Rage Against the Machine Articles/Interviews

Killing Time

by Dino Scatena
Daily Telegraph (Sydney) 28th Oct. 1999

Rage Against the Machines's bass player Timmy C is dealing with a major problem and it has got him itching to hit the road again. It's got to do with all those Rage wannabes that have sprung up in the years since his band released its genre bending self-titles debut. "We need to get out there so people remember who kicked off this music trend, " Timmy says. "I want people to realise we are the forefathers of this form of music. And sometimes I read articles about other bands, where they'll get into conversations about the hybrid of rock and hip-hop and we don't get mentioned. And that kind of gets to me." If there is one thing in all of this that helps Timmy keep his cool, it's that one of Rage's proto-tracks from the 1992 debut remains an anthem for youth in the '90s. Killing in the Name, Timmy humbly admits, is undoubtedly the greatest rock song of all time. "It's powerful," he says. "Ask me what's my favourite song of any band and I'll tell you it's that. I love it. Obviously, I get a different perspective of it, but I know people want to hear it. When we play that song live, you see how kids react to it. It says a lot about this generation, you know ? It's real nice. I know it's an important part of why we've had success. That set us out on the right foot. It was the foundation for the school we've been building since then." More recently, there's been another song which has changed the course of Rage's destiny. And this one came from a most unexpected place. Timmy, for one, used to hate the man his parents knew as The Boss - Bruce Springsteen. But since the day Rage half jokingly began messing around with The Boss's Ghost of Tom Joad, well, Timmy's sort of changed his mind. "When I was a kid I was like "Bruce Springsteens's a goof-ball, man, I'm not into him!" I wouldn't cut the guy any slack. I was just like, "It better be rocking or I don't want to hear it !" Since playing Tom Joad night after night, I've reconsidered my opinions on Bruce Springsteen and I'm like :"Wow, that guy is a voice of a generation, he's a voice of the working class." The cover was originally intended simply as a bonus track to accompany the release of a long-form video (it has since appeared on the No Boundaries compilation). Timmy believes the song has had a profound effect on his old childhood buddy and Rage singer Zack de la Rocha. The effect of Tom Joad can even be found on Rage's new long-player, The Battle of Los Angeles. "I'm thinking that maybe from Zack singing it night after night, I hear some of that style in our new record." It's certainly not that Rage has lost any of its trademark ferocity on the new album-it's just that the songs have another level of depth ; perhaps a shade of the personal. Timmy used his time in Australia on a recent promotional tour for The Battle of Los Angeles, to indulge in mountain biking. "I went out and got lost for four hours one day and three hours one day and a couple of hours another day," he says. "It was fucking out of control, I'm excited. I love riding and I love Rage, obviously, and this is a great way of combining the two." But in the next breath, Timmy confesses he really doesn't have too much to say about the new album. As always, the music will have to speak for itself. "I have  a hard time saying anything about our music right now, other than I really love the record. I think it's very cool. But if there's one thing I feel confident about, it's that when we go on stage, we will destroy. We will be the best band that will be playing on whatever night we may be playing. I feel we've brought out more hip-hop and that we're rocking just as hard as we've ever done. After listening to the record, there's one thing that I know and that's that we don't make ballads, as of yet," he says with a laugh. "It's like, trip out another hard-rocking, aggressive, angry record that also happens to have a little more of a personal vibe happening as well. And that's cool because that's just another element to add to Rage."

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