Rage Against The Machine

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Rage Against The Machine


Rage Against The Machine (short RATM) is a Crossover Band from Los Angeles, California. The Band Members are Zach De La Rocha (Vocals), Tom Morello (Guitar), Brad Wilk (Drums) and Tim Commerford (Bass). Rage Against The Machine play a crossover between Metal/Rock/Funk and HipHop and are famous for their political lyrics and Tom Morellos' Weird sounding Guitarsolos.

1990-1992: Foundation

In early 1991 Tom Morello left his former band in Illinois and moved to Los Angeles. In a local bar he saw Zach De La Rocha performing in a freestyle rap contest. Morello was amazed by De La Rocha's political and personal lyrics and asked him to join him in a band. Zach De La Rocha convinced his highschool friend Tim Commerford to join as the bassist and Morello brought Brad Wilk along as the drummer. The first twelve-track demo cassette gathered the interest of many major labels and the bany chose Epic Records.

1992:Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine's debut record featured all the trademarks that made rage famous over the years: A message Social justice, equality and revolution, Rap lyrics combined with a funk bass and a metal guitar, topped of by guitar solos that sound like anything else but not like a guitar. The record sold three million times (triple platinum) and offered the band a support spot on a Suicidal Tendencies Tour aswell as a place on the 1993' Lollapalooza festival lineup. The track Wake Up was used as The main theme for the Movie Matrix.


This record shows the vast musical styles that RATM is covering. They take a public-enemy groove, put a Red Hot Chilli Peppers beat onto it, add the spirit of Led Zepplin and combine it with the intensity of Punk. The rythm group lays down a funky basement on which Tom Morello puts his simple but effective Pentatonic Metalriffs. Zach raps and screams with his unique voice against oppression and racism with a revolutionary message. Thie intense music is topped of by Tom Morellos guitar solos; his approach to the guitar is totally diffrent, he is nicknamed the DJ of the Guitar because he reproduces turntables with his gutiar.

1. Bombtrack
2. Killing In The Name
3. Take The Power Back
4. Settle For Nothing
5. Bullet In The Head
6. Know Your Enemy
7. Wake Up
8. Fistful Of Steel
9. Township Rebellion
10. Freedom

1996: Evil Empire

Most Newcomer bands can not survive a four year break between first and second release but RATM did it without loosing publicity. The album is entitled after the phrase Ronald Reagan used to describe the Sowjet Union. The Band continued to express their leftwinged political beliefs in their music aswell as they kept true to their Rock/HipHop crossover sound without copying other Rapmetal Bands like Limp Bizkit. The vocals about war and injustice are more present than on the debut and there is also more screaming than on RATM. Tom Morello stands up to his title of being one of the world's best guitarists with remarkable riffs and solo ideas from outer space, like the scratching solo on Bulls On Parade. The record entered the charts at #1 and RATM went on several tours, for example a tour with U2 where all the profits went to human rights organisations or a headlining Tour wit the Wu Tang Clan, on which several gigs were cancelled because of the bands violent Philosophies.


1. People Of The Sun
2. Bulls On Parade
3. Vietnow
4. Revolver
5. Snakecharmer
6. Tire Me
7. Down Rodeo
8. Without A Face
9. Wind Below
10. Roll Right
11. Year Of Tha Boomerang

1999: The Battle Of Los Angeles

Rage Against The Machine released their third record three years after Evil Empire. The song Calm Like A Bomb was featured in the Matrix:Reloaded and the song Guerilla Radio was on the Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 Soundtrack. The lyrics are still political but The Battle of Los Angeles was also heavily influenced by the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. This record also debuted at #1 and sold double platinum, it was even rewarded Album of the Year 1999.


Again RATM topped their brilliant older record with this new one. Tom Morello still is the worlds most innovative guitarist and once again the music acts a speaker for the bands political views. The overall sound improved a lot, especially the bass is a lot less rough. The record is filled with hits like the Heavy Guerilla Radio or the funky Sleep Now In The Fire and Tom Morello keeps dropping the listeners' Jaws with his guitar acrobatics.

1. Testify
2. Guerrilla Radio
3. Calm Like A Bomb
4. Mic Check Reinhören
5. Sleep Now In The Fire
6. Born Of A Broken Man
7. Born As Ghosts
8. Maria
9. Voice Of The Voiceless
10. New Millennium Homes
11. Ashes In The Fall
12. War Within A Breath

2000: Renegades

In October 2000, Zach De La Rocha decided to quit the band. He states that he was no longer happy with the decision-making within the band. He was not satisfied with the bands appearance towards their political ideals. The band's fourth Record Renegades was released after De La Rocha's departure but it still featured his vocals. Renegades is complete cover record produced by Rick Rubin. The band tried to replace De La Rocha by another vocalsit in the first place, rumors went arround stating they chose B-Real of Cypress Hill as their new singer, others said it will be Chuck D of Public Enemy.

