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Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine

Rock/rap group

For the Record

Performed with Popular Groups

Debut Had Lengthy Stay on Charts

Remained Focused on Message

Selected discography

Sources

Greek philosopher Plato once wrote, The introduction of a new kind of music must be shunned as imperiling the whole state, since styles of music are never disturbed without affecting the most important political institutions. It is this idea that fueled the inspiration behind Rage Against the Machine. Combining the aggressiveness of metal with the vocal styling of rap, the band decided to use this hybrid to broadcast their societal message to anyone who would listen. Their self-titled debut album sold more than four million copies worldwide, and the musical message reached ears all over the world. Were trying to do something most bands dont do, guitarist Tom Morello told Katherine Turman in Spin, which is combine music and activism. The lofty goal would be bringing down an oppressive, racist, capitalistic system that feeds on the exploited and repressed.

Singer Zack de la Rocha met bassist Timmy C. (a.k.a. Tim Bob) in the sixth grade. De la Rocha and Timmy C. grew up in Orange County, California, an area known for its suburban conservatism. As a child, de la Rochas parents put him in the middle of a heavy custody battle. He moved back and forth between his mothers home in Irvine, California, and his fathers in East Los Angeles. His mother worked as a teachers aide at the

For the Record

Members include Tim Bob (a.k.a. Timmy C.), bass; Tom Morello (Education: Graduated from Harvard University, 1986), guitar; Zack de la Rocha (left group, 2000), vocals; Brad Wilk, drums.

Group formed in Orange County, CA, 1991; self-produced 12- song cassette, 1992; toured U.S. and Europe; signed with Epic Records and released self-titled debut, 1992; toured worldwide and organized benefits, 1993-94; video for Freedom reached number one, 1994; released Evil Empire on Epic, 1996; released The Battle of Los Angeles, 1999; Live and Renegades, 2000.

Awards: Grammy Awards, Best Metal Performance for Tire Me, 1996, and Best Hard Rock Performance for Guerrilla Radio, 2000; Annual California Music Award (Tom Morello) for Best Guitarist, 1998-2001.

Addresses: Record company Epic Records, 550 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022-3211. Website Rage Against the Machine Official Website: http://www.ratm.net.

University of California at Irvine, while his father was a first-generation Mexican muralist.

De la Rocha compared his own career to his fathers in an interview with Timothy White in Billboard. Back in 1974, my fathers paints were part of the first Chicano art exhibit ever organized at the L.A. County Museum of Art [Los Four: Almarez, de la Rocha, Lugan, Romero]. That accomplishment was really something to be proud of. I want to make music that gives people that same sense of identity, and lets them see that human rights, civil rights, and spiritual rights are part of the same struggle we all face: to take the power back.

De la Rocha and Timmy C. met guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk in the early 1990s. Morellos father served as a member of the Mau Mau guerrilla organization that freed Kenya from colonial rule in the 1960s. His mother, Mary Morello, was a schoolteacher and later founded the anticensorship organization Parents for Rock & Rap. Before moving to Los Angeles, Morello, originally from Libertyville, Illinois, graduated from Harvard University in 1986 with a degree in social services. He played in a punk band called LockUp, then cofounded Rage Against the Machine in 1991.

Performed with Popular Groups

The group recorded and released a self-produced, 12-song cassette in 1992, which included the song Bullet in the Head, which later became a single from the bands debut album. The members sold the tape through their fan club and at live shows in the area, selling more than 5,000 copies. Before Rage Against the Machine ever hit the stores, the band had played with Porno for Pyros on that bands debut performance, a European tour with Suicidal Tendencies, and performances on the second stage of the Lollapallooza II tour. Rage Against the Machine had received its first contract offer from a major label after its second club performance. However, the group wanted to make sure they had the freedom to express their message and took their time before inking a deal with Epic Records. They came up against controversy as well, when critics askedand continue to askif a group like Rage is being hypocritical by signing with a major record label. On November 6, 1992, Epic released the record, which included the singles Killing in the Name, Freedom, and Take the Power Back.

