Cochise

Album: Audioslave (2002)
Charted: 24 69

Songfacts®:

  • Audioslave is the group that rose from the ashes of Rage Against the Machine. After the departure of frontman Zach de la Rocha, the remaining members of Rage hooked up with Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell to form the band. "Cochise" was the first single from their first album.
  • Cochise was an Apache chief born in 1812. His name never shows up in the lyric, which has nothing to do with him. Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello came up with the title based on the vibe of the music - he was reading about Cochise at the time. Said Morello: "Cochise was the last great American Indian chief to die free and absolutely unconquered. When several members of his family were captured, tortured, and hung by the US Cavalry, Cochise declared war on the entire Southwest and went on an unholy rampage, a warpath to end all warpaths. He and his warriors drove out thousands of settlers. Cochise the Avenger, fearless and resolute, attacked everything in his path with an unbridled fury. This song kinda sounds like that."
  • This song takes aim at someone who seems to be wasting his life away, warning him that he needs to save himself.

    Chris Cornell did have someone specific in mind when he wrote it. He said the song is, "Me yelling at me, looking in the mirror."
  • The video was directed by Mark Romanek, who has also done videos for Nine Inch Nails and Lenny Kravitz, among others.
  • This was produced by Rick Rubin, who has done albums with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, System of a Down and Tom Petty.
  • Morello originally used the guitar riff for a song called "Enola Gay," which he released in 1995 as part of a side-project called The Weatherman. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nick - Paramus, NJ
  • One of Audioslave's first performances was playing this on the Late Show with David Letterman, outdoors on top of the show's marquee. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • When the band Europe reunited in 2003, this song inspired their new sound. "We re-started, and we used that record as a benchmark," lead singer Joey Tempest told us. "It's amazing."

Comments: 25

  • Davidp from Louisiana I heard Cochise once where the song started with some kind of verse about Cochise the Indian before the helicopter intro. Just wondering where I can find that verse again to listen to those words. If any one knows I’d appreciate the info.
  • Veinbanger93 from Niagara Falls Ny, Usa My interpretation of this song to me, is what I use currently for my friends and family.
    "I'm not a martyr, I'm not a prophet
    And I won't preach to you, but here's a caution
    You better understand, that I won't hold your hand
    But if it helps you mend, then I won't stop it"
    To me this means, I'm not god or perfect but if you have alot of stress or stuff on your plate, "Go on and save yourself, And take it out on me, Go on and save yourself
    And take it out on me".
    I'd take a bullet for alot of my friends and some of my family. If I gotta suffer to save or help them, then so be it.
  • Catherine Fitzpatrick from New YorkThis entry on "Song Facts" is particularly ignorant in claiming the lyrics have "nothing" to do with Cochise. If you read the book "Cities of Gold" and various histories of Cochise easily found in Google search, not merely Wikipedia, you will discover that he died of alcoholism -- after a life where his people and his own family were slaughtered and his habitat ruined by American colonists and military and Spanish conquistadoras. Since the song seems to be about warning someone who is drinking themselves to death, it's obviously related. Since Audioslave's Cornell himself suffered from substance abuse before his suicide and went into rehab, it could be written in the third person, with the lyrics not what the singer said to others, but what was said to him. None of this is rocket science. I wonder what made the author of this entry so categorical with his insistances.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjFirst off, Nightwatchmen was the side project Tom did AFTER Audioslave...he had a side project from the 90's, don't know if it was called the Weathermen or not. Secondly, when he says "I'm not a martyr, I'm not a prophet, and I won't preach to you," I think he's saying he's not gonna tell the person in question how to live his/her life, just don't take their suffering out on him. I think the song has a pretty strightforeward message and I don't think he's referencing Zach. He did make it clear that he didn't want Audioslave to be another political band, but they eventally started to go in that direction before they broke up.
  • Tim from Medway, MaTo Marco from Stanfield, who said: COCHISE is cornell setting himself apart from zach, saying "im not a martyr, im not a prophet, and i wont preach to you" hes saying he will not die for anything that being a martyr is dumb to begin with, not matter how much u believe in what u do, any day something culd happen that can turn ur world upside down and you will not believe in what you believe now, like in cornells early life he sings about not caring about anything and now he does, he is merely saying "im not gona b another zach, im gona have a real meaning."


    I almost burst out laughing after reading that. think about what you said. Just think about it. "im not gona b another zach, im gona have a real meaning." that phrase right there has no meaning. i he wanted to have meaning in his lyrics, he wouldn't have said that, because it's meaningless.

    And that's what chris cornell excels at; meaningless and filler lyrics.
  • Jason from Sprindale, UtWhere is Zach today? Chris Cornell is 10x the artist Zach will ever be.

