Rage Against the Machine, touted as one of the most rabid anti-establishment bands to grace world stages in the ’90s, will be playing Nassau Coliseum on Friday. Guitarist Tom Morello recently talked to Ron Strauss:
You guys talk about fucking with the system. But you’re also signed to one of the biggest labels in the country.
The people who say that have no experience with political activism. We have been criticized by organizations and groups that are directly part of some of these problems we write about. If we were criticized by reputable groups, like, say the Garment Workers Union and others that we want to see be successful in their fights, then I would have a problem with it. But that’s rarely the case.
Some people respond to your music by saying you should do your activism on an indie label for less cash. Maybe drop shop somewhere in the lush hillsides of Pakistan or build a studio/home somewhere in beautiful downtown Baghdad.
I don’t understand what you mean.
You know, the classic “go hard or go home, go someplace else if you don’t like it ’round here” speech.
Oh, yeah, now I see what you’re saying. Well, thankfully this is my homeland, too. I was born and bred here, and I’m damn proud to be an American. Unfortunately, with that said, we all have to take responsibilities for certain topics that we should not be proud of. It’s our God-given right to speak out about issues that have been demonstrated and talked about abroad.
Your label just announced that it will be taking its artists’ URLs. Ice-T was quoted in New York magazine saying that he would rather have artists tell their label to “eat a bowl of dicks” before letting a record label own the band’s URL. How do you feel about that?
In what way?
Well, has Rage eaten a big bowl of, you know?
Oh, no way. Rage owns its own Website through Artist Direct. It’s definitely ours.
The Pope’s a labelmate of yours. How do you feel about getting together with him for a side project?
I hope the Pope has stuff. He would have to drop some dope beats. I would want to hear some cool freestyle out of the Pope.
Rage Against the Machine Dec 3 at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, 516-7443-9100.