From the debut to the grave…thank you RATM
In April of 1993 I was getting my 4th tattoo and the tattoo artist was playing this amazing heavy music with a vocalist that had an energy and a rage in his voice that I had never heard before. The Band was Rage Against the Machine. I immediately went to purchase the album once I left the tattoo parlor. My friends and I had already purchased tickets to Lollapalooza at Buckeye Lake in 1993. Rage was the opening band and everything that came after their set was good but none had the energy that Rage portrayed that day. I have seen Rage play many times and they never fail to put on a great, powerful show that leaves the audience in awe.
I first heard Rage Against the Machine on bootleg tapes in Pakistan. It wasn’t until I came back to the States that I got their cds and waited for the chance to see them live. That came at an incredible Rock the Bells hip hop show in San Bernadino. A who’s who of the hip hop world past and present, but it was Rage that really stole the show. Late into the night, the band took the stage. People in the back had all jumped the gates and come forward. There was a sea of bonfires and madness all around. The aisles were packed with people that had surged forward. I had to stand on a rickety folding chair, packed in, ready to fall over. When the lights came up and the band exploded on the stage, I had to pull out my paper and watercolors, and get some sketches in the moment without tumbling over.
I was 16 and visiting a friends brother who must have been 18 or 19 back then and just moved out on his own and to the center of the city. He had an awesome record collection, not huge but great stuff. Good taste. (He had Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps but also Danzig’s III How the Gods Kill.)
I always remember that moment, I think it was the first time I was at his little one room apartment and the TV was on and blasting “Killing in the name was of…”!!! What the!!!! I didnt know what to say about that first. So angry, so simple but on the point, the message was clear: We’re full of it! Sick of it all! Let’s kill those who let others kill in the name of….
We were all angry back then. Oh yeah! Biohazard was supporting Kreator those days and their song “Punishment” impressed us in the same way like RATM did to be honest. (btw also “Only” was the new single of Anthrax with John Bush as their new singer. I remember it was all on the same day in this apartment that I heard these bands for the first time. Good times most definitely!)
All of my best friends were high on these tracks. Thats where we come from in a way so to speak. What was the name of that we asked ourselves, we had to know: Hardcore music? Ok. We dived deep onto that sh*t. NYHC, Boston HC, DCHC, LAHC, Hardcore worldwide, Street music, it all made sence and paved our ways but in fact for me & most of us it all started with RATM’s “Killing in the Name of” and Biohazard “Punishment” that particular day. We didnt form a band but something like that, maybe a gang of brothers, of likeminded people that share the same dream.
We are all still best friends, even after 20 years. One of these friends still has a huge A0 RATM poster from back than that always used to hang and still hangs on one of his walls. Every day for 20 years now, thats more than 7300 days OMG. We all love that music, the energy, the honesty in it and the remembrance of all of that, you know. It’s good stuff! Oh yeah. Love, in a way, but withoutthose rosy red glasses but lots of anger. And that anger has no means to destroy as an end, the force of this anger pushes to achieve something true, to build something up, to push forward with everything you got. Not to start a riot but a movement.
In this way, it is true: anger is a gift. And it still resonates. (btw check out Downset’s Anger and Boo-Yaa Tribe on their record “Angry Samoans” that came out a few years later. Some of the best!!!)
Cheers from good old Germany
Thank you Rage Against The Machine, for all your music!
When I first heard of RATM I was 14 years old back in 1996. I had friends that were very active in our local city hard core scene and I saw a video by RATM (bulls on parade) at their place. By that time i was starting to read left literature. Being south americans it was very enthusiastic for us to hear a band from the USA openly criticizing capitalism.
Entrada RATM en el Festival Pepsi Music
RATM’s self-titled album is, arguably, in the top ten albums of all time. It’s pissed off, it’s emotional, and it’s damn good. The riffs are among the best ever written. You can’t deny how damn catchy songs like “Take The Power Back” and “Bombtrack” are. And “Killing In The Name” will always be a classic. I can’t believe it’s 20 years old. Damn. If you’ve never experienced RATM - even if you hate the genre - give this a chance. You’ll thank me. I promise.
that had all the rage shirts. had one for every day of the week! great band. hope they continue on and perhaps make new records. stoked.