Rage Against the Machine (formed 1991)
Rage Against the Machine is a Californian rock band known for its blend of different genres, including hip-hop, metal and funk.
Rage Against the Machine: Formation
In 1991, Tom Morello attended a club in Los Angeles where Zach De La Rocha was freestyle rapping. Impressed by his lyrics, Morello asked De La Rocha to form a band with him. He then invited Brad Wilk to play drums and Zach invited his friend Tim Commerford to play bass.
Rage Against The Machine's debut gig was in Orange County, California, at a house party.
The band were soon pursued by a number of major labels and eventually signed to Epic Records and their debut album, Rage Against the Machine was released in 1992.
Rage Against the Machine: Record Releases and Notable Moments
Rage Against the Machine's debut, eponymous album achieved triple platinum status, largely owing to the success of the single, 'Killing In the Name'. The band toured extensively to promote the album, playing at 1993's Lollapalooza and supporting Suicidal Tendencies.
The follow-up to Rage Against the Machine was Evil Empire, which entered the US album charts at number one in 1996. In April that year, the band performed 'Bulls On Parade' on the hit US TV show Saturday Night Live. The band's performance was cut from two songs to one, when they attempted to hang inverted American flags from their speakers as a protest against the Republican politician Steve Forbes, who was also a guest on the show that night.
In 1997, Rage Against the Machine supported U2 on their PopMart tour. The band donated all their proceeds to social organizations, including U.N.I.T.E. and Women Alive.
Whilst the band toured Japan, Sony released a bootleg album of B-sides and live recordings, entitled Live & Rare.
The band's next studio album, The Battle of Los Angeles, was released in 1999. This album also went straight to number one and soon achieved double-platinum status. The song 'Wake Up' was featured on the soundtrack to the Matrix and 'Calm Like A Bomb' was included on the soundtrack to the sequel, The Matrix Reloaded.
The band's final studio album, Renegades, was a compilation of cover versions, featuring songs by Devo, MC5 and Cypress Hill. Renegades was released shortly after Zach de la Rocha announced that he would be leaving the band. Following Renegades, a live video, The Battle of Mexico City was released, as well as a live album, Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, which was a recording of the band's final two live dates, in Los Angeles, in September 2000.
Rage Against the Machine: the Breakup
It was rumoured that the remaining three members would replace de La Rocha and potential candidates for the role included Chuck D of Public Enemy, Rey Oropeza of downst and B-Real of Cypress Hill.
Instead, Commerford, Wilk and Morello formed a band with Chris Cornell, formerly of Soundgarden. They named the band Audioslave.
In 2003, Morello began his own solo career, playing political acoustic music at open-mic nights. He supported Billy Bragg on the Tell Us the Truth Tour and released a solo album One Man Revolution in 2007
Zach de La Rocha has worked with a number of artists, including Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails), DJ Shadow and ?uestlove.
Rage Against the Machine: the Reunion
In 2007, Rage Against the Machine headlined the final day of the Coachella festival. Initially thought to be a one-off, de la Rocha and Morello went on to perform acoustically at the Coalition of Immokalee Workers rally in Chicago. The band have continued to tour the USA, Australia and Japan, with plans to tour in Europe, but have evaded confirming that they will be writing a new album together.