Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

3. Rage Against The MachineRage Against The Machine

It’s a unique combination of what Zack de la Rocha is doing with his voice and what Tom Morello [guitarist] is doing. If you separate the two, you find yourself thinking: "Well, how could this possibly work?" But again they were game changers. They came along at a time in Los Angeles when there was nobody else doing that style. I don’t think anyone has done anything like that successfully. They were a band that were immersed in different kinds of activism and that was something that definitely caught my attention. Who else was doing that? Who was doing that and selling millions of records? And, of course, by doing that they were able to cross over into different scenes and different generations of people that could listen to that type of music. Some of the stuff on here is still just as relevant today as it was when it was released. It’s just the intensity of some of those messages for me as a singer. He performs with such conviction. You have got to believe what Zack is saying and he makes you understand what he’s talking about. That’s the heart of what Rage is all about. They’re all behind exactly what he’s saying.

There’s been a lot made in recent years of the idea that bands don’t have anything to say anymore, or that they’re ambivalent now, but I think everyone is saying something. Even Priest have made a comment in ‘Crossfire’, where we talk about religion and gun violence. I think a lot of the time these messages just slip under the radar for some people. Priest have never pushed back from making a comment on things that we see in the world or that affect us and think need to be commented on. So I think it’s definitely out there. It’s just that bands are now doing it a lot more subtly than Rage did.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Lord Spikeheart
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