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- Rage's De La Rocha Joins Delegation To Aid Zapatista - 6-30-98

Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha and other members of an emergency human rights delegation are spending this week in Chiapas, Mexico in an effort to raise awareness about the indigenous rights of the embattled Zapatistas, who are considered villains by the Mexican government.

On Tuesday, Zack's group (as well as a Congressional delegation) planned to visit Zapatista political prisoners and refugee camps. Zack also hopes to meet with community leaders, including a bishop who just resigned as a peace negotiator, citing government harassment.

Zapatista supporters say repression has increased since early June when eight Zapatistas and one police officer were killed in a military clash. According to an advocacy group dubbed the National Commission of Democracy in Mexico, since 1994, some 19,000 refugees have been violently dislocated by paramilitary forces. - MTV NEWS

- Heading into the Studio - 6-29-98

Don't Wager Against the Machine If Harvey Danger vow never to name check Rage Against the Machine in song again, the subversive rap-metal troupe promise to release a new album in a timely fashion. That said, maybe modern rock stations and MTV can discontinue playing "Flagpole Sitta," 'cause Rage are about to enter a Los Angeles recording studio with producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, STP, Neil Young).

According to a source close to RATM, the group has plans to begin recording the follow-up to 1996's Evil Empire sometime next month. (The betting man wasn't expecting another Rage album until at least 2000, taking into account the group's second album hit stores three-and-a-half years after their debut.) The souce says the band has been writing and recording demos for the new album since early May, around the time Rage recorded "No Shelter" for the Godzilla soundtrack. O'Brien, who produced Evil Empire, most recently produced Pearl Jam's Yield and played hurdy-gurdy on Local H's cover of AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll)," which will appear on a future B-side.

n other Rage-related news, drummer Brad Wilk has been busy writing material with former 7 Year Bitch vocalist Selene Vigil. The duo will likely form a side-project and record an album after Rage finish in the studio.

- Rage Against The Machine Honored By Social Foundation - 6-12-98

On Wednesday, Rage Against The Machine was in Beverly Hills of all places to join satirist Harry Shearer and others honored by the Liberty Hills Foundation, which awards grants to grassroots groups that tackle social problems in Los Angeles.

The Foundation, which describes itself as, "committed to building a society based on a more just distribution of wealth and privilege" honored Rage while in Beverly Hills (which boasts one of the highest concentrations of wealth and privilege on the planet), boasts one of the highest concentrations of wealth and privilege on the planet), prompting the group's frontman Zack de la Rocha to recall a not so similar honor.

"We were at the Grammys a couple of years ago receiving an award for a song that most of the people in the room had never heard, and I remember leaving the stage carrying this little golden plated statue and feeling a little disgusted and empty," the singer told the audience as he accepted the Foundation's honor. "But to be here at home among friends who share a common vision and a common commitment to building a movement that challenges the system of exploitation and human suffering, and being recognized for our contributions to this process is very very fulfilling and something that we take great pride in." - MTV NEWS

- Rage's Zach De la Rocha Ignites Spitfire Lecture Series - 6-8-98

No one would argue that Rage Against Machine's Zach De la Rocha tends to overdo it. He's simultaneously recording a solo album, and the forthcoming Rage Against Machine record, but somehow he's also found time to act as the spiritual guide for the first-ever Spitfire tour, a star-studded stew of musicians, actors, and activists speaking out on global affairs. De la Rocha got involved because he and Jason Farrell -- a promoter from Salt Lake City, and one of the singer's best friends from high school -- were hashing around the idea of putting together of group of outspoken entertainment types who wouldn't mind speaking their minds about issues that concerned them on a kind of Lollapalooza lecture tour. Once they had outlined their plan, they brought it to Sarah Haines of On Board Entertainment in San Francisco, who had worked on the first Board-Aid five years before, and was involved in the most recent (and most successful) melding of music and action sports this past winter, featuring acts like the Fugees' Wycliffe Jean, the Offspring, the Specials, and the Royal Crown Review. While Farrell and Haines are doing most of the legwork, De la Rocha has provided a sounding board for them, and has approached some of the stars that are on their wish list of performers.

"When we wanted to get in touch with Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls, Zach knew her and approached her for us." Haines told us. "He's helped us get to people we couldn't get to on our own -- since of course he had their home phone numbers. Some of those luminaries are people like Ani De Franco, Chuck D., Bonnie Raitt, and Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Dickie Barrett, and filmmaker Michael Moore -- who have all expressed interest in signing on for a tour of duty with Spitfire, who will begin their talk fest the last week of August, winding up five weeks later. So far, the Dead Kennedy's Jello Biafra has confirmed to appear on at least some of the dates, along with MTV's bespectacled Kennedy, medical marijuana pioneer Todd McCormick -- and possibly his good friend Woody Harrelson, who bailed him out of jail when he was arrested for growing those medicinal plants in his Los Angeles home. X singer and poetess Exene Cervenka has also graciously given her time -- and if all goes well, we'll see the aforementioned De la Rocha on at least some of the dates. Last but certainly not least, Nirvana / Sweet 75 bassist Krist Novoselic is also confirmed to act as moderator for the proceedings. -

I read somewhere today that Liam Howlett of Prodigy announced that RATM and Prodigy will be doing a mini-tour in '98. Keep yer eyes open. =)

The Godzilla film came out today.

The Godzilla soundtrack came out today. The RATM track is entitled "No Shelter" (previously announced as "American Eyes). Produced by Brenden O'Brien, this is Rage's first new studio recording or an original song since Their 1996 album Evil Empire. Tom Morello collaborated on a track called, "Come With Me" with Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page. The new recording is inspired by the 1975 Led Zeppelin classic "Kashmir." "Come With Me" is the second US single and and video from Godzilla: The Album. And if you happen to have the feelings that Rage may be selling out because of this coroporate blockbuster just read/listen to the lyrics, you're mind will be changed.

Tom Morello speaks with MTV news about Immediate Artistic Gratification. He has also told MTV news that RATM have been writing and rehearsing new songs for a new and 3rd album! Go here to check it out.

The Lyricist Lounge is a haven for aspiring rappers in New York City since 1991, has put together a compilation album that arrives in stores this week. The album includes a song done my Zack de la Rocha and KRS-ONE and the Last Emperor, the song is titled "C.I.A." (Criminals in Action).