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Perhaps my all-time favorite rock band, ive never come across a more politically charged group. Zach De La Rocha's fiery vocals, over genius Tom Morello's guitars, were a hard combination not to feel.

 

Many quotable lyrics, and they backed their message, supporting causes from boycotting Guess jeans (for sweatshops), the Zapista movement, working to free Mumia Abu-Jamal, interviewing Noam Chomsky (did you know i learned of his work through them?), and so many other things. I'm told System of a Down is akin, but it just doesnt do it for me.

 

Perhaps my favorite work was the Micheal Moore-directed video, "Sleep Now in the Fire", an amazing piece of protest in front of Wall Street. It's moving.

 

To this day, i have no idea why they broke up. Sorry to be a hater, but i think Morello's guitairs are wasted on Audioslave, and really wish theyd get back together, during such a curcial time when they could really reach so many. I'm very happy to see both De La Rocha & Morello doing their own projects for Moore and Sudan awareness, respectively, but its a shame i never saw them live.

Anyone know exactly what happened?

 

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Since all the members of Rage but Zach went on to form Audioslave, which is completely unpolitical and uncontroversial in nature, while Zach did some solo stuff that was more political than ever, I always assumed that the three non-Zach members thought Zach was getting to leftist or to extreme, or that maybe they felt they were getting to old to be so angry.

 

I imagined conversations like

 

Non-Zach member: On out next album, why don't we do a few mor personnal songs that don't have to do with politics.

 

Zach: What? But that's what we're about.

 

Non-Zach member: We can do songs about other stuff though. See, here's a song I wrote. It's called Like A Stone.

 

::hands Zach lyrics and sheet music::

 

Zach: Dude, this is crap.

 

From their, Zach left and Chris Cornell was recruited (as no one was buying his solo album) and Audioslave was born.

 

I base this on no facts whatsoever, but it's the way I thought it went down.

 

And I can't see why SOAD doesn't to it for you. They're music is so cool.

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I love Rage's music but am of the old philosophy that bands can get too involved in politics. We wouldn't like it if politicians dabbled with music so why should it be so different the other way around.

 

But hey IC, not ragging on your fave band. Only Teen Spirit can get a dance floor jumping more and singing louder than to the lyrics Fuck you I won't do what you tell me...

 

As for SOAD, they say they resent being called a political band (although why did they write 'The Prison Song' if thats the case ??) so wouldn't dream of comparing them to Rage. They are brilliant though should give them another chance perhaps.

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I agree, Musicians should not get too into politics. I'm sure it's hard for them not too, being that muscians are expressive and they have a large platform to express themselves on, but if I go to concert I don't wanna hear what some dude has to say about Bush or Kerry, I wanna hear good music. It also can cause controversy within a band (kinda like how you're not supposed to discuss politics or religion at work). In this case, if Jax is correct, it split up a great band.

:D

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I completely disagree with you guys over politics being in music. No one would say such a thing about romance being in music. Sould you imagine:

 

"Musicians shouldn't be talking about romance and emotion. They should keep that stuff separate."

 

Duado mentioned not discussing politics or religion at work. Certainly you can't say you shouldn't sing about God in your songs. We owe everything that music is today to peopel dedicating their musical lives to singing about and for God.

 

What some people don't understand (which is why they can't see politics as being analigous to Romance and Religion) is that not everyone is apathetic or detached from politics. Some people are REALLY passionate about, and it effects them a really deep level. People say that shit about Michael Moore, that since his documentaries are politic, he must have a dishonest agenda and he shouldn't be making them. They can't understand that the man is actually extremely passionate about politics. I can tell you, for example, that I am heavily emotionally invested into the outcome of this election. I will be depressed for months if Bush wins again,a dn if he loses, I will be about to look at the bright side of anything. That's passion,a dn musician should sing about whatever they are passionate about, even if it's politics.

