"I've been dealing with some pretty serious s—," Commerford, 54, told the music outlet. "Right before I was about to go on tour with Rage, I had my prostate removed, and I have prostate cancer.”
Commerford, who has been with the rap-rock group since its formation in 1991, detailed his struggles with the condition.
Commerford told Spin that he first learned about his cancer when he tried to register for life insurance. He said he failed to qualify due to high numbers in his PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screening.
After the PSA number kept rising, Commerford said his doctors performed a biopsy and confirmed the cancer. His medical team then extracted his prostate before the band reunited for its tour in July 2022. However, his doctors didn't think he was "going to be ready to perform."
"I would be on stage looking at my amp in tears," he said. "Then you just kind of turn around and suck it up."
Commerford called his cancer diagnosis "a brutal psychological journey." He also shared that both his parents battled and succumbed to cancer.
Despite the emotional, physical and psychological distress Commerford experienced, he said he found "catharsis" in songwriting.
"It’s been hard for me to imagine cancer and getting anything good out of it," he said. "But there’s this little light at the end of the tunnel that I’m seeing right now where I feel like I can get some really solid goodness from it in other areas."
In October, Rage Against the Machine announced that it has canceled its North American 2023 tour due to singer Zack de la Rocha's knee injury. During a Chicago performance in July, De la Rocha was carried offstage after repeatedly attempting to put weight on his leg, according to Consequence of Sound.
"It’s not simply a question of being able to perform again, but extends to basic functionality going forward," he said in a statement.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.