Formed in 1991, Los Angeles rap-metal band, Rage Against The Machine became one of the most influential rock bands of the past two decades. Comprised of vocalist Zack De La Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello, Bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk the band is often noted for its powerful riffs, unorthodox guitar solos, and leftist rants. Drawing inspiration from the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Afrika Bambaataa, and the famous Latin Revolutionary, Che Guevara, RATM gained much attention for their politically motivating lyrics.
In 1992, the band released its self-titled debut album, placing them 368 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 500 greatest albums of all time. The CD included the hit song “Killing in the Name,” which was later featured on the popular game Rock Band. After becoming a commercial success, RATM was offered a slot on the 1993 Lollapalooza Tour. The rock band went on a short break before releasing their follow-up record, Evil Empire. Their 1996 release included the song “Bulls on Parade,” which was performed the same year on Saturday Night Live. Three years later, RATM released their third album, The Battle of Los Angeles, and in 2003 it was ranked 426 on the same prestigious list. According to journalist, Colin Devenish the rock band became one of the most influential bands in music history. Later, VH1 ranked RATM No. 33 on the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
Prior to the band dissolving in 2000, as a result of artistic and political conflicts, RATM released Renegades, which was a collection of covers from their favorite artist. A year later, the band introduced a live video to the fans, The Battle for Los Angeles, and in 2003 released a live album titled Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium. In wake of La Rocha leaving the band, the rest of the members almost immediately started the rock super-group Audioslave with Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell leading the group. Five years later, in 2008 La Rocha pursued a solo career creating the band One Day as a Lion.
Since RATM’s initial break-up, the band has participated in political rallies and performed shows around the world. In 2007, the band agreed to headline Coachella to voice their complaints against the “right-wing purgatory” the US had become under the oppressive George W. Bush administration. Later that year, Morello stated the band would continue to play shows; however, smashed rumors about RATM entering the studio for a new album. In 2008, RATM embarked on another scattered world tour, making stops in New Zealand, Australia, the US, and Japan. During that summer, the band went to Denver to protest the Democratic National Convention.
In 2010, RATM won a campaign to play at the British Christmas Festival at Finsbury Park. Their nomination came in response to the public backlash from X Factor contestants performing at the show for four consecutive years. In the beginning, RATM had no intentions in participating in the competition; however, La Rocha believed the show could reunite the band in the studio for one more album. After their appearance, rumors continued until the band performed at Los Angeles in 2011. Today, the band has not reunited since that show in LA and it appears a new album release is never going to happen. On April 30, 2014, drummer Brad Wilk announced the band may have performed their last show and it was time for him to move on with his life.
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