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Rage Against the Machine (also known as RATM or just Rage) is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1991, the group consists of rapper and vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello, and drummer Brad Wilk. They draw inspiration from early heavy metal instrumentation, as well as hip hop acts such as Afrika Bambaataa,Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, and Dutch crossover band Urban Dance Squad.Rage Against the Machine is well known for the members' leftist and revolutionary political views, which are expressed in many of the band's songs. As of 2010, they had sold over 16 million records worldwide.
In 1992, the band released its self-titled debut album, which became a commercial and critical success, leading to a slot in the 1993 Lollapalooza festival. In 2003, the album was ranked number 368 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The band did not release a follow-up record until 1996, with Evil Empire. The band's third album, The Battle of Los Angeles, followed in 1999, and in 2003, the album was ranked number 426 on the same list. During their initial nine-year run, they became one of the most popular and influential bands in music history, according to music journalist Colin Devenish.They were also ranked No. 33 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band had a large influence on the nu metal genre which came to prominence during the second half of the 1990s.
In 2000, the band released the cover album Renegades. The same year, growing tensions over the direction of the band prompted de la Rocha to quit, leading to the band's breakup.De la Rocha started a low-key solo career, while the rest of the band formed the rock supergroup Audioslave with Chris Cornell, then-former frontman of Soundgarden; Audioslave recorded three albums before disbanding in 2007. The same year, Rage Against the Machine announced a reunion and performed together for the first time in seven years at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2007. Up until 2011, the band continued to perform at more live venues and festivals around the world. As of 2012, the group has no plans to perform or release new music.In 2016, Morello, Commerford and Wilk formed a new band, Prophets of Rage, with Chuck D and B-Real.
Zack de la Rocha – lead vocals (1991–2000, 2007–2011)
Zacharias Manuel "Zack" de la Rocha (born January 12, 1970) is an American musician, poet, rapper, and activist best known as the vocalist and lyricist of rap metal band Rage Against the Machine from 1991–2000, and after the band's reunion in 2007 until their last show in 2011.He left Rage Against the Machine in October 2000, and embarked on a low-key solo career. With former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore, de la Rocha also co-founded One Day as a Lion in 2008.
Tom Morello – guitars (1991–2000, 2007–2011)
Thomas Baptiste "Tom" Morello (born May 30, 1964) is an American musician, singer-songwriter and political activist. He is best known for his tenure with the band Rage Against the Machine and then with Audioslave. Morello was most recently a touring musician with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. He is also known for his acoustic solo act called The Nightwatchman, and his latest group, Street Sweeper Social Club. Morello is also the co-founder (along with Serj Tankian) of the non-profit political activist organization Axis of Justice, which airs a monthly program on Pacifica Radio station KPFK (90.7 FM) in Los Angeles.
Born in Harlem, New York, and raised in Libertyville, Illinois, Morello became interested in music and politics while in high school. He attended Harvard University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies. After his previous band Lock Up disbanded, Morello met Zack de la Rocha, and the two founded Rage Against the Machine together. The group went on to become one of the most popular and influential rock acts of the 1990s.[not verified in body]
He is best known for his unique and creative guitar playing style, which incorporates feedback noise, unconventional picking and tapping as well as heavy use of guitar effects. Morello is also noted for his leftist political views and activism; his creation of his side project The Nightwatchman offered an outlet for his views while playing apolitical music with Audioslave. He was ranked number 40 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Tim Commerford – bass guitar, backing vocals (1991–2000, 2007–2011)
Timothy Robert Commerford (born February 26, 1968) is an American musician, best known as the bassist and backing vocalist for the American rap metal band Rage Against the Machine (1991–2000; 2007–2011), supergroups Audioslave (2001–2007) and Prophets of Rage (2016–present). Since 2013 and 2015, he has also been the lead singer and bassist of the bands Future User and WAKRAT, respectively.
He was ranked eighth on Paste magazine's list of "20 Underrated Bass Guitarists" in 2014.
Brad Wilk – drums, percussion (1991–2000, 2007–2011)
Bradley J. "Brad" Wilk (born September 5, 1968) is a musician, actor, and activist from the United States. He is best known as the drummer of the rock band Rage Against the Machine (1991–2000; 2007–11).
Wilk started his career as a drummer for Greta in 1990, and helped co-found Rage with Tom Morello and Zack de la Rocha in August 1991. Following that band's breakup in October 2000 Wilk, Morello, Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford, and Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell formed the supergroup Audioslave, which broke up in 2007. As of 2016, he is playing in the band Prophets of Rage, with Commerford, Morello, Chuck D, B-Real and DJ Lord.
Wilk has also performed drums on English metal band Black Sabbath's latest album 13. The album was released in June 2013.
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