Nearly 20 years after their last album was released and eight years since their last show, Rage Against The Machine are coming back to fight the power once again. This past Friday, the rap-rock revolutionary group announced a series of dates and cities on Instagram, indicating that they will be performing a string of shows. Of these dates, two of them are in Indio, California, as they are set to headline Coachella, where they also headlined the inaugural installation of the music festival.
Rage Against The Machine was formed in 1991 in Los Angeles, California. The group is comprised of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello, drummer Brad Wilk, and bassist Tim Commerford. The group’s debut self-titled album was released a year later, achieving both strong commercial and critical success, as it reached triple platinum status. It was later included on a list of the best 500 albums of all time by Rolling Stone, being placed at number 368. Their next album, Evil Empire, was released in 1996, charting at number one on the Billboard Top 200 and achieving triple platinum status. Evil Empire included notable songs such as “Bulls On Parade” and “Tire Me,” the latter of which won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1997. The Battle Of Los Angeles, the group’s following release, debuted at number one once more in 1999. The album received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album and was ranked the 426th best album of all time by Rolling Stone. In 2000, de la Rocha left the group, citing internal affairs within the band. Two months later, Renegades, the group’s final album, was released, featuring covers of songs by artists such as The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Rakim. The remaining members went on to form Audioslave with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden as the lead singer, while de la Rocha embarked on a solo career.
Rage Against The Machine is known for blending elements of rap and rock to create a fiery, intense musical style. Led by Morello’s heavy metal guitar riffs and de la Rocha’s spoken word anti-authoritarian rants, the group gained notoriety for their political activism and revolutionary views. These views were an integral part of their music, as almost all of their songs feature criticism against things such as police brutality, systemic oppression, and corporate America. On the group’s artistry and musical style, Morello explained, “It’s music that combines the ferocity of the best hard music and intelligence and an artistic and political bent. We just play music that comes naturally to us. There’s a content to Zack’s lyrics and the band’s general philosophy which is lacking in a lot of music at the top of the charts.”
So does this mean new Rage Against The Machine music is on the horizon? No one knows for sure, as the band has reunited for a few shows here and there without any new music being released since their disbandment. However, given the current political atmosphere, it would be a safe bet to assume the group has something to say.