Rage Against The Machine
Written by Ryan Whitfield on March 3, 2021
Simply called Rage or by their acronym, RATM, Rage Against The Machine is a rock bad that hails from Los Angeles, California, USA. They were formed in 1991, and ever since their conception have been known for their politically driven, often controversial and revolutionary views of the world. This has resonated with many people, as they have sold well over 16 million copies of their records not just in America but all around the world. The very first year they were eligible, they were even nominated to be inducted into the prestigious Rock & Roll Hall of Fame two years in a row.
Rage Against The Machine consists of drummer Brad Wilk, guitarist Tom Morello, subvocalist and bassist Tim Commerford and vocalist Zack de la Rocha. Their music is inspired by instrumentation from early heavy metal, but they cite a great many musicians as their source of inspiration outside of the genre. Bob Dylan, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kiss, Iron Maiden, U2 and others are listed as their most prominent influences, with punk groups like the Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, Fugazi and the Sex Pistols also informing their sound.
All of the members are known for their political views that lean heavily to the left and rely on a lot of anti-authoritarian ideas. Most, if not all, of the songs they do are centered around these views. Not only do they sing about it, they also back up their beliefs by participating in various protests and use their music to inspire various bouts of social and political activism.
Rage Against The Machine’s debut album, which was self-titled, blew up and propelled them to stardom, reaching triple platinum status in short order. This was mostly due to the fact that perhaps their most famous song, Killing in the Name, was played heavily on radio stations around the world. This gathered attention not just for its driving, hard sound but also for the way there are only eight lines in the entire song, yet it made such a big statement. In 1997, Rage Against The Machine won the Grammy for Tire Me in the Best Metal performance category as well as the Best Hard Rock Performance in 2001 for “Guerrilla Radio.” They were nominated for countless others between the years 1997 and 2002.
Briefly in the middle of the 2000s, Rage Against The Machine broke up, and their various members went on to produce solo works. Then, again in 2007, they got back together and headlined that year’s Coachella festival. They have embarked on plenty of successful tours both before, during and after that time, and they have remained quite relative on a cultural level, respected for their bold and daring sound and lyrics. Once more, they disbanded only to reappear in 2019 with their announcement that they were to once again perform at Coachella, this time making two separate appearances. They continue to have a thriving fanbase and a heavy presence on social media to stay connected with the fans.