Rise Against

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Rise Against
2018 RiP - Rise Against - by 2eight - 8SC7393.jpg
Rise Against performing in Nuremberg, Germany, in 2018. From left to right: Zach Blair, Tim McIlrath, Brandon Barnes and Joe Principe.
Background information
Also known asTransistor Revolt (1999–2000)
Origin Chicago, United States
Genres
Years active1999–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website www.riseagainst.com
Members Tim McIlrath
Joe Principe
Brandon Barnes
Zach Blair
Past membersDan Wleklinski
Kevin White
Todd Mohney
Chris Chasse
Toni Tintari

Rise Against is an American punk rock band from Chicago. The group's current line-up comprises vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tim McIlrath, lead guitarist Zach Blair, bassist Joe Principe and drummer Brandon Barnes. Rooted in hardcore punk and melodic hardcore, Rise Against's music emphasizes melody, catchy hooks, aggressive movements, and rapid-paced tempo. Lyrically, Rise Against is known for its outspoken social commentary, covering a wide range of topics such as animal rights, economic injustice, environmental disasters, forced displacement, homophobia, modern warfare, and political corruption.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, and the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.

Tim McIlrath American musician

Timothy James "Tim" McIlrath is an American punk rock musician. He is the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, songwriter and co-founder of the American punk rock band Rise Against. McIlrath is known to support animal rights and actively promotes PETA with his band. He is also straight edge.

Contents

The band spent its first four years signed to the independent record label Fat Wreck Chords, on which they released two studio albums, The Unraveling (2001) and Revolutions per Minute (2003). Both the albums were met with underground success, and in 2003 the band signed with the major label Dreamworks, which was absorbed by Geffen. Rise Against's major label debut Siren Song of the Counter Culture (2004) brought the band mainstream success, largely in part to the popularity of the singles "Give It All" and "Swing Life Away". The band's next album, The Sufferer & the Witness (2006), peaked at number ten on the Billboard 200 in the United States, and was Rise Against's first album to chart in countries outside of North America.

Fat Wreck Chords American record label

Fat Wreck Chords is a San Francisco, California-based independent record label, focused on punk rock. It was started by NOFX lead singer Michael Burkett and his girlfriend at the time, Erin Burkett, in 1990.

<i>The Unraveling</i> (album) 2001 studio album by Rise Against

The Unraveling is the debut studio album by American rock band Rise Against, released on April 24, 2001 by Fat Wreck Chords. Following the release of the extended play Transistor Revolt in 2000, the band signed with Fat Wreck Chords and began working on the album at Sonic Iguana Studios with producer Mass Giorgini. Musically, The Unraveling is rooted in melodic hardcore, with lyrical themes that include friendships, relationships, and memories.

<i>Revolutions per Minute</i> (Rise Against album) 2003 studio album by Rise Against

Revolutions per Minute is the second studio album by American rock band Rise Against, released on April 8, 2003 by Fat Wreck Chords. After establishing a fanbase with their 2001 debut The Unraveling, the band members wanted to record an album that distinguished themselves from other Fat Wreck Chords bands of the time. They chose Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore to produce the album, with whom they developed a strong rapport. Recording took place from November to December 2002 at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado.

With the release of Appeal to Reason (2008), Rise Against's music shifted toward a more accessible and radio-friendly sound, with greater emphasis on production value. The album's third single, "Savior", broke the record for the most consecutive weeks spent on both the Hot Rock Songs and Modern Rock Tracks charts. Rise Against's popularity grew with the release of Endgame (2011), which peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, and charted highly worldwide. The band's two most recent albums, The Black Market (2014) and Wolves (2017) continued the trend of commercial success, and both peaked with the top ten on the Billboard 200.

