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As a tool to combat these ills, Morello co-founded Axis of Justice (www.axisofjustice.org), an organization that he says "answers the question that Rage fans have been asking me for ages, which is, 'How do we get involved?' For a progressive-minded fan of music in basically any city and town around the world, we can plug you in today so you can get involved in environmental issues, peace issues, anti-racism. If you're a victim of physical or sexual abuse, you can get help right now from Axis of Justice.
"From an activist standpoint," he goes on, "Axis of Justice has gotten more tangible political work done in the last year than Rage Against the Machine did in ten. So I don't think it's necessarily the function of a band -- even Rage -- to be wholly consumed with political organizing. And there's definitely a benefit to having the music and the political action separate, because Axis of Justice is unfettered by the inevitable Behind the Music blowups that happen in all rock bands." After another round of laughter, he says, "It's like there's a firewall built between them. Band's not getting along, so the benefit concert is canceled? Won't happen."
Neither, Morello says, will the swift breakup of Audioslave, despite persistent predictions to the contrary. "I think that will slowly be put to rest. To me, it's very clear that Audioslave is a band that's here to stay, that we've made a fine rock record, and that we're coming to your town soon. Our show in Denver will be our first full-length concert on American soil -- and when you see the band play, all doubts will be dispelled."
And if they aren't? Then Morello deserves another apology.