Scraping Genius Off The Wheel



Despite everything that’s gone on politically in America since 2001, the voice of Zack de la Rocha has been noticeably absent from the public debate. His less-than-amicable departure from Rage Against The Machine in 2000 halted that group for several years, and other than an EP from his One Day As A Lion project he has not released new music. Thankfully, his lack of creative output is not indicative of his dedication to human rights and civil rights, as his commitment to a new endeavor called The Sound Strike makes clear.

A reaction to Arizona’s odious, fearmongering and (in this writer’s opinion) racist legislation SB 1070, The Sound Strike is an effort to organize artists in a civil non-violent action against that state. What it amounts to is a boycott of Arizona by musicians, who vow not to perform in those states. A full list of the artists that have joined this can be found here, but the names that will matter to readers of this site include Nine Inch Nails, Rise Against and Joe Satriani as well as Rage Against The Machine and related projects like Street Sweeper Social Club. Now obviously this is a contentious issue, and I suspect more than a few of you prefer to keep your music and your politics separate. Still, these artists are taking a stand against what they see as an injustice, and even if you disagree with their positions or their choosing to boycott Arizona, you ought to respect their reasons. I encourage you to check out the above video, in which Señor de la Rocha explains his stance. Then, sign the petition and–if you’re in a band–you can add yourself to the list of artists participating in the Arizona boycott.


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