<i>Appeal to Reason</i> 2008 studio album by Rise Against

Appeal to Reason is the fifth studio album by American rock band Rise Against. It was released on October 7, 2008. A melodic hardcore album, Appeal to Reason marked a musical shift from the gritty punk sound that had previously defined the band's career to a more radio-friendly sound, with greater emphasis on production. The album's lyrics primarily focus on political issues in the United States, such as the Iraq War and the Bush administration.

Savior (Rise Against song) 2009 single by Rise Against

"Savior" is a song by American rock band Rise Against, featured on their fifth studio album Appeal to Reason (2008). In contrast to the social and political topics normally discussed in Rise Against songs, "Savior" is about forgiveness and broken relationships. It is a punk rock song, with a "frenetic pace" that John Hanson of Sputnikmusic described as reminiscent of tracks from the band's 2003 album Revolutions per Minute. It was released as Appeal to Reason's third single on June 3, 2009.

<i>Endgame</i> (Rise Against album) 2011 studio album by Rise Against

Endgame is the sixth studio album by American rock band Rise Against, released on March 15, 2011 through DGC Records and Interscope Records. Rise Against began work on the album in September 2010, after completing touring in support of its previous album, Appeal to Reason, in mid-2010. The first single from the album, "Help Is on the Way" debuted on KROQ and KKDO on January 17, 2011, and was released on the band's MySpace and digital media outlets on January 25, 2011. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number two, the band's highest position to date. The album has been certified platinum by the MC, gold by the BVMI and gold by the ARIA.

Rise Against is also known for their advocacy of progressivism, supporting organizations such as Amnesty International and the It Gets Better Project. The band actively promotes animal rights and most of the members are straight edge (excluding Barnes), PETA supporters and vegetarians.

Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or conducting exit poll or the filing of an amicus brief. Lobbying is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics. Research has started to address how advocacy groups in the United States and Canada are using social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.

Progressivism is the support for or advocacy for improvement of society by reform. As a philosophy, it is based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition.

Amnesty International London-based international human rights organization

Amnesty International is a London-based non-governmental organization focused on human rights. The organization says it has more than seven million members and supporters around the world.

History

Early years (1999-2003)

Fat Wreck Chords co-founder Fat Mike signed Rise Against to their first record label in 2000. FatMike2010.jpg
Fat Wreck Chords co-founder Fat Mike signed Rise Against to their first record label in 2000.

Rise Against was formed in 1999, by bassist Joe Principe and guitarist Dan Wleklinski. [1] Before Rise Against, Principe and Wleklinski were members of the Chicago punk rock band 88 Fingers Louie. [2] This band toured and recorded to moderate success, but disbanded on two separate occasions in the late 1990s. [3] Following the second breakup, Principe and Wleklinski decided to form a new band called Transistor Revolt, and recruited drummer Toni Tintari, guitarist Kevin White, and lead vocalist Tim McIlrath. [3] [4] Principe met McIlrath in Indianapolis while attending a Sick of It All concert, and recalled seeing him perform with his previous band Baxter. [5] Impressed with McIlrath's gritty vocals, Principe gave him a seven track demo he had recorded, and invited him to join the nascent band. [5] McIlrath accepted the invitation, and dropped out of Northeastern Illinois University. [6]

Joe Principe American musician

Joseph Daniel Principe is an American musician. He is the bass guitarist, backing vocalist, and co-founder of the American melodic hardcore band Rise Against.

88 Fingers Louie is an American band from Chicago, Illinois, United States, which was formed in 1993. They played a style of hardcore punk, melodic hardcore, and punk rock. After disbanding in 1999, guitarist Dan Wleklinski and bassist Joe Principe formed the well-known punk rock band Rise Against. The band reunited in 2009, and has continued playing shows in Chicago, Canada, Belgium, Las Vegas, and Asbury Park. The band held a 20th anniversary show in 2013. The name comes from a Flintstones gangster who sells dodgy pianos.

Indianapolis State capital and Consolidated city-county in the United States

Indianapolis, often shortened to Indy, is the state capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 872,680. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-autonomous municipalities in Marion County, was 863,002. It is the 16th most populous city in the U.S. The Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U.S., with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles (950 km2), making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U.S.