Timothy White wrote of Rage Against the Machine in Billboard, On the strength of the Epic album, they must be viewed as one of the most original and virtuosic new rock bands in the nation, capable of a latticed wall of stridor so deftly woven that its destined to be the standard for any audacious headbangers who dare follow. Despite the bands obvious rap and hip-hop influences, they stayed true to their name and shunned electronic keyboards, samples, and drum machines. Youd assume there was a DJ in the band if you didnt know better, Morello told Chuck Crusafulli in Guitar Player, but all the sounds we make are guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.

Rage Against the Machines first video for Killing in the Name did not receive any airplay in the United States because of the language in the songs refrain. However, it did receive substantial airplay in Europe and boosted the groups popularity and sales overseas far above its home country. Right out of the gate, Rage Against the Machine stood behind its activist message by participating in and producing many benefits for political organizations. On January 23, 1993, the band headlined a Rock for Choice show in support of prochoice abortion organizations. On July 18, 1993, Rage Against the Machine created a silent protest onstage at Lollapallooza III in Philadelphia. Each member of the band stood naked without singing or playing a note for 25 minutes in a statement against censorship. With duct tape sealing their mouths, they each wore a letter spelling P-M-R-C, for the Parents Music Resource Center. They also headlined a sold-out Anti-Nazi League benefit at Brixton Academy in London, England, to raise money and promote an anti-Nazi march that took place the next month.

Debut Had Lengthy Stay on Charts

Nearly a year after the albums release, Rage Against the Machine reached number 70 on Billboards Top 200 albums chart without much radio or video exposure. On December 19, 1993, Rage Against the Machine released its first MTV-aired video, Freedom. Directed by Peter Christopherson, the video mixed live footage of the band with scenes from Robert Redfords 1992 documentary Incident at Oglala and text from Peter Matthiessens In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. The video argued for the innocence of American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier.

In 1994, Rage Against the Machine released the song Year of tha Boomerang on the soundtrack for the John Singleton film Higher Learning. The following year, the group organized and headlined a benefit concert at the Capitol Ballroom in Washington, D.C. The show raised more than $8,000 for the International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal, an activist sentenced to death. In 1996, Rage Against the Machine released their second effort, Evil Empire on Epic Records. Evelyn McDonnell wrote in Rolling Stone, Rages second album, Evil Empire, may be the most politically radical album ever to hit No. 1 on the pop charts, which it did in its first week. This album again focused on political and social commentary.

Despite the fact that Rages motives hold them together as a band, there has been muchand greatly publicizedsparring within the band. Rage doesnt spend too much time together when they are not at work recording or touring. In fact, their rough times interpersonally have led to sporadic album releases. They also come up with new songs only for albums and not for tours because they spend limited time together.

In 1999, Rage released The Battle of Los Angeles. Like its predecessor, it debuted at number one and went double platinum within the year. Also within a year of the release, Commerford was arrested for disorderly conduct for a disruption of a Limp Bizkit acceptance speech at the MTV awards, and de la Rocha announced intentions of doing solo work. Soon after, de la Rocha left the band, supposedly on good terms, while the rest of Rage stated they were staying togetherdespite the fact that de la Rocha had written a vast majority of the bands lyrics up to that pointand continuing with a new vocalist. Renegades was released about that time, an album that uses the lyrics from songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Devo, and the music of Rage.

