Rage Against the Machine

Joel Voorman

Rage Against the Machine consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello, and drummer Brad Wilk. Their songs express revolutionary political views. As of 2010, they have sold over 16 million records worldwide The band was nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility in 2017, then again in 2018, 2019, and 2021, though the bids failed.

Rage Against the Machine released its self-titled debut album in 1992 to commercial and critical success, leading to a slot in the 1993 Lollapalooza festival; in 2003, the album was ranked number 368 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The follow-up albums, Evil Empire (1996) and The Battle of Los Angeles (1999), were also successful; both albums topped the Billboard 200 chart. During their initial nine-year run, Rage Against the Machine became one of the most popular and influential bands in music history, and had a large influence on the nu metal genre which came to prominence during the second half of the 1990s. They were also ranked No. 33 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

In 2000, Rage Against the Machine released the cover album Renegades and disbanded after growing creative differences led to De la Rocha’s departure. De la Rocha started a low-profile solo career, while the rest of the band formed the rock supergroup Audioslave with Chris Cornell, the former frontman of Soundgarden; Audioslave recorded three albums before disbanding in 2007. The same year, Rage Against the Machine announced a reunion and performed together for the first time in seven years at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2007. Within the next four years, minus a sabbatical in 2009, the band continued to perform at more live venues and festivals around the world before going on hiatus once again in 2011. In 2016, Morello, Commerford and Wilk formed a new band, Prophets of Rage, with B-Real, Chuck D, and DJ Lord; that band released one EP and one full-length studio album before disbanding in 2019.

After an eight-year hiatus, Rage Against the Machine announced in November 2019 that they were reuniting for a world tour, which initially scheduled to start in 2020 but was ultimately postponed to 2021 and again to 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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