The initial jam sessions were problematic, as McIlrath was unaccustomed to Principe's and Wleklinski's fast-paced style of play. [5] McIlrath described these early sessions as "the meeting of different worlds and worlds colliding", and noted how many of his friends questioned the future of the band. [7] Despite these early issues, they were able to self-publish the extended play (EP) Transistor Revolt in 2000. [7] The EP attracted the attention of the local punk community, including Fat Mike, the lead vocalist of NOFX and co-founder of the independent record label Fat Wreck Chords. [8] Fat Mike offered to sign the band to a recording contract, with the stipulation that they change their name. He gave some suggestions, like Jimmy Cracked Corn And The I Don't Cares, although none of the band members liked them. [8] Tintari suggested Rise Against, to which the band agreed upon. [9]

Jam session

A jam session is a relatively informal musical event, process, or activity where musicians, typically instrumentalists, play improvised solos and vamp on tunes, songs and chord progressions. To "jam" is to improvise music without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements, except for when the group is playing well-known jazz standards or covers of existing popular songs. Original jam sessions, also 'free flow sessions', are often used by musicians to develop new material (music) and find suitable arrangements. Both styles can be used simply as a social gathering and communal practice session. Jam sessions may be based upon existing songs or forms, may be loosely based on an agreed chord progression or chart suggested by one participant, or may be wholly improvisational. Jam sessions can range from very loose gatherings of amateurs to evenings where a jam session coordinator or host acts as a "gatekeeper" to ensure that only appropriate-level performers take the stage, to sophisticated improvised recording sessions by professionals which are intended to be broadcast live on radio or TV or edited and released to the public.

Extended play musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

Fat Mike American musician, producer, lead vocalist, and bassist

Michael John Burkett, known professionally as Fat Mike, is an American musician and producer. He is the bassist and lead vocalist for the punk rock band NOFX and the bassist for the punk rock supergroup cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Fat Mike started out with his first band False Alarm in 1982. He recorded the song "Self Destruction" that was on the False Alarm album, Buspar for Bedbug. Mike played in False Alarm until 1983. False Alarm went on to make three records and recorded with Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys. Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones wrote and recorded the song "False Alarm" for the band with Paul Kostabi False Alarm's guitar player.

After signing with Fat Wreck Chords, Tintari and White left the band. [10] The remaining members then spent the next few months looking for another drummer capable of playing double-time beats at a rapid pace. [6] During this period, the band Good Riddance found their new drummer, and sent Rise Against the audition tape of their number two choice, Brandon Barnes. A mutual friend gave Barnes' phone number to Principe, and after listening to Transistor Revolt, Barnes accepted the band's invitation. [10]

Jason Livermore (left) and Bill Stevenson (right) produced Revolutions per Minute at the Blasting Room. The duo would go on to produce four of Rise Against's next five albums. Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore.JPG
Jason Livermore (left) and Bill Stevenson (right) produced Revolutions per Minute at the Blasting Room. The duo would go on to produce four of Rise Against's next five albums.

With their new lineup finalized, Rise Against began work on their debut studio album, The Unraveling . Recording sessions took place in late 2000, at Sonic Iguana Studios in Lafayette. [2] [11] Wleklinski served as an assistant engineer under producer Mass Giorgini, and later remarked on the grueling workdays: "12-hour days for 4 of those weeks, and then 22-24 hours per day during that last week of tracking. These were the times of 'If you don't play it right, you have to play it again,' not 'That was good enough, I'll edit it so it's on time." [2] The Unraveling was released on April 24, 2001. [2] Although the album failed to reach any record charts, it did receive positive reviews from critics, who commended the raw and unadulterated music. [11] [12] [13] [14] To promote the album, Rise Against toured extensively throughout North America and Europe. [4] [15] While on tour, Wleklinski left the band due to several complaints from McIlrath. Rumor spread that Wleklinski was fired because of his long hair, although McIlrath derided these claims. [16] Phillip Hill stood in as the lead guitarist while on tour, after which White returned as a replacement. [4]