 

Another important thing to note is that musician should get into politics, because they can be very important. One of the key factors to the organization of labor unions and strike in the thirties were folk singers. They would literally travel aroudn teh country to strikes and bring moral up and unify the groups. In this way, men like Woody Guthrie became monsterously important political and historical figures, for the better. Who know how many of the New Deal policies would never have come to be without folk singers.

 

And Bob Dylan, ask anyone who was young during the sixties if he had an impact on politics.

 

As for

 

We wouldn't like it if politicians dabbled with music so why should it be so different the other way around.

 

I actually liked seeing Bilol Clinton play the Sax.

 

Anyway, I couldn't be more unilaterally opposed to the idea that musicians shouldn't sing about politics.

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Yeah, obviously im with Jax here. Thing is, people bitch about actors/musicians talkin politics for two reasons:

1) Those entertainers usually dont know shit, they just have an uneducated opinion & a larger venue to to express it on, or

2) the fan in particualr likes to keep politics in & of itself.

 

Thing is, Rage knew what they were talkin bout. Its like they expressed their activism through their music at times. People who accuse Micheal Moore of being a director first, dont pay attention to his history of activism, or the fact that he does documentaries, not movies, for the most part.

If an extreme right-wing band was using their platform to attack Kerry or somethin, long as they did their homework, i wouldnt agree, but id respect it. If Rage was around, i doubt theyd back Kerry; theyd most likely be behind a 3rd party, honestly. But ive listned to them interview Chomsky, they knew their shit, or at least Rocha did.

 

As for #2, i dont like keeping politics isolated, i think it oughta be on the forefront more often, and am enjoying this short window of time in America when people are talking, becuase soon enough, the election'll be done, and when they tire of the war, ill have to hear about what Madonna bought, which NBA player has beef with another, and shit like that, that's not supposed to have the spotlight..anyway, bias & partisanship arent the same thing as a band that spoke out for international justice & humanitarianism, you know? So yeah, SOAD is just a rock band, and theyre not bad, but by no means are a sub. I respect that this band stood for something.

 

Jax - Again, Morello still does cuts for efforts like Sudan, so i assume there had to be a serious fallout. What else has Zach done solo, though?

 

ps "For the Lady" is another example of a humanitarian effort; tho neither name is on it, Talib & U2 are, it looks good.

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He did some stuff that never materialized into an album, but you can find it online. Just use Kazaa and search for it.

 

I like SOAD for their crazy time changes, armenian folk melodies and ecentricity. They aren't as political and Rage, no doubt about it .They have songs about personnal feelings and lots of lyrics based on stream of consciousness poetry. But their political songs seem more focused than Rage's. Like you said, Zach knows his shit, but Serj Tankian does too, and it shows in songs like The Prison Song, Deer Dance, ADD (American Dream Denial), Boom!, Bubbles, Fuck the System, PLUCK (Politically Lying Unholy Corporate Killers), NuGuns, adn especially in War?. Serj is just as well informed as Zach. He's read Chomsky and Zinn and they have been active in lots of endevors involving their fatherland, Armenia, as far as trying to work agasinst the corruption that has taken hold of the government there since the end of the Cold War, and trying to gain international recognition of the genocides that have occured there. Michael Moore thought enough of them to direct one of their videos like he did for Rage.

 

But you are right, SOAD is no sub for Rage.

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I used to be a big fan of Rage but I found Zach's lyrics although good became very generic. Theres only so many times You Can Take The Power Back. I felt that the never came close to their debut album. That said I'm gonna give it a spin now.

 

I think bands should deal with a variety of subjects and should'nt just flog the same ol horse. For example, I'm a big fan of Glassjaw and while a lot of their music deals with the lead singers relationships and struggle with Crohns, there are still a lot of other issues tackled. Some even political and I found his lyrics infinitely better than Zachs. Heres the lyrics for their song Radio Cambodia

 

I'm not impressed,

I guess I'm not impressed.

With which dialect, which dialect marches best,

And who reaches heaven in what order

When our kids are baptized in mortar.

