Tom Morello Unsure About Rage Against the Machine Touring: “Right Now We’re In A Time Of Healing”


A reunited Rage Against the Machine were the hottest thing on the live music circuit for a brief moment, garnering even more attention as vocalist Zach de la Rocha continued the North American leg of the tour despite rupturing his Achilles tendon two days into tour. Unfortunately, Rage canceled the rest of the tour and have maintained a relative degree of radio silence about things since, upsetting or confusing some fans after the alt-metal heroes received a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination.

Recently, guitarist Tom Morello spoke to Rolling Stone and cleared the air on the tour, ticket pricing controversy and the Hall of Fame. You can read the full, lengthy interview but these are the highlights.

On the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

“Well, I’m a big proponent of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I like the idea there’s somewhere on the planet that celebrates music. This is Rage Against the Machine’s fifth nomination for the Hall of Fame. The thing I share, with many fans of many bands, is that if the Rock Hall is going to be inducting artists of so many diverse genres, there are a lot of artists from multiple genres that deserve to get in.

“It would be a great place to be. I certainly think Rage Against the Machine, among a lot of other bands, deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

On playing live:

“It was great. Having not played shows with the band in 11 years, you just don’t know what it’s going to be. I knew pretty early on in rehearsal that we were going to sound fuckin’ great. But what is the audience going to be? Will it be dads in Dockers with cell phones out? [Laughs] There’s no knowing. The crowds were feral. The band had never played better. We’d never sounded better. It was a reaffirmation of the power of Rage Against the Machine, and the transcendence of Rage Against the Machine as a live act.”

On de la Rocha’s injury and power as a vocalist:

“Well, the irony is that I had just recovered from a ruptured Achilles. I was in rehearsals on crutches. I recognized the gait. But Zack toughed it out that night. And for the next 17 shows, he was more compelling as a frontman sitting on a box in the middle of the stage than 99 percent of the frontmen in the history of all time.

“It was completely unexpected, but the fact that he soldiered on … and he didn’t just soldier on, but he was able to be that electric, compelling, powerful transmitter of truth that he is, while remaining fairly immobile, was fairly impressive. I didn’t hear from one fan that felt the show was diminished in power by one percent.”

It doesn’t sound like they’ll be touring again soon:

“We’ll see. If there is to be any more shows, we will announce it as a band. I don’t know. I know as much as you do, honestly. Right now we’re in a time of healing. I’m in a time of making music and doing a bunch of stuff.

“To bring it back to the Hall of Fame conversation, if there never is another show, I think that this tour made the case. It’s not about how much you tour. It’s about what it’s like during those moments when you do. Rage Against the Machine has played 19 shows in the past 12 years. And the resonance of those 19 shows feel, in talking to fans, like those were historical events that further the idea of what that band is like live onstage.”

Throughout the rest of the interview, Morello is adamant to the interviewer that Rage Against the Machine are not on hiatus but also makes it seem like fans probably shouldn’t get their hopes up.

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