Less than a year later, White left the band for a second time, and was replaced by Todd Mohney, McIlrath's roommate and former bandmate. [7] [10] When it came time to record their second album, Revolutions per Minute , McIlrath noted that the band was suffering from an "identity crisis". Fat Wreck Chords was known for a specific pop punk sound, and Rise Against wanted to find a producer that could highlight the heavier side of their music. [7] They decided on Bill Stevenson—the former drummer of the punk band Descendents—and Jason Livermore to produce the album. [17] Revolutions per Minute was recorded at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, from November to December 2002. [18] The band members developed a strong rapport with Stevenson and Livermore, and the two parties would eventually collaborate on four of next five Rise Against albums. [7]

Revolutions per Minute was released on April 8, 2003. [19] Like The Unraveling, it failed to reach any major record charts, but did reach number thirty-five on the Independent Albums chart in the United States. [20] Critics praised the album for its impassioned lyrics and unique blend of hardcore punk and melodic hardcore; Brian Hiatt of Rolling Stone called Revolutions per Minute "easily among the finest punk records of the past decade". [6] [19] [21] [22] To support the album, Rise Against traveled with other Fat Wreck Chord bands like Anti-Flag, None More Black, and No Use for a Name on North American and Japan based tours, [23] and participated in the 2003 Warped Tour in North America. [24] When asked about the band's early years with Fat Wreck Chords, Principe said: "Our goal was to be on Fat Wreck Chords and just sell enough records so that when we were home from tour, we wouldn't have to get jobs...Of course, that was all before we had families and children and numerous responsibilities. That was the beauty. And then the longer we did it things just kept coming our way." [25]

Rising popularity (2004–2007)

Rise Against's extensive touring schedule not only helped to establish an early fanbase, but also attracted the attention of major record labels, including Dreamworks Records. [26] [27] The general consensus among Fat Wreck Chords musicians was that major record labels sacrifice musical integrity in exchange for commercial profit. Rise Against held the same belief, but eventually came to the conclusion that unlike other labels, DreamWorks supported their politically charged lyrics. According to McIlrath: "Their faith in what we do and the fact that they cared about stuff we cared about was an eye-opener." [27] The band signed with Dreamworks in September 2003, [27] and was given complete creative control to record their major record label debut album, Siren Song of the Counter Culture . [7]

The band went into the album with the assumption that Dreamworks was going to drop them at any moment, so they wanted to take advantage of the opportunity by working with their "dream producer". They chose Garth Richardson, who was known for his work with heavier sounding bands like Rage Against the Machine and Sick of It All. [28] While writing songs for the album, Rise Against's lineup once again changed; Mohney quit, and was replaced by Chris Chasse of the band Reach the Sky. [28] The recording sessions for Siren Song of the Counter Culture were marred by numerous distractions and inconveniences, the biggest of which was the transition from Dreamworks to Geffen Records. [28] In November 2003, Dreamworks was acquired by Universal Music Group, and eventually merged with Geffen. [29] The transition period between labels left Rise Against without an A&R representative, and little acknowledgement from Geffen executives. [8] [29]

Siren Song of the Counter Culture was released on August 10, 2004. [30] For the first six months, the album sold poorly, and attracted little fanfare. [29] Rise Against's incessant touring resulted in greater exposure and an eventual increase in sales. [7] It became the band's first album to reach the Billboard 200, peaking at number 136, [31] and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America  (RIAA), denoting shipments of 500,000 copies. [32] Siren Song of the Counter Culture was praised for its lyrical content, but drew some criticism for a lack of individually memorable songs and perceived overproduction. [30] [33] [34] [35] Three songs from the album were released as singles: "Give It All", "Swing Life Away", and "Life Less Frightening". [36] All three songs charted on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in the United States. [37] "Give It All" and "Swing Life Away" in particular are credited as the band's breakthrough singles, helping Rise Against achieve mainstream appeal. [38] [39]

