Tom Morello says his 2007 song “The Garden of Gethsemane” was inspired by a text sent to him by Chris Cornell, after the singer had gone missing for several weeks.

They’d already recorded the final Audioslave album Revelations, and the band had gone their separate ways. Morello ended up including the track on his subsequent solo LP One Man Revolution, released under the banner of the Nightwatchman.

“The garden of Gethsemane was where Jesus had his moment of doubt” as he faced arrest and crucifixion, Morello told Kerrang. Cornell, it seems, was in a similar moment.

“Long before Chris passed, [there] was kind of a tumultuous time when he’d gone missing for a while,” Morello said. “In the middle of the night after being missing for a month – or three months, or however long it was – he sent me a text that said, ‘If you swallow a coin from the wishing well, your dreams will come true in heaven or hell.’ I used that lyric as the centerpiece in this song for my friend who had one foot in the shadows.”

Listen to the Nightwachman’s ‘The Garden of Gethsemane’

Morello's 2001-07 tenure in Audioslave was between stints with Rage Against the Machine. He began his career with a short-lived group called Lock Up, which lasted from 1987-90.

“Lock Up was signed to Geffen Records and made one album with a horrible title: Something Bitchin’ This Way Comes,” Morello said. “It was my entrance into the world of making records and confronting the horrors of the music industry. I was dropped from that label and kicked to the curb with a couple of hundred bucks in my pocket.”

He found himself at a crossroads: “At 27 years old I’d had my grab at the brass ring. That band had done what we had been asked to do to be successful,” Morello said, “and afterwards I vowed that I was never going to play another note of music that I didn’t believe in. Over the next 20 records, I’ve held to that vow.”

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