Tom Morello: Rage Against the Machine ‘Drives Journalists Mad’
Tom Morello shared his frustration over the lack of news regarding Rage Against the Machine’s future and compared the band to the One Ring from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. He also said he understands how his band can drive "journalists mad."
The band scheduled its first tour in more than a decade last year but had to cancel it after 19 shows after singer Zack de la Rocha injured his leg at the second performance and was eventually ordered to rest. But in a new interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist Morello said the shows they played with de la Rocha seated turned out to be surprisingly powerful.
“The band had never played better,” he said. “We’d never sounded better. It was a reaffirmation of the power of Rage Against the Machine and the transcendence of Rage Against the Machine as a live act.” He added that de la Rocha “was more compelling as a frontman sitting on a box in the middle of the stage than 99% of the frontmen in the history of all time. … I was very proud of him that he soldiered on and completed the leg of the tour.”
Rage Against the Machine wasn’t able to take the tour overseas, he explained, because flying represented a serious risk to the singer’s recovery. He also reported that no discussions have taken place about rescheduling the abandoned shows. “I know as much as you do, honestly,” he said. “Right now we’re in time of healing. I’m in a time of making music and doing a bunch of stuff.”
He noted that the band "is like the ring in Lord of the Rings. It drives men mad. It drives journalists mad. It drives record industry people mad. They want it. They want the thing, and they’re driven mad. … When there is news, it will come from a collective statement from the band. There is no news. Do Rage Against the Machine fans around the world deserve to see the band? Yes. Of course, they do. Would the times benefit from a culturally, spiritually, rockingly, potent band like Rage being onstage? Of course. I don’t have news for you on that. I apologize. There’s nothing internal in our discussions that says either yes or no.”
Morello argued that the band’s legacy of 19 shows in 11 years and three albums in 30 years was “different than any other situation you’ve ever interviewed. It has a very, very different dynamic. All I can say is the love I have for those dudes and that music is complete. The honor that it is, or those times we have been onstage together, is like nothing else. ... I’ve been one-quarter of the owner of the ring for 30 years. I understand the frustration. We just don't operate like other bands.”