Ex-Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell is about to begin work on a studio album with the three remaining members of Rage Against the Machine, according to published reports. The album will feature a

Ex-Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell is about to begin work on a studio album with the three remaining members of Rage Against the Machine, according to published reports. The album will feature all-new material and will be recorded by Rick Rubin, who produced Rage's final album, last year's covers collection "Renegades" (Epic).

The new quartet has no official name, and it is not known on which label the album will be released. Rage Against the Machine is signed to Epic; Cornell is signed to Interscope's A&M imprint, on which he released his first solo album, 1999's "Euphoria Morning." Label representatives were unavailable for comment at deadline.

Rage guitarist Tom Morello's only public statements on the new group came after the Grammy Awards in February, when he told Billboard that the replacement for vocalist Zack De La Rocha -- who quit the band last October -- had yet to be chosen.

"We've been jamming with a lot of friends lately, and Chris [Cornell] is among them. The two days we jammed with him were downright groundbreaking. It was off the scale," he said. He added that the foursome had written "two great songs," and that "we're just enjoying making music again. That's all we're concerned with right now."

In the meantime, De La Rocha continues to work on his debut Epic solo album. He spent three weeks recording with ex-Company Flow member El-P in February, and has also collaborated with DJ Shadow, Roni Size, and Dan "The Automator" Nakamura for the set. No release date or title has been revealed.

De La Rocha and Public Enemy's Chuck D appear together on "175 Progress Street," the third album from convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal. The opinionated pair surface under the moniker "Mumia 911 Unbound Allstars" on the set, due for a June 25 release through Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label.

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