 

It's a shame that our messiahs move their pawns from different mountains

And we're left to move their bodies 'round the fountain.

If a leader preaches worship to the sheep within the valley,

Who'll be riding in a tank that says "just married"?

 

We found that ultimately you can make it snow in the summer.

 

Contrary to what you believe

We oscillate and vary speed.

The food in jail is sulphury.

How do inuits spell relief?

 

Summer's trudging closer and a flurry of white as well.

It's the heart of nuclear winter and you can bet I'm scared as hell.

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I dunno, Deac, id disagree with that too...i thought they had a lotta range, with a lotta causes, as opposed to many groups who have little to say over multiple albums. Even if it was the same message, Zach's fiery vocals always did it for me.

 

The debut was classic, but you didnt go for this one...?

 

B0000029D9.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

 

's a shame...and ive heard other say that they got tired of the message, but im not sure how...there was only 3 albums (the 4 was covers), you know? And they were all solid, i thought. Even later stuff like "No Shelter" was amazing.

 

That said, i can see its not for everyone, and im certainly not tryin to sell it, i just really think consciousness on this level is dysmally small out there (and has been since powerful MCs like Chuck D of Public Enemy stepped down), and theyre needed now more than ever, especially while people seem to be listening.

 

deac - ill make a point to check that track out. I'm also looking for the other Zach solo efforts Jax mentioned, the only one i have right now is "C.I.A. - Criminals in Action" with KRS-1, and its impressive.

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When it all comes down to it, good music will always be a matter of opinion. Me, personally, disagree with music and politics mostly because its my listening preference, but also because I think musicians use their fans as tools. Instead of looking at facts and understanding the issues, they're voting for Kerry because Pearl Jam thinks Bush sucks. So now think about the conservatives who are at that Pearl Jam concert. It could make one feel uncomfortable, and feel like theyre now at a political rally rather than a concert. There's a time and place discuss your political agenda. WIth Michael Moore, I think it's different because he's the one actually digging up this info, and people buying their movie ticket know what they're in for. Or the Roots performing at a Slam Bush concert, you know what to expect. I just think muscians should be more selective when to express their opinion and to what extent, to not be so damn selfish and keep their fans in mind as a whole.

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...if theyre mainstream, sure, but if you have a band who's not playing a partisan game at all, and attacks both parties over war crimes & a lack of humanitarianism, how can you knock that?

 

Sure, there's plenty of kids who're anti-bush cause green day or pearl jam told them to. Meanwhile, again, Rage made me aware of some critical thinkers like Chomsky, Zinn, and others, so id hardly feel like the band's tool if i walk away learning important things like that, you know?

 

There's a time and place discuss your political agenda.

 

Which is any time youre on a stage and you care to do so, so long as everyone knows that. Dont get me wrong, i dont wanna go to a Digital Underground show and hear a half hour of Humpty Hump's views on the middle east (actually, thatd be funny), but with Rage, you know what youre gettin into, they dont hide it.

 

WIth Michael Moore, I think it's different because he's the one actually digging up this info, and people buying their movie ticket know what they're in for.

 

Exactly, just like these guys. Matter of fact, first time i saw Moore, he was getting arrested in the video to "Sleep now in the fire".

 

Man, im not puttin many more rock groups out there, but ill still defend rage's immense talent and message, as well as the importance of such a group, especially when almost no other ones like it exist.

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...if theyre mainstream, sure, but if you have a band who's not playing a partisan game at all, and attacks both parties over war crimes & a lack of humanitarianism, how can you knock that?

 

This I do not have a problem with, the non-partisans. World humanitarian issues that often are neglected by the media should be mentioned, not to create a stance on the issue, rather the knowledge needed to further educate on the issues. I think it's cool that Kweli talks about the issues within this country that the media or anybody really gets into. He gives you the other side of the spectrum, and I like that. But a band who has their own politcial agenda, that rather than have their fans get to know the issues and formulate their own opinions decide to force feed their own political opinions, is not cool.