McIlrath performing with Rise Against during the 2006 Warped Tour in Vancouver Tim McIlrath 2006.png
McIlrath performing with Rise Against during the 2006 Warped Tour in Vancouver

After a year and a half of touring, Rise Against reconvened at the Blasting Room to record their fourth album, The Sufferer & the Witness . [40] The band members were dissatisfied with Richardson's contributions to Siren Song of the Counter Culture, as he produced a more polished and heavier album than their previous works. As a result, they decided to return to Stevenson and Livermore, whom they felt had accurately captured the raw punk sound they strove for on Revolutions per Minute. [6] Unlike the stressful recording sessions for Siren Song of the Counter Culture, the band had a much more enjoyable time with The Sufferer & the Witness, as they no longer sought the approval of Geffen executives. According to McIlrath: "It went great, the songs just flowed out of us. There were really few questions and the song lyrics would just come out of us, it went really well and everyone really liked them." [41]

The Sufferer & the Witness was released on July 4, 2006. [42] The album sold 48,327 copies in its first week of release in the United States, and peaked at number ten on the Billboard 200. [43] The Sufferer & the Witness also charted in seven other countries, including number five on the Canadian Albums Chart, making it the band's first album to chart outside of the United States. [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] It was certified gold in three countries, and platinum by Music Canada. [32] [50] [51] [52] The album was well received by critics, who praised the production value, and noted how Rise Against was able to mature in their sound and simultaneously retain their punk roots. [42] [53] [54] [55]

Three songs from The Sufferer & the Witness were released as singles: "Ready to Fall", "Prayer of the Refugee", and "The Good Left Undone". [56] These three songs also charted on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, with "Prayer of the Refugee" and "The Good Left Undone" in particular peaking within the top ten. [37] Rise Against supported the album with The Sufferer & the Witness Tour throughout the second half of 2006 and all of 2007. The band was a headliner on the 2006 Warped Tour, [57] during which author and filmmaker Davy Rothbart recorded several of the band's live performances, and interviewed some of their fans. This footage was used in the Rise Against DVD documentary Generation Lost. [58] Prior to a 2007 tour with My Chemical Romance, Chasse left the band, citing touring fatigue as the reason for his departure; Zach Blair of the band Only Crime joined shortly thereafter, as Rise Against's fifth different guitarist. [59] At the time he received the call about joining Rise Against, Blair was a construction worker living paycheck to paycheck. [60]

International success (2008–2013)

McIlrath and Principe had been writing songs for a new album throughout The Sufferer & Witness tour, and in December 2007, the band members went to the Blasting Room to record their fifth studio album Appeal to Reason . [61] This was the third Rise Against album to be produced by Stevenson and Livermore, and the band members had grown accustomed to the duo's work style. According to McIlrath: "[Stevenson's] got such a work ethic, just an amazing work ethic, and Livermore too, and the whole studio, all the people that work there." [62] Blair went into the album with the goal to fit in seamlessly with the other band members, or as he put it "If you listen to every record this band had out, you could tell that Zach Blair played on this record". [63] He took influence from how Nels Cline sounded on the album Sky Blue Sky when he joined Wilco. [63] Blair was already well acquainted with Stevenson before joining Rise Against, as he and Stevenson were in Only Crime. Stevenson helped Blair replicate the sound of past Rise Against guitarists. [63]

Principe said that the band recorded Appeal to Reason over a two-month period starting in January 2008, which was the longest they had ever spent on one album. [61] While recording Appeal to Reason, Rise Against released the EP This Is Noise in early 2008, a compilation of some of their lesser known songs. [64] They also took breaks to perform at some festivals, such as the KROQ Weenie Roast in Irvine, California and the Download Festival in Donington Park, England. [65]

