NewsWritten by Michael Carr on May 19, 2016
Despite new information suggesting that the countdown at the Prophets Of Rage website is not a full Rage Against The Machine reunion – rather some new epic supergroup featuring the Rage members Tom Morello, Tim Commeford and Brad Wilk teaming up with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Cypress Hill’s B Real – it’s pretty clear that what the world needs now, is more RATM, in whatever form. Who else can save us in a world where Donald Trump is a legitimate presidential candidate?
Since forming in 1991, the band have been tireless advocates against corporate corruption and greed as well as strong voices of revolutionary politics in a media landscape than usually silences such speech. Building a huge fan following off the back of their powerful and visceral music and their real world dedication to the politics espoused by their lyrics, it’s hard to imagine a band like this surviving in the post 9/11 world.
Hell, maybe that’s why we need them back now. If the better part of a decade without them has led to this, can we really afford not to get at least a few of them back together?
So with that in mind, the thriving nerve centre that is the Music Feeds brains trust has decided it was time we looked back at all those times the band stood up to the powers that be and told them to squarely fuck off.
9 Times Rage Against The Machine Totally Took The Power Back
That Time They Stuck It To MTV
Who could forget that time bassist Tim Commeford climbed the stage set at the MTV Awards after Limp Bizkit won best video, illogically beating out RATM's clip for 'Sleep Now In The Fire' where they actually shut down the New York Stock Exchange in the middle of trading? If that's not rock n' roll I don't know what is. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
That Time They Stuck It To Wall St
Speaking of that time they shut down Wall St, remember that time they shut down Wall St? Playing on the steps of the New York Stock Exchange as part of the Michael Moore directed clip for 'Sleep Now In The Fire', the band shut down the market after they and fans bum-rushed the exchange. Seriously though can you imagine them trying this now? They'd all be locked up in Guantanamo Bay.
The Time They Stuck It To Guantanamo Bay
Speaking of Guantanamo Bay, the notorious site of mass torture in the name of the American Dream (FREEEDOM!!!) wasn't ever going to evade criticism from the band, who in 2008 played a number of shows in orange jumpsuits with black bags over their head to protest the US continuing to use the site. (Photo by Greetsia Tent/WireImage)
That Time They Stuck It To The X Factor
Speaking of torture, remember that time Killing In The Name Of was the UK Christmas number 1? Finally putting an end to Simon Cowell and Stepford singers from the X Factor's domination of the holiday charts. Donating all the funds raised from single sales to charity, the band treated fans to a free show in Finnsbury Park to thank them for standing up to the dominance of corporate music. (Photo by Andy Sheppard/Redferns)
That Time They Stuck It To Censorship
Speaking of music so bad it probably should be censored (not that RATM would support that) remember that time the band played naked with black tape over their mouths to protest censorship? (See told you they'd be against it). Unfortunately we can't publish images of the band nude, but that's just like real life, as the band themselves were pulled off stage after 15 mins. (Photo by Lindsay Brice/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
That Time They Stuck It To SNL
Speaking off the band having their performances cut short, remember that time they had their second song pulled from Saturday Night Live after hanging upside down American flags over their amps in protest of Republican Presidential Candidate Steve Forbes? A symbol of distress, the upside down flags earned them the ire of producer Lorne Michaels and have never been invited back. Yeah they did that, what legends. (Photo by Lindsay Brice/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
That Time They Stuck It To The Democratic Party
Speaking of the band having run ins with presidential candidates, remember that time they played outside the Denver Democratic Party Convention, then led a march to force Obama to discuss the Iraq with Veterans Against The War? Who says all musicians do is bitch and moan? (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
That Time They Stuck It To The Donald
Speaking of future presidents, remember that time they parodied/predicted Donald Trump running for the presidency of the United States of America? Part of the video for 'Sleep Now In The Fire', the sign is clearly meant as a joke to highlight the close ties between corporate America and the government. Somehow though I think even Rage weren't cynical enough to foresee just how popular he would be.
That Time They Stuck It To The BBC
Speaking of obscenity (or its human form e.g. Trump), remember that time they said fuck all over BBC Radio 5? Invited to perform 'Killing In The Name Of' on the Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show as part of the campaign to get the song to number 1, the band decided they weren't going to do what the producers told them, ironically including the song's final refrain of "fuck you I won't do what you tell me!" Fuck yeah. (Photo by Steve Eichner/WireImage)