Tom Morello Says It’s a ‘Miracle’ Rage Against the Machine Lasted So Long
Tom Morello said Rage Against the Machine suffered from a “lack of emotional maturity,” which resulted in their disintegration in 2000 after the release of their fourth album, Renegades.
He also accepted his share of the blame for issues that meant they didn’t get back together until 2007.
“I’ll put myself first and foremost,” Morello told Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich’s Beats 1 show, It’s Electric! “It was a lack of emotional maturity in being able to deal with each other as people. We had political vision and the shows never suffered, but we just couldn’t agree on stuff, and that sort of unearthed feelings that made it hard to make records. I think there were competing visions of what Rage was supposed to be, and competing feelings about what it was like to be in the band that we didn’t deal with.”
You can watch the full interview below.
Offering his “glass half-full version” of events, he said that “for a band that had extremely combustible elements, to be able to have made four records and to be able to have played the shows that we did, I think it’s a miracle.”
RATM reunited for more concerts in 2007 before going their separate ways again in 2011. Morello, along with bandmates Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, formed Prophets of Rage in 2016.
“We had a great time,” the guitarist said of the RATM’s second stint. “We had fun onstage, offstage, playing ping-pong, going out – to me it felt like there was a lot of camaraderie. But one of the things we kind of … took off the table was everything that had been controversial before. Writing music, doing interviews, having a manager – we’re just not going to do that stuff. We’re just going to play shows and have a nice time and be able to look each other in the eye … and not be anything that had stirred controversy in the past.”
Singer Zack de la Rocha declined to take part in Prophets of Rage, though he gave the project his blessing. Chuck D, one of that group’s frontmen, said in 2016 that they would “keep the seat warm” in case de la Rocha decided to return. Morello’s new solo album, The Atlas Underground, will be released on Oct. 12.