Remained Focused on Message

Were able to make music that can reach a lot of people and contains a really potent message, Morello told James Rotondi in Guitar Player. Its not merely about thinking for yourself, or supporting the occasional feel-good cause. Its about revolutionary values. But there is a depth and importance to our message which completely transcends the artist side of it. Some argue that the angry-music venue which Rage uses means that they reach an audience who does not really listen to their message, but just to their music. Some critics also refuse to take Rages political and social stances seriously. However, Mark Greif of the American Prospect writes, The bands politics are the product of an explicitly intellectual and credible radical past, a past largely unknown to its audience. He continues to point out Morellos honors degree from Harvard for social studies, both Morellos and de la Rochas uniquely political/liberal parentage, and Morellos time serving under Senator Alan Cranston as an aide. Criticism of the groups politics often result in accusations of hypocrisy, calling enemies by names such as Coca-Cola, NBC and ABC, and then appearing at venues sponsored by them. Greif says, The contradiction mirrors the predicament of a whole generation reared by merchandisers.

Rage Against the Machine continues to stand at the forefront of rock music. Their work is consistently praised by critics and adored by fans. They are also one of the most active, outspoken, and involved bands, pioneering for many domestic and global causes with increasing sophistication and success, as stated by Greif. They are known for their innovative music, which includes not only rock-punk-thrash hybrids, but unprecedented guitar work by Morello and the first successful introduction of rap into a rock format by de la Rocha. On top of it all, their diversity sets them apart from most of their contemporaries: de la Rocha is Irish, German and Chicano, and Morello is part African. Their backgrounds shaped them into workhorses for freedom, their similar interest in hip hop and hard rock, coupled with leftist political views melded them into a group, and their musical talent has boosted them to what Rolling Stone calls one of Americas most popular bands.

Selected discography

Rage Against the Machine, Epic, 1992.

Evil Empire, Epic, 1996.

The Battle of Los Angeles, Epic, 1999.

Live, Sony, 2000.

Renegades, Epic, 2000.

Sources

Periodicals

American Prospect, January 17, 2000, p. 56.

Anti-Matter, April 1993.

Billboard, December 26, 1992; July 3, 1993; July 10, 1993; February 5, 1994; March 23, 1996.

Desert Sun, June 6, 1996.

Entertainment Weekly, July 16, 1993; January 13, 1995; April 19, 1996.

Guitar Player, July 1993; June 1994; June 1996; July 2000, p. 76.

Los Angeles Times, October 31, 1993.

New York Times, November 8, 1993.

People, May 20, 1996.

Playboy, February 1993.

Rolling Stone, March 10, 1994; June 16, 1994; April 18, 1996; October 3, 1996; September 4, 1997.

Spin, November 1993; February 1994.

Stereo Review, August 1996.

Time, September 23, 1996.

Online

All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (April 1, 2002).

Grammy.com, http://www.grammy.com (April 1, 2002).

MTV.com, http://www.mtv.com (April 1, 2002).

Rage Against the Machine Official Website, http://www.ratm.net (April 1, 2002).

Recording Industry Association of America, http://www.riaa.org (April 1, 2002).

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Epic Records press material, 1996.

Sonya Shelton

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Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine

Rock/rap band

For the Record

Birth of a Revolution

Reinforced Message with Activism

Sophomore Release Even More Political

Selected discography

Sources

Greek philosopher Plato once wrote, The introduction of a new kind of music must be shunned as imperiling the whole state, since styles of music are never disturbed without affecting the most important political institutions. It is this idea that fueled the inspiration behind Rage Against the Machine. Combining the aggressiveness of metal with the vocal styling of rap, the band decided to use this hybrid to broadcast their societal message to anyone who would listen. Their self-titled debut album sold more than four million copies worldwide, and the musical message reached ears all over the world. Were trying to do something most bands dont do, guitarist Tom Morello told Katherine Turman in Spin, which is combine music and activism. The lofty goal would be bringing down an oppressive, racist, capitalistic system that feeds on the exploited and repressed.

Singer Zack de la Rocha met bassist Timmy C. (a.k.a. Tim Bob) in the sixth grade. De la Rocha and Timmy C. grew up in Orange County, California, an area known for its suburban conservatism. As a child, de la Rochas

For the Record

Members include Tim Bob (a.k.a. Timmy C.), bass;>Tom Morello (graduated from Harvard University, 1986), guitar; Zack de la Rocha, vocals; Brad Wilk, drums.

