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Audioslave set to play in Gwinnett

Brad Wilk of Audioslave may play the drums like he's angry, but he's actually a pretty content guy. He's especially happy to be part of the band, which is about halfway through its latest tour.

"The shows have been amazing for us. They have been our best shows so far," Wilk said during a recent phone interview.

Audioslave will perform at 99X's Big Day In concert at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Tuesday. Seether and 30 Seconds to Mars will open the show.

Audioslave is a combination of two bands that found success during the '90s. Lead singer Chris Cornell was in Soundgarden, while drummer Wilk, guitarist Tom Morello and bassist Tim Commerford all used to be part of Rage Against the Machine.

Audioslave is now playing Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine songs during live shows. "We're embracing our past," Wilk said.

Of course, the band is also playing songs from its first two albums. At Tuesday's show, fans may also hear new material.

The band, which released its "Out of Exile" album in September, has written 15 new songs that are ready to record, Wilk said. The group plans to work on its next album early next year with Atlanta producer Brendan O'Brien.

The four band members work together to create the music. "We write, the four of us, together in a room. It's a collaborative effort," Wilk said.

One person might bring in a riff or a few lines to a songwriting session. "The three other guys will work on it until we think it's great," Wilk said.

The members nurture each other's creativity, he said. "I feel lucky to be part of that," Wilk said.

Writing songs hasn't always come so easily. Wilk remembers that Rage Against the Machine wasn't nearly as prolific as Audioslave has been.

"It was really difficult for us to all agree on songs," Wilk said of his former band.

The three members of Rage Against the Machine that are part of Audioslave definitely get along now.

"We just got so lucky that the chemistry with Chris ended up working so well," Wilk said.

Wilk has always wanted to be a musician. "Music has always been an outlet for me - first and foremost when I was growing up it was an outlet for anger and frustration," he said.

Rage Against the Machine was also fueled by anger, he said.

"It seemed like the perfect band for me to be in," Wilk said.

But Audioslave goes beyond loud, angry music, he said. "There's songs that I think are beautiful and there are songs that I think rock really hard," Wilk said.

n What: 99X's Big Day In with Audioslave, 30 Seconds to Mars and Seether

•When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday•Where: The Arena at Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth

•Cost: Tickets are $40.50.

•Call: 404-249-6400 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.