 

Man, im not puttin many more rock groups out there, but ill still defend rage's immense talent and message, as well as the importance of such a group, especially when almost no other ones like it exist.

 

I don't know too much about Rage Against the Machine, I'll look into it. Can you recommend any tracks to DL? Or burning mix CD will do the trick.

:D

Edited by Electric Duadoman
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While I find myself turned off by Michael Moore I appreciate what he has done for politics, just like I can appreciate what JK Rawlings (Harry Potter) has done for children's books and getting children to start reading again.

 

In the same way I think its cool having some bands wax political. This is the apathetic generation and voting figures are falling, which is never a good thing. However. I still think people need to vote intelligently by listening to two sides to an argument. Are there any out-spoken conservative rock bands out there because I sure as hell don't see them?

 

I'll be honest though, a lot of my anti-politics stance on music stems from Green Day's latest single "American Idiot". It's got the riffs, its got the melody, but damn the lyrics annoy me. Morrissey's "Irish Blood English Heart" also pisses me off. Seriously guys, just don't.

 

As for Rage though they do it with style. Quite like thier cover of Devo's 'Beautiful World', not too shabby.

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Duado, as for Rage recommendation, you really can't go wrong with the first album (self-titled). I have the other two, hell, I even the the REnegades of Funk album (covers), but they pale in comparison to the first disc. I guess the only track of the first album I wouldn't say you should download to get a feel for them is Settle For Nothing. It's kinda slow to start and while it's cool on the CD, it's not cool for a single track spin.

 

MLB, there are not too many outspoken conservation rock bands, most pro-Bush musicians are country music singers.

 

And hating on Green Day....sigh.

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  • 2 years later...

What that...? You seriously would not want to see Rage reunited on account of it breaking up Audioslave? That's like hoping Led Zeppelin don't get back together cause it'll hold up Robert Plant's next solo project. Rage is the gold standard, Audioslave is the bargin bin. I can't even begin to explain how happy it makes me to hear any news that shines hope on a new Rage album getting made.

 

Zach is everything that makes Rock N' Roll what it oughta be.

 

300px-Zack_de_la_Rocha.jpg

Edited by Jack's Meandering Thoughts
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WHAT?!?! No likey RAGE?!?!?! Dude, it's like Zach makes Rap sound fucking amazing with rock! honestly, back in high school I was all closed minded and shit about rock and different types of music, i.e. hip hop, rap, whatever. To me punk, ska, and some rock (which does not include, Korn, bullshit Disturbed, fucking Nickleback, Saliva?, Godsmack, "rock" from 1999-2003 basically) was my love and everything else could suck it. BUT in like 10th grade when I heard R.A.T.M, it's like a whole new dimension of music opened up for me, rock that was different and good. NOw a days, I appreciated the differences in genre mixed together especially when it was done incredibly well.

 

Rage is the gold standard, Audioslave is the bargin bin.
Haha that was classic! :ohface:
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IMO audioslave is a huge dissapointment. They have absolutely no range and I'm surprised how lazy and bland the songwriting is. I spend every song waiting for Morello to do something weird with his guitar during the solo.

 

R.A.T.M. and Soundgarden were both far, far superior bands and I'm actually really glad that the reason Cornell is taking the time off audioslave is to tour his next solo album. I think Cornell's first solo album is also vastly better than anything Audioslave has put out (check out the song "Preaching the End of the World").

 

And the random prejudice against rap is just kind of off-putting. I'm not gonna start hating on Faith no More and such because P.O.D. exists. Bands suck all on their own, and noone told P.O.D. and Limp Bizkit to suck, they just did.

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And the random prejudice against rap is just kind of off-putting.

I hear that. I remember back in my middle school and high school days when I've have the all-purpose anti-hip-hop stance, and I am really disappointed in my younger self.

 

Rage is was a musical eye(ear) opener for a whole generation of kids.

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