Band formed in Orange County, California, 1991; self produced 12-song cassette, 1992; toured U.S. and Europe; signed with Epic Records and released self-titled debut, 1992; toured worldwide and organized benefits, 1993-94; video for Freedom reached Number One, 1994; released Evil Empire on Epic, 1996.

Addresses : Record company Epic Records, 550 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022-3211.

parents put him in the middle of a heavy custody battle. He moved back and forth between his mothers home in Irvine, California, and his fathers in East Los Angeles. His mother worked as a teachers aide at the University of California at Irvine, while his father was a first-generation Mexican muralist.

De la Rocha compared his own career to his fathers in an interview with Timothy White in Billboard. Back in 1974, my fathers paints were part of the first Chicano art exhibit ever organized at the L.A. County Museum of Art [Los Four: Almarez, de la Rocha, Lugan, Romero]. That accomplishment was really something to be proud of. I want to make music that gives people that same sense of identity, and lets them see that human rights, civil rights, and spiritual rights are part of the same struggle we all face: to take the power back.

Birth of a Revolution

De la Rocha and Timmy C. met guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk in the early 1990s. Morellos father served as a member of the Mau Mau guerrilla organization that freed Kenya from colonial rule in the 1960s. His mother, Mary Morello, was a schoolteacher and later founded the anti-censorship organization Parents for Rock & Rap. Before moving to Los Angeles, Morello, originally from Libertyville, Illinois, graduated from Harvard University in 1986 with a degree in Social Services. He played in a punk band called Lock-Up, then co-founded Rage Against the Machine in 1991.

The group recorded and released a self-produced, 12-song cassette in 1992, which included the song Bullet in the Head, which later became a single from the bands debut album. The members sold the tape through their fan club and at live shows in the area, and ended up selling more then 5,000 copies. Rage Against the Machine had received its first contract offer from a major label after its second club performance. However, the group wanted to make sure they had the freedom to express their message and took their time before inking a deal with Epic Records.

Before Rage Against the Machine ever hit the stores, the band had played with Porno for Pyros on that bands debut performance, a European tour with Suicidal Tendencies, and performances on the second stage of the Lollapallooza II tour. On November 6, 1992, Epic released the record, which included the singles Killing in the Name, Freedom, and Take the Power Back.

Reinforced Message with Activism

Timothy White wrote of Rage Against the Machine in Billboard, On the strength of the Epic album, they must be viewed as one of the most original and virtuosic new rock bands in the nation, capable of a latticed wall of stridor so deftly woven that its destined to be the standard for any audacious headbangers who dare follow. Despite the bands obvious rap and hip hop influences, they stayed true to their name and shunned electronic keyboards, samples, and drum machines. Youd assume there was a DJ in the band if you didnt know better, Morello told Chuck Crusafulli in Guitar Player, but all the sounds we make are guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.

Rage Against the Machines first video for Killing in the Name did not receive any airplay in the U.S. because of the language in the songs refrain. However, it did receive substantial airplay in Europe and boosted the groups popularity and sales overseas far above its home country.

Right out of the gate, Rage Against the Machine stood behind its activist message by participating and producing many benefits for political organizations. On January 23, 1993, the band headlined a Rock for Choice show in support of pro-choice abortion organizations. On July 18, 1993, Rage Against the Machine created a silent protest onstage at Lollapallooza III in Philadelphia. Each member of the band stood naked without singing or playing a note for 25 minutes in a statement against censorship. With duct tape sealing their mouths, they each wore a letter spelling P-M-R-C, for the Parents Music Resource Center. They also headlined a sold-out Anti-Nazi League benefit at Brixton Academy in London, England, to raise money and promote an anti-Nazi march that took place the next month.

