    music needsa change and this gay looped computer crap rapp is bringing the whole world of music down! its like the disco days all over!! Bling Bling has nothing to do with music nor fake gold teeth and screaming ‘WHAT”

    CHANGE is a coming

  36. I have heard the project from the BAND RIVA !! They has ties to Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Chris and Peter Cornell, Clutch and lenny kravitz!I purchased the RIVA record and it has crazy old blues hendrix stoner soundgarden feel! Jason Filyaw has worked with Quick Kill Formula, Black Market Radio, Britney Spears, Leaves of Mary and so on! Filyaw is an old school rock star plays vintage rock style and no gay pop stuff you like real guitar rock without being gay girlfriend music its a must to buy
    or just google Jason Filyaw

    music needsa change and this gay looped computer crap rapp is bringing the whole world of music down! its like the disco days all over!! Bling Bling has nothing to do with music nor fake gold teeth and screaming ‘WHAT”

    CHANGE is a coming

  37. Matt  |   Posted on Nov 22nd, 2007 -1

    your full of it if you think Chris didn’t deserve a bigger share. His singing and songwriting made Audioslave. He could have picked from 30-40 other musicians to play with him and back him up. those guys were lucky to be playin with him.

  38. Chris Cornell, as primary songwriter, deserved a bigger cut. Nirvana had the same disputes when Kurt wanted and got a bigger cut as primary songwriter. I KNOW Dave Grohl makes more than the others in Foo Fighters, but they went into the band knowing that. Chris Martin said on The Howard Stern Show last week that he gets a 40% cut & the other 3 get 20% each of publishing. I’m sure Chris Cornell gets a bigger cut in Soundgarden on there wouldn’t be a reunion. But I’m glad Audioslave broke up. They made 3 great albums but I’d rather see Chris with Soundgarden. The only question is how will Matt Cameron handle being drummer in both Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Maybe Soundgarden and Pearl Jam will alternate putting out albums and touring every 2 years…

  39. I agree with the posters who pointed out that the whole thing smells of Vicky Karayiannis(The Wicked Witch of Paris)! That woman is money obsessed and is ALWAYS in Chris’ ear and business. She is ruining his reputation slowly but surely.

  40. I can guarantee you that Vicky was behind the whole money issue. SHE was the one who insisted that Chris was entiteled to the lions share of the money, royalties,, etc. Vicky karayiannis is a horrid woman. And the reason it took FOREVER to get the Soundgarden reunion off the ground was because She did not want Chris to do it. She is a nut job, no one likes her, and she has alienated Chris from all of his oldest and dearest friends!

  41. Agree! Vicky Karayiannis is so ugly and money obsessed. I can not believe Chris actually chose this woman to be his wife! He could have had just about any woman he wanted and he chose this money seeking , controlling witch! Unbelievable! I am just thankful that she finally “allowed” him to reunite with Soundgarden. I know for a fact that Vicky was against it for a long time.

  42. Yes child! The tea on miss thing,(Vicky Karayiannis) is as follows……… The ho is controlling Chris. She is spendin his money like it is goin out of style,girl. This bitch even has the nerve to tell Chris that he can’t talk to his old friends and even some of his family! Now that is NERVE! Honey, that man is makin some big mistakes. His fans are not digging this bitch or anything she stands for! Amen to the post that said She is the reason sound Garden did not reunite for such a long time because Miss Vicky did not want Chris around the rest of his old band members. Bitch is worried he will stray! This is how worried the ho is, she is at every concert, in the wings no less and with her two kids in tow! LMAO

  43. I know!!. I went to a concert and Chris dragged out his kid and had him mumble-sing to 2 songs! It was so stupid . I get that he is proud of his child but I payed a lot to see Chris play, not his kid! And furthermore, Vicky was at the meet and greet after the show. My God, she wont even let him talk with his loyal fans without trying to be a part of it. She was a bitch too. She had an attitude like, “I am SOOO above all of you”. Vicky Cornell is ugly too, you guys are right about that!

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