Rage Against the Machine

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Matthew Bellamy and Dominic Howard with Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine (1991-2000, 2007-2011) were an Alt Metal band who combined metal instrumentation and rap vocals. The band consisted of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk.

The members of Muse and Thomas Kirk[source?] heard Rage Against the Machine live at the Carling Weekend, Reading in 1996.[1] This lead to their aspiration to one day headline the festival.[1][2] Matthew Bellamy admires Rage Against the Machine's members for their "purity" and belief in what they do.[3]

Hearing Rage Against the Machine's albums influenced Muse to contact and recruit Rich Costey.[4] Costey claimed that this was because Muse wanted a "big and assertive" sound on their recordings.[4]

During the first half of 2000, Bellamy attended "about eight" of their concerts. After Rage Against the Machine's reunited, Muse performed on the same stage at Vegoose in October 2007. Muse had previously planned to have finished touring by that time,[5] but, after Matthew Bellamy heard that Rage Against the Machine were performing at that time, he decided to extend Muse's tour.[5] According to one Muselive member who attended this concert, the band's guitarist Tom Morello watched Muse's performance from the side of the stage and said he thought it was "good".[6]

Several Muse songs bear similarities with Rage Against the Machine songs. For example, the bass part of Nishe sounds similar to the rhythm part of "Bullet in the Head;" the Fury riff is similar to War Within a Breath and the bass part of "Without a Face;" and the Hyper Music riff sounds like "Snakecharmer" and Testify. Matthew Bellamy frequently plays Rage Against the Machine riffs at concerts, such as Township Rebellion and Rage Against the Machine's rendition of Maggie's Farm.

Bellamy's favourite Rage Against the Machine album is The Battle of Los Angeles.[source?] Their self-titled debut album is one of Christopher Wolstenholme's five favourite albums (or was in December 2006).[7]

During the 2009 X Factor series, a Facebook group was created, campaigning to get Rage's song Killing in the Name to be Christmas No. 1 instead the usual X Factor winner's single release of the year. During the campaign the Muse website had the slogan "WE SUPPORT RAGEFACTOR" on its main page with a link to download "Killing in the Name" from iTunes below. The campaign was successful and "Killing in the Name" was the 2009 Christmas No. 1.

On the 18th of April, 2011, it was announced Muse would play a show with Rage Against the Machine and Rise Against in Los Angeles on the 30th of July.

Their disbandment allowed for other projects, notably solo projects by de la Rocha and Morello; Audioslave, comprised of Rage's Morello, Commerford, and Wilk with former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell; and Prophets of Rage, made up of Morello, Commerford, and Wilk alongside Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill. In May 2018, Wilk said that "nothing would make [him] happier" if the band were to reunite but stated, "It’s just really a matter of getting us all on the same page."

Rage Against the Machine riffs that Muse have played


  1. a b (2006-11-17). [Interview with Christopher Wolstenholme]. BBC Radio Nottingham. Retrieved 2006-11-22. [verify]
  2. Paul Brannigan. (2006-08-23). Supermassive and heading our way. Kerrang. Retrieved 2008-01-14. [verify]
  3. Heroes and villains (2000-07-29). NME. Retrieved 2007-02-24. [verify]
  4. a b Richard Buskin. (2003-12). Rich Costey: Recording Muse's Absolution. Sound on Sound website. Retrieved 2006-11-04 from www.soundonsound.com. [verify]
  5. a b Lindsay McDougall. (2007-08-02). [Interview with Matthew Bellamy]. The Breakfast Show. Retrieved 2007-08-02 from abc.net.au. [verify]
  6. mazda. (2007-11-07). [Muselive forum post]. Muselive. Retrieved 2008-01-08 from www.muselive.com.
  7. Musician of the Month (2006-11). Alternative Press. Retrieved 2008-01-16. [verify]

See also

Go back to influences