Rage Against Machine Enrage Fans

Where's the album, guys? Photo by Jay Blakesberg.

Rage Against Machine are certainly stringing us out. It's

been three years, three months and fourteen days since the release of their

self-titled debut--but who's counting. Epic Records promised that we would have

the long-awaited follow-up in March, but we just got word that we can expect it

in our Easter baskets, sometime in early April. Who are they kidding. We want

it and, and we want it now. We know it's finished, because why else would Rage

be winging their way Down Under as we speak, to perform at Big Day Out. Brendan

O'Brien, uber producer, was behind the boards, and he's been telling friends

and foes what an excellent album it is, but that only fuels our discontent.

Hell we even know the name of two of the songs, but does that make it any

better? It does not. But just so you know that we like to take the high road,

the first song is "The Wind Below," and then there's the excellent "Revolver"

performed last summer at the KROQ Weenie Roast. A memorable performance,

because that was the day that Rage went over their allotted time limit, and to

assert themselves, the promoters just activated the revolving stage, and the

band began moving in a counterclockwise direction, toward backstage. Undaunted

they didn't miss a beat, and continued to play--but lo and behold the gods were

smiling that day, and the revolving stage jammed, leaving the band at an odd

angle, but allowing them to finish the song with a flourish, much to the

delight of 20,000 witnesses at Irvine Meadows. Just to torture you further, we

have heard that there is a good chance that Rage will tour the U. S. in the

Spring, coinciding with this "alleged" release. But don't think your discontent

or rage phases this band. They've got better things to do than court their fans

favor. This summer, vocalist and lead provocateur, Zack de la Rocha spent three

weeks in Chiapas, Mexico working for the Zapatistas, the fighting arm of the

indigent Mexican natives who have been forced off their land by an

unsympathetic and ruthless government. Huge encampments of all but homeless

Chiapans are currently forced to live in the jungles, and they're not going to

take it. De la Rocha, who is of Mexican descent, read about their plight, and

joined up with an organization called The National Committee For Democracy In

Mexico and pitched in to help. He wasn't exactly sporting a sweaty bandanna

across his brow, and a machete in his teeth--but a spokesman for de la Rocha

assured us that he "did get his hands dirty." What ever that means.