    GYK, Utah
  • Airk from Skagway, AkMorello's side project was actually titled The Nightwatchmen, not the Weathermen
  • Dave from Norman, OkOk. Been reading all the comments. First... who gives a rat's A$$ about the musical influences/similarities to Rage Against the Machine! We're talking about the larger meaning behind the lyrics of the songwriter right?; In this case Cornell. Whether or not it all sounds like "Rage" is irrevelant isn't it? What is Cornell saying in his song?
    Second...I think it's a larger indictment against personal accountability. Perhaps it may be couched in the vernacular of its day or whatever the "cause du jour" was at the time, but I feel it is a metaphor describing the idea that whatever choices are made in one's life are "their" choices. It may be aimed at the Native American community or not; perhaps the song was inspired by some news story detailing a central theme. As such, I belive the songwriter is saying "it's all you"; almost similar to the central concept in the song "My Wave"; which to me says, "hey, feel however you want to feel, just don't impose your paticular belief system on me." Yet, Cornell leaves room for empathy whe he says," take it out on me" and "but if it helps you mend then I won't stop it." However, cynisism reasserts itself in the last bridge where he basically says in the end you'll engage in some kind of guilt transferrence in order to avoid any kind of accountability (Put the blame on me so you don't feel a thing.)
  • David from Huntginton, InRATM > Audioslave imo, but Audioslave is still one of my favorite bands... just Rage with a different flavor.. Good song too
  • Pk from Sedalia, MoCornell sounds horrible, but thats the price you pay for smoking cancer sticks.
  • Erik from Brownwood , Txsoundgarden did rock but so did RAGE... i think when they collaborated they made heavanly music. chris cornell is the greatest vocalist i have ever heard (next to amy lee haha). and tom morrello can play a wicked guitar vh1's best guitarist of the year 4 years in a row! the fuse was the best thing that could have happened but if you think chris cornell is lame then you havent heard no such thing. he is making great things as a solo artist good job chris!!!
  • Drew from Buffalo, NyAudioslave is way better than RAGE was although RAGeE has a bigger following. Zach had an annoying voice. Soundgarden is better than Audioslave but Audioslave has some classic hits already.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaNirvana didn't steal Soundgarden's fame. Soundgarden happened to put out Badmotorfinger at the same time as Nevermind (which was incredibly bad timing) and Superunknown came out in the wake of Kurt's death. Nirvana didn't steal their fame, Soundgarden just has bad timing, which is no fault of their own. By the way, Rage is better than Audioslave and so is Soundgarden.
  • Brandon from Saskatoon, Canadayes, i have listened to RATM, audioslave's music is quite similar.zach de la rocha's voice is quite annoying, and soundgarden is the third best band ever, after the beatles and led zeppelin. nirvana's stole their fame...
  • Brooks from Arroyo Grande, CaI did a class presentation on cochise, so i know a lot about him. I researched his wars against the american army. His family was killed because a general of the american army thought that cochise stole cattle from him, i'm not sure if it was cattle or an item from the general. Anyway his family was killed, and that is when he declared war against the white men. For the rest of his life he won every battle, taking his men across Arizona destroying the white men. He contracted and illness and died when he was in his sixties. He is buried in some unknown sacred place near his homeland in Arizona.
  • Frank from Hickville, GaI have to admit, I am a fan of Audioslave but Rage was much better with Zack. Soundgarden was also one of the greatest bands of all time (in fact, I have 4 albums) but Rage is better off broken up than with Cornell. Morello spends most of his time with the Axis of Justice anyway which has a cd out now and I highly reccomend it :).
  • Bobby from Ottawa, Canadathis will help you understand the song.
    http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/naind/html/na_007800_cochise.htm
  • Marco from Stanfield, United StatesCOCHISE is cornell setting himself apart from zach, saying "im not a martyr, im not a prophet, and i wont preach to you" hes saying he will not die for anything that being a martyr is dumb to begin with, not matter how much u believe in what u do, any day something culd happen that can turn ur world upside down and you will not believe in what you believe now, like in cornells early life he sings about not caring about anything and now he does, he is merely saying "im not gona b another zach, im gona have a real meaning"
  • Eric from Cumberland, RiCochese was an Indian (NAtive American) that was starved out of a rebelion by the Americans.
  • Rudi from Melbourne, AustraliaRage Against The Machine > Audioslave.
  • Kurt from Downers Grove, IlLou, how could mistake Chris Cornell's voice for Zach De La Rocha's, let alone be disappointed?!?! Geez. Some people just don't appreciate talent.
  • Sinead from Galway, IrelandI love Chris Cornell so much and i got ot see him perform so that was class
  • Dustin from Tampa, FlOh and by the way, when chris cornell screams at the end of the song...one of the best moments in a recent rock song
  • Dustin from Tampa, FlI love this song and this band. It's got the great sound of Rage, with the voice of Chris Cornell, quite possibly the best rock vocalist since Freddie Mercury.
  • Lou from New York, NyThis song says Rage all over it. When I first heard it, I didn't know about Audioslave. I said RAGE IS BACK! And then I heard Chris Cornell, and I was a little heartbroken. Audioslave still has a great sound though, it's just different than Rage and Soundgarden, although Rages influence is felt like in Cochise
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