Tom Morello Disses Rage Against The Machine Copycats
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello speaks out on record labels, sell out bands, and how they inherited the audience they didn’t deserve. That’s what we always loved about Rage: they spoke the truth regardless of who was listening.
Rage Against the Machine were one of the most unique and talented bands to come out of the 90’s, and like any groundbreaking and innovative project; they were unintentionally responsible for the cause of a whole new barrage of commercially successful copycats. Whether they had noticed this or not was unclear until a recent interview Rage guitarist Tom Morello did with Gibson.com. Morello said:
“It’s no accident that Nine Inch Nails, Tool and Rage albums came out only every four or five years. There was none of that thing of putting out an album every six months to capitalize on momentum, trying to become the biggest band in the world. These bands were all vexed – afraid of being seen in the same light as the bands they disparaged, or the bands their heroes had disparaged.”
The Harvard-educated guitarist further analyzed the effect that these bands had on the music and how the downfall began:
“Those bands created an audience then didn’t serve it. Inside every cigar-smoke filled boardroom in the country, executives were saying, ‘If only we had a Rage Against the Machine that sang about girls and would show up for video shoots.’And those types of bands did show up – and everything got diluted, of course. They had the form but not the content. They sold millions of records but they had nothing like the talent of the groups they were trying to emulate.”
Morello switched focus to the bands that he felt had something to say and how problems began for them:
“You can list them: NIN, Tool, Rage, Smashing Pumpkins, Jane’s Addiction, the Seattle bands. They shared one thing: a love of underground music and punk rock. They all loved ‘no sell out’ music. But suddenly they found themselves playing the same venues that bands like Poison were playing, and they were on MTV between videos of Backstreet Boys and those types of artists. It created a personal crisis, and it clearly affected them.”
Tom Morello clearly knows his history. Don’t forget to grab tickets for the upcoming ‘Justice Tour‘ when Tom Morello (performing under alter-ego ‘The Nightwatchman‘) comes to The Machine Shop with Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath September 7th.