A Brief History of Rage Against the Machine

Matt Beat of The Beat Goes On offers an abbreviated but thorough history of the revolutionary rock band Rage Against the Machine. Beat goes through the band’s entire discography, concert history, and benefit shows, showcasing how the band was very outspoken about their beliefs. He also points out that despite the band’s disdain for commercialism, they couldn’t help but be successful.

…they performed at Woodstock ‘99 on July 25. Woodstock ‘99 demonstrated the rise of the nu-metal genre, and Rage Against the Machine, uh, ended up sort of raging against THAT machine, too. …On October 10, the band headlined the first-ever Coachella Festival in Indio, California. And then finally, on November 2, Epic released their third studio album, The Battle of Los Angeles. It also debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and critics adored it. And with more hits on the radio, Rage Against the Machine were three for three. The biggest single was “Guerilla Radio,” which ended up winning the band another Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Not long after, the band broke up after vocalist Zak de la Rocha decided that he’d had enough.

Rage Against the Machine did play some more shows in September, but that would be it, as on October 18, de la Rocha announced he had left the band, saying “I feel that it is now necessary to leave Rage because our decision-making process has completely failed. It is no longer meeting the aspirations of all four of us collectively as a band, and from my perspective, has undermined our artistic and political ideal.”

Despite de la Rocha’s insistence, the band has reunited several times and even had a plan to tour in 2020.

However, that all changes next March, as the band will be reuniting once again with the Public Service Announcement Tour. Now, this tour was originally supposed to happen in March 2020, but ya know, the COVID-19 pandemic happened, so they had to push it back a couple years.

No matter what, the members of Rage Against the Machine will always be true to themselves and to their fans.

Rage Against the Machine IS a genre. Few bands SOUND like them. Few bands LOOK like them. But more importantly, few bands have had such laser focused political messages with their lyrics. Every song is a protest song against the establishment, or I guess…against the MACHINE. And as long as there is injustice and oppressed people, there is a strong need for this band.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.