Contact Us

Rise Against Frontman: ‘We’re a Basement Garage Band’

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath was last seen touring hard-working union towns with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, which was no shocker, considering the pop-punk performer has a long history of mixing politics with the arts. His secret to creating a popular song that gets a poignant message across? Make it a fun song, with a deeper, darker meaning.

“It’s such a balancing act trying to combine art and politics and create a message, but still create something that’s compelling for the listener,” McIlrath told the Vancouver Sun. “You could have the most important message in the world, but if you don’t have a catchy chorus, no one’s gonna hear it. So it’s the sugar-coated bitter pill.”

Along those ranks, McIlrath and Rise Against have a string of catchy choruses and chart-topping rock songs, including “Prayer of the Refugee,” “Savior,” “Re-Education (Through Labor)” and “Help Is on the Way.”  They’ve also experienced remarkable Billboard fanfare, as their latest album, ‘Endgame,’ debuted No. 20 on the Billboard 200 earlier this year.

That chart success still baffles McIlrath. “The Billboard charts were never really anything I put a lot of stock in, and we didn’t start Rise Against with the goal of being part of that world,” he said. “So to see our name up there right next to, like, Adele and Lady Gaga or something like that is really strange.

“Deep down in my heart I’m delusional and I still think we’re a basement garage band.”

Trending on

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for Friends With Benefits quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Friends With Benefits contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.