Against the Machine was formed in Los Angeles in 1991. Vocalist
Zack De La Rocha was previously in a band called Inside Out and
took the name "Rage Against the Machine" from Inside
Out's second unreleased album. Their first public performance
was in a living room in Orange County. Shortly after this the
band recorded a 12-song demo tape which included "Bullet
in the Head" later released on RATM's self titled debut album.
They managed to sell 5,000 copies of the demo tape through their
fan club and at various live performances around L.A. Rage then
supported Porno For Pyros on their debut performance. Rage then
got to play two shows on the second stage at Lollapalooza II at
Irvine Meadows, California where they were spotted and signed
by Epic. In October 92, rage toured Europe supporting Suicidal
Tendancies then shortly after the tour finished "Rage Against
the Machine" was released on November 10, 1992. The album
recieved a lot of attention from critics. Timothy White the billboard
editor in cheif remarked, "On the strength of the album,
they must be viewed as one of the most original and virtuosic
new rock bands in the nation". The album went on to sell
over one million copies and was on Billboard's top 200 chart for
89 weeks peaking at #45.
93 rage went on a US tour where they toured with House of Pain
and played benefits such as the Headlining Anti-Nazi League Benefit
and the Rock for Choice Benefit. In 93 Rage appeared at Lollapalooza
III this time on the main stage and without playing a single note.
They created a silent protest against the P-M-R-C (Parents Music
Resource Center) with each band member standing naked on stage
for 14 minutes each with duct tape across his mouth and the letters
"P" "M" "R" "C" written
with one letter on each of the members chests. The idea of the
protest was if we don't take action against censorship soon we
wont be able to see bands like rage. In december 93 the Freedom
video was premiered on MTV's "120 Minutes". The video
directed by Peter Christopherson, contained live performance footage
as well as scenes from the 1992 documentary "Incident at
Oglala" and text from Peter Matthiesen's "In the Spirit
of Crazy Horse". In Febuary 94 the video was #1 in U.S.A.
Later In 1994 rage played two benefits for Leonard Peliter. The
first was organised by rage and called "For the Freedom of
Leonard Peltier". It was played in California with acts including
Cypress Hill and a guest appearance by the Beastie Boys. The second
Benefit was "Latinpalooza" which was a joint benefit
for Leonard Peltier, United Workers and Para Los Ninos.
the extreme tour schedule rage had been engaged in they hadn't
got the time to really know each other and rumours of their break
up began to circulate. So the band moved to Atlanta and started
living together. They attempted to record a new album but found
it didn't work. The came back to L.A and started to work effectively
on recording their second album "Evil Empire". In 96
rage appeared on "Saturday Night Live" and had their
two song performance cut to just one song after the band attempted
to hang inverted American Flags from their amps as a protest against
having president candidate Steve Forbes on the show that night.
The next day Bulls on Parade was premiered on MTV's 120 minutes.
Then two days later on April 16, 1999 Evil Empire was released
entering the Billboard top 200 charts at #1. In July, 96 rage
begin a headlining US tour which toured across the US until October
January 97, Tom Morello and Zack De La Rocha took part in two-hour
debut of "Radio Free L.A" which was broadcast over the
internet and on more than 50 commercial US radio stations. The
broadcast included two live sets of a band made up of Tom Morello
(guitar), Zack De La Rocha (vocals), Flea (Red Hot Chilli Peppers,
Bass) and Steven Perkins (Porno for Pyros, drums). In February
97, "Tire Me" won the best Metal performance in the
Grammy awards. Shortly after this in April rage began a series
of concerts supporting U2. Rage donated it's net earnings from
these performances to organizations including Mumia Abu-Jamal,
FAIR, EZLN, and Women Alive. In August rage began a headlining
US tour with the Wu-Tang Clan. Wu-Tang Withdrew from the tour
after just one week of shows for a reason I dont know. The hole
that Wu-Tang left was filled by bands including The Foo Fighters
and Roots. On November 25 Rage released it's first home video
more to keep the fans happy than anything else. The video featured
live concert footage as well as all the video clips rage had made
up to that point. An extra incentive to buy the video was it came
with a CD single: a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost
of Tom Joad". In Santa Monica that December Tom Morello was
arrested for protesting against sweatshop abuses by Guess?.
in 98 rage recorded "No Shelter" which appeared on the
Godzilla Soundtrack. Midway thorough 98 rage began rehersals for
"The Battle of Los Angeles" and by September they had
recorded the instrumentals for 14 songs with the lyrics not completed.
In January 99 rage organised a benefit for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The
benefit attracted a lot of attention and at one point wasn't going
to be allowed to go ahead. But in the end it was allowed and acts
including Black Star, Bad Religion and the Beastie Boys appeared.
In Geneva, on April 12 Zack appeared before the United Nations
on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal and and the death penalty in the
US. If you find some pictures of this conference you will be lucky
enough to see zack in a suit. Rage then went on to play the Tibetan
Freedom Concert and Woodstock 99. At Woodstock, rage again made
their presence felt by burning the American flag on stage as the
played their last song - Killing in the Name. On october 12, "Guerilla
Radio", the first single from the new album was released.
This was followed up by the Australian release of "The Battle
of Los Angeles" on October 25. The album hit US shelves on
election day November 2, 1999. On the same day rage made an appearance
on David Letterman performing the new single "Guerilla Radio".
Rage then appeared on Conan O'Brien which resulted in the FOP
boycotting the NBC network for allowing rage to play. Amidst all
this Rage kicked of their US tour promoting the new album.