Tom Morello has rejected the suggestion that “sinister hands” were involved in the death of Audioslave bandmate Chris Cornell. The singer’s passing was ruled a suicide soon after his body was found in a Detroit hotel in May, although his widow Vicky appears to believe that not all of the information surrounding the tragedy has been revealed.

It’s thought that Vicky’s concerns are based on the prescription drug Ativan, designed to help deal with anxiety, which is known to increase suicidal thoughts in some patients. She aimed to discuss the matter with the medical examiner involved with Cornell’s case earlier this month, although the meeting didn’t take place and it’s not known whether it was rescheduled.

“Chris is a – was a – close friend, a great artist, one of the greatest rock singers of all time. So, it’s horrible,” Morello told Blaring Out With Eric Blair in the video below, before going on to say that he hadn’t seen any signs that Cornell was suffering from depression. “We had the good fortune of playing together in January and he was great. He was fantastic. He loved his life, he loved his family, he loved music, and it’s a tragedy.”

Asked whether he thought “sinister hands” had been involved, he replied: “No. The only sinister hands was his lifelong addiction that finally caught up with him.”

Morello also discussed his pride at the success Prophets of Rage have been experiencing. “We’re having a great time with it. We’re storming the barricades,” he said of the overtly political outfit that also includes Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill. “We formed the band because we’re unhappy with the direction the world is going. Our first single was called ‘Unf--- the World’ – that presupposes the world is f---ed so it’s time to do something about it.”

He slated the current political climate, which he said was caused by “collusion between monied interests and government,” but he added, “It doesn’t frighten me. You’ve got to fight back. That’s what you’ve got to do.” Citing votes for women, the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa and racial equality battles, he said: “All of those things changed because people – who are no different from any of the people here tonight – stood up in their time and their place, and demanded change.”

A month after Cornell’s death, Morello and the other surviving members of Audioslave took time out during a Prophets of Rage concert to perform their track “Like a Stone,” with a spotlight shining on an empty mic position as a tribute to their late frontman.

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