Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Rage Against the Machine

Courtesy of Smash
Rage Against the Machine

Headbangers with a conscience, Rage Against the Machine drop in for a two-shot appearance in Tokyo on June 24-25 at Makuhari Messe. While the band was a favored headliner at the Fuji Rock Festival in previous years, it seems they will be busy this time around with a European tour.

Spawners of a legion of Japanese imitators, Rage Against the Machine has been far more successful in Japan than less politically-oriented rivals Limp Bizkit or Korn. The quartet' success dates back to 1993 and the single "Killing in the Name" which dominated airwaves and barrooms both here and in the US for months if not years.

The band formed when vocalist Zack de la Rocha (son of Chicano political artist Beto), guitarist Tom Morello (nephew of first Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta), drummer Brad Wilk and bassist Tim Bob hooked up in Los Angeles in 1991. Matching de la Rocha's leftist rap-ranting against corporate hegemony and American cultural imperialism with Morello and co.'s stew of aggro-punk, funk-metal and thrash, Rage debuted in 1992 with the self-titled Rage Against the Machine. The album won them a huge following among teenagers worldwide, and earned them a slot on the Lollapalooza tour. Their follow-up, Evil Empire, entered the US album charts in 1996 at number one, scoring a hit with "Bulls on Parade."

Rage's third full-length, The Battle of Los Angeles, appeared last fall, and their latest single, "Sleep Now In The Fire," is on heavy rotation on MTV and Japan's music video channels Vibe and Space Shower.

In recent news, singer de la Rocha is in the recording studio working on a long-awaited solo album produced in part by El-P, a member of the New York rap group (and recent visitors to Tokyo) Company Flow.

Rage Against the Machine plays Makuhari Messe on June 24-25. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana