Fw: En;CNN-I;Rage Against Machine want revolution;Dec 25]

Michael Pugliese debsian at SPAMpacbell.net
Sun Dec 26 11:10:06 MST 1999




----- Original Message -----
From: Ilan Shalif <gshalif at netvision.net.il>
To: <ainfo at tao.ca>; <a-infos-en at tao.ca>
Sent: Sunday, December 26, 1999 1:26 AM
Subject: En;CNN-I;Rage Against Machine want revolution;Dec 25]


> ________________________________________________
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> Subject: (en) CNN-I; Rage Against Machine want revolution; Dec 25
> From: AE4FB <ae4fb at mindspring.com>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <chiapas-l at burn.ucsd.edu>
>
> By Donna Freydkin
> Reporting for CNN Interactive
>
> (CNN) -- Ask Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello whether he
ever
> anticipated that his band would top the Billboard album charts, and he
> cackles loudly.
>
> "Oh, heavens, no. Heavens, no."
>
> "Our goals were pretty modest," he says. "We were going to write and play
> music that was absolutely uncompromised in any way. It was music that was
> combining the hardest and most radical fringes of hip-hop and hard rock
and
> it was mixed into this revolutionary political cocktail. I honestly didn't
> think we'd be able to book a show, considering the band's ethnic makeup
and
> the heaviness of the music."
>
> As it turns out, Rage Against the Machine's third album, "The Battle of
Los
> Angeles," has spent nearly 40 weeks on the Billboard charts, and made its
> debut at No. 1. Not bad for a band currently flanked on the charts by the
> comparatively rage-less 'N Sync and LeAnn Rimes.
>
> But kids dig Rage Against the Machine. Maybe because listening to a
> bombastic, politically charged Rage album is akin to having an icy bucket
> of water dumped over your unprepared body.
>
> "We offer a stark contrast to the bland escapism that chokes the charts,"
> says Morello.
>
> According to the guitarist, from the days when singer Zack de la Rocha,
> bassist Tim Bob, and drummer Brad Wilk first came together in 1991 in
> Southern California's suburban Orange County, the band was all about
> ruffling a few feathers. And the members had the right activist
> credentials. De la Rocha's father was a Chicano political artist.
> Harvard-educated Morello is the son of a Kenyan delegate to the United
> Nations, one who was active in his country's struggle for independence.
>
> The band wasted little time living up to its name. Members stood naked on
a
> Philadelphia stage in 1993 to protest censorship. A 1996 Rage performance
> on "Saturday Night Live" was cut to one song when the band tried to hang
> inverted American flags from their amplifiers. This year, the group staged
> concerts to raise money for the death-row defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a
> former Black Panther and radio journalist convicted in the 1981 killing of
> Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
>
> "A musician's or artist's responsibility is a simple one, and that is,
> through your music to tell the truth," says  Morello.
>
> "And I think that on this record, we've accomplished the mission we set
out
> at the beginning of the first  rehearsals. And that was, not to just make
> the best Rage Against the Machine record, but to make the best Rage record
> by a wide  margin. We've made the heaviest record to date and it's our
> funkiest record to date."
>
> Guerrilla radio
>
> Music aside, "funky" and "hard" are apt descriptions of Rage Against the
> Machine's activist
>  lyrics.
>
> It doesn't hurt that Rage's collective social consciousness has paid off
in
> spades. All three of
>  the band's albums -- its self-titled 1992 debut, 1996's "Evil Empire" and
> 1999's "The Battle
>  of Los Angeles" -- have gone multiplatinum.
>
>
> And the band puts it mouse where its lyrical mouth is. The official Rage
> Against the Machine
>  Web site profiles an activist each month and provides information on the
> band's pet causes.
>  Not all are without controversy, especially Rage's support of Abu-Jamal.
>
> "Music is not some stuffy college lecture," says Morello. "On a good day,
> Rage Against the Machine is not able to just rock you like a hurricane,
but
> also to fuel the engine with indignation and the band's activist
convictions."
>
> Some might wonder how a band so anti-establishment could end up signing
> with a record label as humongous as Sony. Or how it could continue
> releasing videos played on the same cable music channel that spins tracks
> from Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Robbie Williams.
>
> None of this seems to bother Morello. "We've been able to have our cake
and
> eat it, too. Every song, every T-shirt, is absolutely a pure expression of
> what we want to do. And it connects."
>
> Brotherly love
>
> Morello's laissez-faire attitude extends to the host of diluted copycat
> bands populating record store shelves. Some would argue that Limp Bizkit
is
> a poor man's version of Rage Against the Machine. But not Morello.
>
> "The underlying philosophies of those bands are worlds apart from us," he
> says. "But I've seen them live and they have a great energy and connection
> with their audience. They're fine rock bands."
>
> Do the band's younger listeners really get what Rage Against the Machine
is
> raging about? Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst may be bummed about not getting any
> "Nookie," and Kid Rock can call on his fans to "get in the pit and try to
> love someone."
>
> But what about Rage's hit "Guerrilla Radio," which rings like a full-tilt
> revolution?
>
> A spectacle monopolized
> The camera's eye on the choice disguised
> Was it cast for tha mass who burn and toil?
> Or for tha vultures who thirst for blood and oil?
>
> Or how about "Voice of the Voiceless," a paean to Abu-Jamal?
>
> True rebel my brother Mumia
> I reflect upon
> You be tha spark
> That set all tha prairie fires on.
>
> Change is good
>
> Sure, not every music fan is ready to come to the aid of Mexico's
Zapatista
> rebels (another pet Rage cause) with a fervor equal to that expressed in
> the song "War Within a Breath." But that doesn't mean the band should
> dilute its message, says Morello.
>
> "I don't think what we're talking about is very well hidden," he says. "We
> come with it. I don't think you can be a fan of Rage without at least
being
> aware of what the band is about. Now, whether 100 percent of the people
who
> bought ours CDs are erecting barricades in the streets of Peoria,
Illinois,
> that's a different story."
>
> To that end, Morello feels his band is providing a service. Rage Against
> the Machine is trying to provoke you, yes. But it's for a higher purpose.
>
> "There are a lot of kids out there who are intelligent and pissed off and
> want to find a way to connect. So if you have something as simple as a Web
> address in your liner notes, it gives them a way to get out and
participate
> in changing the world."
>
>
>
>
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