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  • Writer's pictureFred

Rage Against the Machine: LEGACY ACT

I was very confused reading about Rage Against the Machine this morning and had to sort some stuff out with my own brain.

Watch Rage Against the Machine Play Their First Show in 11 Years: Brooklyn Vegan

Me: WHAT? That can't be right. I read about their reunion tour for 2 years straight.

Inner Me: No, you read about RATM POSTPONING their reunion tour for 2 years straight.

Me: And first show in 11 years, that can't be right, they're always butting heads with someone on tour.

Inner Me: No, Tom Morello is very active on social media. You remember him sparring with politicians on Twitter.

2020: Tom Morello Resonds to Fan Who Just Realized RATM is Political.

2016: Tom Morello Mocks CNN Trump Teaser

2012: Paul Ryan is an Embodiment of the Machine

Me; Well, they just released music for Matrix IV.

IM: No, you remember RATM's Wake Up playing at the end of the original Matrix. Brass Against played through the credits of Matrix IV.

Me: Oh, yeah. Um, what year is this?

IM: Listen, you loved RATM from the day they came out until Renegades. You're probably the only one in the country still talking about the Ghost of Tom Joad like it came out yesterday....

.....but guess what, there's a certain aura around RATM that doesn't match reality. RATM landed on the music scene like a bomb in 1992, but what they weren't was prolific.

1992 - Rage Against the Machine

1996 - Evil Empire

1999 - Battle of Los Angeles

2000 - Renegades (Cover Album)

And that's it. About 3 hours of original music over the span of a decade, then <poof> back into the ether. Frank Zappa they weren't.

Me: That doesn't sound right, I'm telling you, there's a ton more music that they did.

IM: No, Zack de la Rocha had multiple aborted solo projects and he did that forgettable One Day a Lion thing, but what you're remembering is his guest vocals with Run the Jewels.

Tom Morello has done a half dozen side projects, but none that sticks in your memory. Audioslave died with Chris Cornell. Commerford and WIlk? Stayed busy enough to be in playing shape for the reunion.

Me: Did I forget or misremember, are they touring new material?

IM: To my knowledge, no new and original RATM material has been released since Battle of Los Angeles in 1999. So as much as it pains me to say it, if RATM is touring and supporting no new material, and it's been 22 years since their last album, they are now just another legacy band.

Me: I am so old.

IM: Yes, yes we are.

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