zach at mumia benefit concert

Zack de la Rocha:

Under all that rage and anger is a very intelligent person who is trying to change the state of the world. Frequently described as the lead shouter, he drives the fans wild with his angry tone. He was born in Long Beach, California in 1970, and raised in Irvine by his mother. His first major band was called Inside Out. He said that (he) "channeled all my pain through that band...and not bowing down to a system that sees you as just another pebble on the beach." Zack is responsible for writing all the lyrics for Rage Against the Machine songs. Zack's parents separated when he was only one year old, his mother living in Irvine and his father in Lincoln Heights. His father, Beto De La Rocha, was a member of the Chicano art collective, called Los Four Not long after Beto De La Rocha suffered a serious mental breakdown, and he and Zack destroyed all of his paintings and work that Zack loved so much. This was especially painful for young Zack. After this ordeal, Beto became obsessively religious, locking himself out from the outside world for weeks at a time and fasting, which he forced Zack to do as well while he visited. Eventually, his behaviour was too much for Zack to take so he gradually distanced himself from his father, while still maintaining a good relationship. Zack has also revealed that his father has started to paint his pollitical paintings and write again now that he knows what his son is doing. Rage's music has actually helped Beto to regain his former identity. Zack stayed full time with his mother (of mixed heritage, who had a PhD in Anthropology) who lived in perhaps the whitest community in Southern L.A.. Being a Chicano there was not easy for Zack, where the common belief was that he had "a mop or broom in your hand or a hammer, or filled baskets of strawberries." This, along with the mental illness of his father, which caused the loss of some close ties in the Chicano community, as well as the turbulations of adolenscence gave Zack a serious culture shock. His school (University High) friend Timmy Commerford witnessed his identity crisis...The Zapatista plight has facinated Zack and he is now a memeber of the National Commission for Democracy in Mexico among others. He has organized a group of college students to visit Chiapas, Mexico, he has also given presentations to high school students and has visited Chiapas himself to lend a helping hand. Zack de la Rocha was born in Long Beach, California in 1970 and raised by his mother in Irvine, California. "In 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." "I lived [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." "Inside 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 spirits, and not bowing down to a syste m that sees you as just another pebble on a beach. But Inside Out went through were a ton of lineup changes."

Tom Morello:

is the guitarist of RATM. Often regarded as a guitar genius, Morello adds strage new sounds to Rage songs that definitely add an edge. He is also thought by some people as one of the best guitarists today, one reveiw saying he was "doing the work of two turntables". He was born in New York city in 1964 and grew up in Libertyville, Illionois. His father was a member of the Mau Mau guerilla army which freed Kenya from British rule. His mother was the founding member of the group "Parents for Rock & Rap", an anti-censorship organization and has taught U.S. military members in school. He has also worked with Adam Jones of Tool. Tom's mom, at Lollapalooza introduced Rage as "the best fucking band on the tour." I wholly agree with her. His parents separated early in his life on good terms, and Morello went on to recieve a degree from the prestigious Harvard University in Political Sciences with honours. He is probably best known for his revolutionary guitar work on their second album, Evil Empire and said that he just wants to pick up a really crappy guitar from the wall and see what sounds it makes. He, with his uncanny political knowledge, and De La Rocha's anger and storminess make them a formidable pair. Just another note, Tom was the secretary of senator Alan Cranston, and left his position after some lady called up and told him that she was upset that coloured people were moving in to her town. He said that she was the problem and she was unknowingly racist, which put him under fire from his superiors. Tom entered Harvard University in 1982, was active in the campaign for university divestment from South Africa, and graduated with honors in 1986. "I lived 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." "My 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 a n 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." "Rage 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."

Brad Wilk:

is the drummer. He was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1969, lived in Chicago for a while, then settled in Southern California. He listened to Led Zeppelin, the Who, and John Bonham before he heard the Sex Pistols, which changed him. He is still coming to terms with his father's death just before Rage's tour with Lollapalooza (on which they went on stage, naked for 15 minutes, with electric tape over their mouths to protest censorship). Brad also saw money ruin his father just before his death and made him appreciate the few things that don't cost money. Zack may be known as the stormy frontman, Tom as the extremely intelligent left-wing extremist, but its Brad who has the heart. "I really wish I could be a fucking asshole sometimes" he said to Ray Gun magazine, since he is always looking at everybody elses feelings and how it is going to affect them. Its basically tradition that the drummer of each band has the best well-rounded personality. He's really in the band for the music instead of the politics, although Tom and Zack have really opened his eyes. He finished off with "...-this sounds really stupid and basic, but people want to be rocked. You know? As simple and stupid as that sounds, I think there's a whole lot of truth behind it. They came to be rocked," he pauses, amused at the inevitable conclusion. "And we will rock you."

Timmy Commerford:

aka Tim Bob plays the bass. His skills and the crushing power of his bass playing are evident in the song "bullet in the head" and "Clear the Lane.". He listens to Inside Out, Zack's former band and the Bad Brains. Rage's first gig ever was in the living room of one of Tim C.'s friends, which showed them that they were on to something. Somewhat more interesting is that Zack introduced Tim to the bass. Timmy's father is an aeronautics/space engineer, his mom was a mathematician until brain cancer got the better of her. By the time Tim was in the third grade, his mom couldn't even understand the math problems he was bringing home from school. Because this disease made life miserable for the family, Tim's dad divorced her and remarried. His mom went to live with one of his sisters in Sacremento. From there the family fell apart. Tim vents his anger through poetry, art and music, but this reveals a darker side which Tim isn't comfortable with. "I have alot of anger towards certain things - for example the police. I understand what they're all about and I don't like what they do to people, and I draw pictures of what I would like to do to them. And it's not good things. It's mean, horrible things...Someday I'll display my art for people to see, but right now it just kind of scares me." Tim's, Zack's, Brad's and Tom's anger all boil up to confilicting ideas which caused the band to fight violently among themselves, some reports saying that it got physical at one point. The band broke up in `94 for many months, regrouping for the KROQ weenie-roast. Tim finished off his interview with "...And I'm kinda leaning more and more towards the philosophy that, okay, Rage Against the Machine is something different that music. Its an educational thing." Oh yeah, some of you may be wondering why his name is Tim Bob on this album. Well, he revealed to the LA Times that he was going to change his name for each album...we can just hope there will be more...

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