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Audioslave Singer Pens, Performs New Bond Theme

Of the Oakland Press

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Most James Bond fans will be attending “Casino Royale” this weekend to get an eyeful of actor Daniel Craig, the new Bond. But they’ll also get an earful of Chris Cornell, the former Soundgarden and current Audioslave singer who composed and performed the fi lm’s theme song, “You Know My Name.”

“I just got a call,” recalls Cornell, 42, who also was working on Audioslave’s third album, “Revelations,” at the time. “At fi rst I thought there must be some kind of mistake ...”

But after seeing the script and studying up on Craig, Cornell decided, “I’m actually the right guy for the job. Everybody I met with said the same thing — ‘This isn’t anything like any other James Bond film, so we don’t really want that song, either. Go do whatever you want.’ “

Cornell, who co-wrote “You Know My Name” with longtime Bond composer David Arnold, went after something “more uptempo and a little more aggressive than any other Bond theme has been, maybe since Paul McCartney (‘Live and Let Die’). It has an orchestra, but it also has some angry sounding guitar, and it’s got feedback. It’s a fairly straightforward song.”

McCartney, in fact, was Cornell’s entry into the Bond world, and he’s since become a fan of the whole series. Sean Connery gets his vote as the best of the actors to play Bond, but he says Craig runs a close second.

“This guy has range,” says Cornell, who’s currently recording his second solo album. “He is a more accomplished actor, I think, than anyone that’s ever done it, without question. And they’re taking risks here; the normal expectations of the character and the way the movies roll out with the supermodels and the winking, swaggering, invincible spy guy — that’s not this movie.

“So hats off to everyone that decided to go this way. It’s pretty amazing they had the guts to go this way — and also to call me.”

“Casino Royale” opens in theaters Friday (November 17th).

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