Appeal to Reason was released on October 7, 2008. [66] It was the first Rise Against album to be released by Interscope Records. [67] In the United States, the album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, making it Rise Against's highest charting album at the time. The album sold 64,000 copies in its first week of release, and by December 2010, it had sold 482,000 copies. [68] [69] Rise Against's popularity continued to grow internationally, with Appeal to Reason charting highly in several countries including number one in Canadian Albums Chart. [70] [44] [71] [72] [73] Appeal to Reason marked a musical shift for Rise Against to a more mainstream and radio-friendly sound, which led to division among critical opinions. Some critics commended the album's more radio-friendly sound, [74] [75] [76] while other critics found the music to be stale, and bemoaned Rise Against for abandoning their punk roots. [77] [78] [79]

Blair and McIlrath playing on the Appeal to Reason tour in Hampton Beach Zach Blair Tim McIlrath Rise Against live 2008.jpg
Blair and McIlrath playing on the Appeal to Reason tour in Hampton Beach

Like with the previous two albums, three songs from Appeal to Reason were released as singles: "Re-Education (Through Labor)", "Audience of One", and "Savior". [80] [81] [82] All three songs charted highly on the Modern Rock Tracks chart; [37] "Savior" in particular held the record for the most consecutive weeks spent on both the Hot Rock Songs and Modern Rock Tracks charts, with sixty-three and sixty-five weeks respectively. [83] [lower-alpha 1] In the midst of Appeal to Reason's singles, Rise Against also released three EPs in 2009, including a short split album with Anti-Flag. [85] [86] [87]

To promote the album, Rise Against embarked on the Appeal To Reason Tour, which began with United States-based tour with Thrice, Alkaline Trio, and The Gaslight Anthem. [88] Rise Against then co-headlined a 2009 tour with Rancid throughout the summer months, [89] which was followed by a short tour of the United Kingdom in November, supported by the bands Thursday and Poison the Well. [90] Some of the 2009 performances were recorded and compiled in the 2010 DVD Another Station: Another Mile . These performances were interspersed with interviews of the band members about the process of recording an album. [91]

Rise Against finished recording their sixth studio album, Endgame , in January 2011, after recording some last-minute guest vocals. The lyrics of the album focus on real world events, such as Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. [92] According to McIlrath, although the lyrics discuss grim topics, they actually take on a positive view and were written from the perspective of: "What if the place on the other side of this transition is a place we'd all rather be living in?" [93] On January 12, 2011, Rise Against announced the release date of Endgame as March 15, 2011. [94] Although Spin Magazine labeled Endgame as a concept album, on January 7, 2011, McIlrath tweeted a clarifying message stating that "the record is not a concept record and, fret not, has absolutely nothing to do with the Dixie Chicks." [95] The first single from the album, "Help Is on the Way", debuted on KROQ on January 17. A second song from the album, "Architects", was debuted and released digitally on February 15. As a promotion effort, the band embarked on a short tour of South America in February and then a month-long tour of Europe in March. Upon returning to the United States, the band announced a U.S. spring tour with Bad Religion and Four Year Strong.

Rise Against performing in 2011. Rise Against 2011.jpg
Rise Against performing in 2011.

Endgame is notable for being the first album to establish Rise Against's stance on homophobia with the third song on the album, "Make It Stop (September's Children)," [96] which references the September 2010 suicides of teenagers in the LGBT community.[ citation needed ] Upon the album's release, the band put a message on their website inviting listeners to apply the songs' messages to current events, in addition to those on which they were originally based.[ citation needed ]

On May 10, 2011, the band released a 7" split vinyl with Face to Face. The 7" features 2 songs, with each band covering a song by the other band. [97] [98] In August 2011, Rise Against made appearances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. [99] The band was the main support act for the Foo Fighters' fall US tour 2011. Rise Against supported the Foo Fighters on 9 dates in September, with Mariachi El Bronx as the opening act. [100] After this, the band announced a tour of Canada throughout October 2011, supported by Flogging Molly and Black Pacific. The tour consisted of nine dates. [101] Rise Against contributed a cover of "Ballad of Hollis Brown" to Chimes of Freedom , a tribute album of Bob Dylan songs produced in February 2012 to commemorate Amnesty International's 50th anniversary.