Nearly a year after the albums release, Rage Against the Machine reached No. 70 on Billboards Top 200 albums chart without much radio or video exposure. On December 19, 1993, Rage Against the Machine released its first MTV-aired video, Freedom. Directed by Peter Christopherson, the video mixed live footage of the band with scenes from Robert Redfords 1992 documentary Incident at Oglala and text from Peter Matthiessens In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. The video argued for the innocence of American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier.

Sophomore Release Even More Political

In 1994, Rage Against the Machine released the song Year of tha Boomerang on the soundtrack for the John Singleton film Higher Learning. The following year, the group organized and headlined a benefit concert at the Capitol Ballroom in Washington, D.C. The show raised more than $8,000 for the International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal, an activist sentenced to death. In 1996, Rage Against the Machine released their second effort, Evil Empire on Epic Records. Evelyn McDonnell wrote in Rolling Stone, Rages second album, Evil Empire, may be the most politically radical album ever to hit No. 1 on the pop charts. This album again focused on political and social commentary.

Were able to make music that can reach a lot of people and contains a really potent message, Morello told James Rotondi in Guitar Player. Its not merely about thinking for yourself, or supporting the occasional feel good cause. Its about revolutionary values. But there is a depth and importance to our message which completely transcends the artist side of it.

Selected discography

Rage Against the Machine, Epic, 1992.

Evil Empire, Epic, 1996.

Sources

Anti-Matter, April 1993.

Billboard, December 26, 1992; July 3, 1993; July 10, 1993;February 5, 1994; March 23, 1996.

Desert Sun, June 6, 1996.

Entertainment Weekly, July 16, 1993; January 13, 1995; April 19, 1996.

Guitar Player, July 1993; June 1994; June 1996.

Los Angeles Times, October 31, 1993.

New York Times, November 8, 1993.

People, May 20, 1996.

Playboy, February 1993.

Rolling Stone, March 10, 1994; June 16, 1994; April 18, 1996; October 3, 1996.

Spin, November 1993; February 1994.

Stereo Review, August 1996.

Time, September 23, 1996.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Epic Records press material, 1996.

Sonya Shelton

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"Rage Against the Machine." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved July 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/rage-against-machine

Rage Against the Machine

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

Formed: 1991, Los Angeles, California; Disbanded 2000

Members: Tim Commerford, bass (born Irvine, California); Tom Morello, guitar (born New York, New York, 30 May 1964); Zack de la Rocha, vocals (born Long Beach, California, 12 January, 1970); Brad Wilk, drums (born Portland, Oregon, 15 September 1968)

Genre: Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: Rage Against the Machine (1992)

Hit songs since 1990: "Killing in the Name," "Bulls on Parade," "People of the Sun"


Few bands in the history of popular music have blended righteousness and rock as potently as the volatile group Rage Against the Machine. With bombastic messages and left-wing political stances that matched the fiery sound of their musica combination of heavy metal guitars and hip-hop lyrics and beatsRage Against the Machine stood as one of the most principled, socially and politically active bands of the 1990s. The formula, however, proved too volatile, and the band collapsed in 2000 under the pressure of the internal tensions between its members.

The nucleus of Rage Against the Machine was formed in Los Angeles in 1991 by a pair of young men from politically active, socially progressive families. The singer Zack de la Rocha is the son of the Mexican muralist Beto. The band gelled when de la Rocha met the guitarist Tom Morello, whose father had served as a member of the Mau Mau guerrilla organization that had freed Kenya from colonial rule in the 1960s. Morello's mother, Mary, was a schoolteacher who later formed the anticensorship organization Parents for Rock & Rap.

Morello and de la Rocha, along with the singer's friend, the bassist Tim Commerford, joined with the drummer Brad Wilk to release a self-produced twelve-song cassette in early 1992 featuring the incendiary gun-violence song "Bullet in the Head," which later appeared on the band's major label debut. Featuring the combination of de la Rocha's mesmerizing, high-energy stage presence and Morello's ostentatious guitar playing, the cassette sold more than 5,000 copies through the group's fan club and at concerts.