But none of them became RATM's new singer because after rehearsing with Soundgardens' Chris Cornell the band decided to break up Rage Against The Machine to form a new Supergroup called Audioslave. Audioslave released three gold selling records so far, Tom Morello started his side project The Nightwatchman where he sings and plays accoustic and Zach De La Rocha was featured in several HipHop records.


Rage Against The Machines' fourth and so far last album is cover album with tracks by Cypress Hill (How I could just kill a man), Bob Dylan (Maggie's farm) and The Rolling Stones (Street fighting man). All tracks are played in the typical Rage-Style but sometimes Zach even sings the lyrics like on Kick Out The Jam. The Album debuted on #14 of the Billboard Charts.

1. Microphone fiend
2. Pistol grip pump
3. Kick out the jams
4. Renegades of funk
5. Beautiful world
6. I'm housin'
7. In my eyes
8. How I could just kill a man
9. The ghost of Tom Joad
10. Down on the street
11. Street fighting man
12. Maggie's farm

Political Views

The band's members see Rage Against The Machine as a vehicle to express their political beliefs and inform their listeners about social inequality and the United States' foreign policy. The bands political views are left winged and revolutionary aswell as strongly anti-capitalistic. Every Bandmemer is active in political organisation or participated in demonstrations or protests. The band are vocal supporters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), a guerrilla army who represent the poor indigenous communities in southern Mexico. The EZLN's red star logo is also the bands Backdrop during concerts.


The band reunited for a single headlining appearance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in January 2007. The intention was to protest against the Bush Administration and the performance was intended to be a one-off. Luckily the band became so exited that they kept on touring and performing in 2008, headlining various european festivals with the original lineup. Rumors state that the band is prepairing to enter the studio for a fifth major label record.

Zach De La Rocha

Zacarías Manuel de la Rocha was born on the 12th of January 1970 in Long Beach, California. He was raised by his mother after his parents divorced. He played the guitar in several hardcore punkband during his teen years. Influenced by HipHop music he became a rapper and toured with his band Inside Out' together with RUN DMC or public Enemy. He joined the band Rage Against The Machine as the lead vocalist with screaming and rapping the lyrics. He is politically leftwinged and criticises the US government. His voice is very unique and suprisingly high pitched.


Tom Morello

Thomas BaptistMorello was born May 30, 1964 in New York as the son of his Italian/Irish Mother Mary and his Kenyan fathe Ngethe Njorge. Morello is a Grammy Award-winning American guitarist from the bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, and as the acoustic artist The Nightwatchman. He gratuated from the Harvard University and is an outspoken political activist. Morello plays diffrent Guitars but always over a 50watt Marshall JCM800 halfstack. He is famous for creating weird sounding solos with his guitar, the toggle switch, a whammy and a wahwah pedal.


Brad Wilk

Brad Wilk was born September 5, 1968 in Portland, Oregon. He is the drummer of Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine. He started to play the drums at the age of 13, at a time when he had to move very often because of his fathers' work. That is why Wilk can speak several diffrent languages; he is also a buddhist and a diabetic. Before RATM he played with the Band Lock Up which was on the edge of getting a majorlabel deal. His playing style is a mixture of Rock and Funk drumming.


Tim Commerford

Tim Robert Commerford was born February 26, 1968 in Irvine, California,he also known as Timmy C., Y. tim K., Simmering T, Tim Bob, and tim.com. Commerford is the bassist/backing vocalist for Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave. His schoolfriend Zack De La Rocha convinced him to play the bass guitar at the age of 15. He is a sports fanatic, a vegan and addicted to tattoos. 65% of his body are covered by a solid black Maori warrior tatto. Tim plays Fender Jazz basses through various amps with fingerpicking and funk slapping.




   * 1992 Rage Against the Machine
   * 1996 Evil Empire
   * 1999 The Battle of Los Angeles
   * 2000 Renegades
   * 2003 Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium


   * 1993 Killing in the Name
   * 1993 Bullet in the Head
   * 1993 Bombtrack
   * 1994 Freedom
   * 1996 Bulls on Parade
   * 1996 People of the Sun
   * 1996 Down Rodeo
   * 1997 Vietnow
   * 1998 No Shelter
   * 1999 Guerilla Radio
   * 2000 Sleep Now in the Fire
   * 2000 Testify
   * 2000 Calm Like a Bomb
   * 2001 The Ghost of Tom Joad
   * 2002 Renegades of Funk
   * 2002 How I Could Just Kill a Man


   * 1997 Rage Against the Machine
   * 2001 The Battle of Mexico City
   * 2003 Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium


   * 1997 Vietnow mit Chuck D
   * 1998 Live & Rare
   * 2003 Complete Set


   * 1992 Killing in the Name
   * 1993 Freedom 
   * 1993 Bombtrack 
   * 1996 Bulls on Parade 
   * 1996 People of the Sun 
   * 1998 No Shelter 
   * 1999 Guerilla Radio 
   * 2000 Sleep Now in the Fire 
   * 2000 Testify 
   * 2000 Renegades of Funk 
   * 2000 The Ghost of Tom Joad