Rise Against embarked on a two-leg US tour with A Day to Remember and The Menzingers in the spring of 2012. [102] Leg one ended with the band launching another European tour. The band continued back to Europe for the summer months while doing a slew of festivals along the way. To end 2012, the band announced the return to the US with a fall tour with Gaslight Anthem and Hot Water Music. [103] The tour included two shows in Arizona, which the band had not played since 2009 due to the Sound Strike. [104] On January 2, 2013, vocalist Tim McIlrath told Rolling Stone that Rise Against was "focusing on recharging [their] batteries" after two years of touring in support of Endgame. [105] In March 2013, Rise Against played their first ever performances on African soil when they performed in South Africa for the Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town legs of RAMFest, where they headlined the festival along with the UK band Bring Me the Horizon. [106] [107]

Recent years (2014–present)

Rise Against performing at Open Air St. Gallen in 2015 Rise Against 2015 black and white.jpg
Rise Against performing at Open Air St. Gallen in 2015

The extensive touring schedule surrounding Endgame took a toll on the band members, and in 2013 they decided to take a year long hiatus. [108] [109] According to Blair: "You're constantly gone. You don't feel like you live anywhere". He also discussed how the other three band members lives had evolved, and were away from their families for months on end. "It's an interesting thing to kind of realize that and kind of get out of the bubble, get out of the bus, and go 'Oh, geez, we actually have lives outside of what we do.'" [110] In January 2014, the band members reconvened at the Blasting Room to record Rise Against's seventh album The Black Market . [110] The band members used new recording techniques, such as greater usage of analog signals on a Kemper amplifier, and an Evertune bridge to keep the guitars in tune. [111] As McIlrath put it: "I want the songs to feel a certain way. I want the songs to hit the guy and the girl who don't really care about guitar tones." [7]

The Black Market was released on July 15, 2014. In the United States, the album entered at number three on the Billboard 200 and sold 53,000 copies in its first week. [112] It was their fourth consecutive album to debut within the top ten on the Billboard 200, and it spent eleven weeks on the chart. [31] The Black Market was an international success, in particular in Canada, where it became Rise Against's third consecutive album to reach number one. [70] [44] Reviews were generally positive; critics praised the more introspective lyrics, but often bemoaned the music as formulaic and stale. [113] [114] [115] To promote the album, Rise Against toured throughout 2014 and 2015 with several other rock bands, such as Emily's Army, Touché Amoré, and Killswitch Engage. [116]

On April 18, 2017, the band posted a new mysterious website which appeared to show a cryptic tracklist, song length and an announcement date "4.20.2017" for the new album. [117] [118] On April 20, 2017, Rise Against announced the title of their new album Wolves which was released on June 9, 2017 via Virgin Records. The album's lead single, "The Violence", was released on April 20, 2017. [119] To promote the album, the band announced a headlining North American tour in fall 2017 with Pierce the Veil and White Lung supporting. [120]

On March 29, 2018, the band's Instagram account published a video announcing a project entitled The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol. 1 . [121] A later announcement described the album as having "the songs stripped down, with alternate instrumentation, unique orchestration and a surprise or two" and announced a release date of July 27, 2018. [122] The band released an acoustic version of "House on Fire" from Wolves as a single for the album on May 18 and an acoustic version of "Like the Angel" from Revolutions per Minute on June 8. [122] [123]