After getting assurances that they would be free to express their opinions in song, the band signed with Epic Records, which released their self-titled debut in November 1992. The album is a musical hand grenade, with de la Rocha shouting and rapping his lyrics to songs such as "Bombtrack" and "Freedom," while Morello manipulates his guitar to sound like everything from an air raid siren to a turntable. Though rock with a hip-hop edge became de riguer by the late 1990s, in 1992 Rage's combination of abrasive rock energy and a hard-rapping style was bracing and unconventional.

The album's highlight is the explosive hit single "Killing in the Name," which features the lyrics, "Some of those that work forces / Are the saints that burn crosses." The song contains all of the elements that helped the album sell more than 4 million copies: Morello's alternately funky, heavy metal, and electronic-sounding guitar playing; de la Rocha's shouted, impassioned vocals; and Wilk and Commerford's ominous rhythm tracks. After a year the album climbed to number seventy on the Billboard charts with little or no airplay, but it rebounded in December with the band's first MTV-aired video, for the song "Freedom."

With liner notes that read like a political manifesto, the group made it clear that their music had a message; they supported groups such as the prochoice Rock for Choice, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), and the activists campaigning for the release of the African-American journalist and activist Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Whispers of the group's demise dogged them when a follow-up album was slow to come. The rumors were fueled by their admitted reluctance to spend time together when not performing or recording. But the group silenced doubters with Evil Empire (1996), a blistering album that entered the Billboard charts at number one, launching the strident hit single "Bulls on Parade." Their April 1996 appearance on Saturday Night Live was cut from two songs to one when the band ended a song by attempting to hang an inverted American flaga sign of distresson their amplifiers. Like their first effort, the second album's liner notes mention that every note was created by just bass, guitar, drums, and voice; Morello's guitar once again sounding like everything from a keyboard to a turntable to a video game.

De la Rocha's lyrics burn with a renewed intensity on tracks such as "Vietnow," "Revolver," and "Down Rodeo," on which his intricate wordplay touches on topics ranging from media manipulation to immigrant labor without resorting to blunt, obvious imagery.

A fall 1997 tour with popular rap group the Wu-Tang Clan fell apart after one week, with the rappers dropping out. Toning down the ferocity a notch, the band included a meditative cover of Bruce Springsteen's Steinbeck homage, "The Ghost of Tom Joad," on its self-titled home video released in November of 1997.

The group's third album, The Battle of Los Angeles (1999), also debuted at number one on the Billboard chart, preceded by the single "Guerilla Radio." Recorded in just one month, it is the group's most fully realized effort to date, with Morello's gigantic, eclectic guitar riffs complementing de la Rocha's even more rap-like lyrical delivery on songs such as "Calm Like a Bomb" and "Mic Check."

De la Rocha announced plans to record a solo album in early 2000, and the group played a riot-marred, explosive set outside the Democratic National Convention in August. Just a month after a drunken Commerford was arrested for climbing a set piece and interrupting an acceptance speech by Limp Bizkit at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, de la Rocha announced his departure from the group, citing breakdowns in communication. Renegades, an album on which the group covers songs by rappers Eric B. Rakim and EPMD and protest rockers Bob Dylan and MC5, was released in December.

Rage Against the Machine was one of the most beloved, outspoken, and hard-rocking bands of the 1990s. Never content to create mere entertainment, the group sought to educate, uplift, and provoke with their sophisticated, radical songs and activities, melding 1960s political commitment with a thoroughly contemporary 1990s sound.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Rage Against the Machine (Epic, 1992); Evil Empire (Epic, 1996); The Battle of Los Angeles (Epic, 1999); Renegades (Epic, 2000).

gil kaufman

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