Zach de la Rocha is angry. Clearly he’s still really pissed off about war and lots of other ‘bad stuff’. The kind of thing parents are trying desperately to protect their knife wielding, bastard children. It’s been a long time since the Rage vocalist wrote some new material (if you forget the forgettable contribution to Michael Moore’s film, Fahrenheit 9/11) and rather disappointingly it seems that his muses remain pretty similar to the things he was rapping about on Battle of Los Angeles, which was released a rather unbelievable nine years ago.
The Police. Rage Against The Machine. My Bloody Valentine. Stone Temple Pilots. Even the Spice Girls. It would seem that the last year has seen an influx of old bands deciding that retired life just doesn’t do it for them, and have decided to lean upon the crutch of their older legends and restart their careers. The vast amount of reunions that seem to be popping up all over the place is the subject of this article. Well, I say article – I mean rant.
I was gutted when RATM split up. Well, that’s not really true, but I certainly felt like I was missing out on something when I got into them soon after they’d called it a day and gone their seperate ways. But when I heard the news of Audioslave’s split, and the subsequent rumours that abounded on the internet concerning a possible reunion of the revolutionary quartet, I took to the hype with a sense of dissapointment, and certainly never grew as excited as I thought I would be.
RATM: Political protest sell outs.
I think the main problem here is the clear matter of money. The lyrics Zach de la Rocha wrote around ten years ago, about freedom and fighting the man all seem contradictory when you consider that RATM have just become another group who have given into the temptation a financially lucrative comeback tour can offer. Since the band came back to Coachella just over a year ago, they have been touring all over the place, and are now set to play a load of new festivals this year which are set to be a nice little money spinner.
But they aren’t the only ones doing it, and I think my biggest concern with this desire to see old bands reforms is that it asks the question – are we finding new music just can’t replace these bygone eras of music, or is new music just shit compared to what there used to be? Furthermore, are artists just now announcing their retirement tours as a money grabbing concept, then coming back in a blaze of glory a few years later to top up the coffers? I think the trouble is that peopel are more than willing to see these old legends come back in the vain hope that they will be able to experience what they may have initially missed out on.
It’s sad to have to say this, but realistically this stuff is what makes the world go round.
But for me, seeing bands such as RATM reform almost turns me off them completely. I went from being so excited just by listening to their live album, to finding the music now has lost a lot of its passion now that I’m really aware of the money grabbing nature of the men in the band, which I think is a great tragedy for any band or music venture. The big question to the artists is this – are you willing to sell out your ideals for a quick buck? Unfortunately, you can bet your house that most will say yes.