Zack de la Rocha was born in Long Beach, California in
1970. He was raised in Irvine, California. Before Rage, Zack sang in band called
Inside Out and played guitar in a band called Hardstance. He
writes and performs poetry and organizes local shows in
addition to his Rage-related activities. He is also currently
involved in building a community center near his home.
junior high I got into the Sex Pistols, Bad Religion, Social
Distortion. Then I got into hardcore at sixteen, seventeen.
Hardcore was the whole expression of my being: Minor Threat,
Bad Brains, Teen Idles, State Of Alert with Henry Rollins."
[in Irvine], but I never felt totally accepted as one of
these rich white suburban kids. I wasn't economically
deprived like so many of my Chicano brothers and sisters, but
I felt the tension and the rejection--and that's when I
started getting into hip-hop, started break-dancing. `The
Message,' `Rapper's Delight,' Run-DMC...that was what was
happening around that time."
Out was the first band I ever fronted. I channeled all my
pain through that band. It was about completely detaching
ourselves from society to see ourselves as...as spirits, and
not bowing down to a system that sees you as just another
pebble on a beach. But what Inside Out went through were a
ton of lineup changes."
ignore what some bands have done. I know that from my own
experience, by Bad Religion. I know our record will be in a
bin next to Lfrom the way my life was changed by F**k
Armageddon, This Is Hell ionel Richie--but so are John
Coltrane, KRS-1 and Boogie Down Productions, and Public Enemy."
GUITARIST: Tom Morello was born in New York City in 1964.
He was raised in Libertyville, Illinois and went to Harvard
University in 1982. He graduated with honors. His father and
mother were activists. His father was a member of the Mau Mau
guerilla army which freed Kenya from British colonial rule.
Toms mother helped found an anti-censorship
organization named Parents For Rock & Rap. Before joining Rage, Tom was in an LA
band called Lock Up, which released an album on Geffen
in Libertyville for 18 years, and in the whole town there
were maybe three or four other blacks and an equal number of
Asians. My mom used to play the Temptations, War, and James
Brown at home. I got a guitar when I was 13 or 14, and I was
determined to become Jimmy Page or Ace Frehley of KISS. But I
got disenchanted with taking lessons and stopped playing for
four years. I didn't pick it up again until I heard the Sex
Pistols album. Seeing the Clash in Chicago was a life-changing
experience. They were more powerful than any band I'd ever
seen because of the conviction, the realness behind it."
Harvard friends went on to become professors, doctors,
lawyers, bankers. They had a difficult time understanding why
I wanted to be a socialist rock musician. My musician friends
had the opposite problem...In `86, I moved to Los Angeles.
The glam scene was in full effect--I was appalled! In `88 I
joined Lock Up. We made an album for Geffen, toured,
eventually broke up. I met Brad Wilk when he auditioned for
Lock Up, and he and I had a great playing chemistry together.
He was the first guy I called when I left the band. We
started auditioning a lot of people, looking for the right
chemistry, while I taught guitar to support myself."
heightens the contradictions: in the intensity of the live
show, in the brutality of the music, in the content of the
lyrics. It's a political assault which might force you to
consider the ideas that are put forward."
is the percussionist, and helps exemplify the coveted RATM
sound. He was born in Portland, Oregon and lived in Chicago
before settling in Southern California.After watching
money ruin his father as a child, he tries to put minimal
worth in material things. He is in the band for the music,
and is not especially politically inclined. He admits that
Rage is a political band, and that opening people's eyes is a
great thing, but that sometimes "People want to be
rocked... and we will rock you."
school I listened to Led Zep, the Who. John Bonham had a
unique feel, not straight time and not quite swing but
somewhere in-between--just amazing.Then I heard the Sex
Pistols, and that changed me. In high school I started
getting into George Clinton, James Brown, and the Meters."
Commerford is the bassist for Rage. Tim's father is an aerospace engineer. He is the
youngest of five kids, and his mother was a mathematician who
died of brain cancer when he was seven. His family dissolved
and he lived with his father after that. He and Zack have
been friends since elementary school, and it was Zack who
turned him on to playing bass. He follows Brad Wilk's
philosophy of being in the band for the music, but has since
decided it is also about "education." He writes
poetry on the side, and loves jazz.He listens to Inside
Out and Bad Brains