Artistry

Musical style

Critics have described Rise Against's musical style as punk rock, [124] [125] hardcore punk [126] [127] and melodic hardcore. [128] [129] The band's songs emphasize melody, catchy hooks, aggressive movements, and rapid-paced tempo. [70] [130] [131] Guitarists McIlrath and Blair focus on speed riffing and multi-layered choruses, [132] while bassist Principe uses aggressive picking to lock in with the snare and kick of the drums. [133] Likewise, drummer Barnes follows the guitars, stating: "Sometimes I'll do it naturally, or we'll talk about different ways to accent things - fills from the snare or toms, or some big crashes." [134] The band members have noted the influence of several punk bands, in particular Black Flag and Minor Threat. McIlrath commented: "We're emulating Minor Threat and Black Flag. Who knows, maybe if Ian MacKaye was wearing eyeliner then I would be." [28] Other bands that have influenced Rise Against include 7 Seconds, [135] AFI, [136] Bad Brains, [137] Bad Religion, [138] Cave In, [136] Dead Kennedys, [28] Descendents, [28] Fugazi, [136] Jawbreaker, [139] Los Crudos, [140] Nirvana, [140] Pennywise, [138] Ramones, [141] Refused, [139] and Social Distortion. [138]

During the early part of its career, Rise Against's music was characterized by a gritty combination of hardcore punk and melodic hardcore. [144] [145] The Unraveling accentuated a raw punk sound, while Revolutions per Minute featured an overall darker tone. [146] According to Principe: "The Unraveling was more of us just trying to figure out how we functioned as a band and what type of band we wanted to be. It all just came together with [Revolutions per Minute], my songwriting style and Tim's, it really meshes well together and I think it shows on that record. [17] Although this darker tone carried into Siren Song of the Counter Culture, McIlrath specially mentioned that The Sufferer & the Witness was an attempt to return to Rise Against's punk roots. [147] Corey Apar of AllMusic wrote "[The Sufferer & the Witness] is basically one shout-along, mosh-worthy song after another". [42] In early Rise Against songs, McIlrath would often shift between clean vocals and screaming vocals. [148] [lower-alpha 2]

With the release of Appeal to Reason, Rise Against's music took a noticeable turn toward a more accessible and radio-friendly sound, with greater emphasis on production value. [149] [150] The New York Times reviewer Jon Pareles felt Appeal to Reason was more tune-oriented than the band's previous material, [148] while Davey Boy of Sputnikmusic wrote how Endgame was "slickly produced to enhance the melodic nature of songs". [151] Principe believes the shift in sound resulted from the longevity of the Rise Against. He explained that the band members grew as musicians, and wanted to challenge themselves with new musical directions. [17] For example, at the insistence of Blair, Rise Against began to incorporate more guitar solos into their music. [132] McIlrath's screaming vocals became less prevalent in Appeal to Reason, a trend that would continue in subsequent albums. [148]

Lyrics

Rise Against is known for their outspoken social commentary, which often permeates their lyrics. [152] Throughout the years, the band has discussed a wide range of topics, including animal rights, economic injustice, environmental disasters, forced displacement, homophobia, and modern warfare. [42] [152] [153] Political corruption is another subject commonly found in their lyrics, and as a result, Rise Against is often labeled as a "political band". [154] Some journalists have stated that the band has specifically targeted the Republican administrations of George W. Bush and Donald Trump, while promoting liberal ideologies. [155] [156]

As the band's primary lyricist, McIlrath is wary of the political label. "In this sort of current climate of music, we stand out simply because I think there are bands that are avoiding the question. So, it makes us sort of an anomaly and I think that’s where we get the tag 'protest music' or 'political punk rock'". [154] He also noted how the band's lyrics discuss these topics in general terms, instead of delving into the specifics. [157] In a 2006 interview, McIlrath said: "I think that a lot of the problems we deal with today in the world are the ones that have been plaguing society for centuries and probably will be here a hundred years from now...There's a bigger picture than just the Bush administration and specific problems of 2006, and I want people to relate to that, even if they're listening to [our music] 10 years from now." [157] Principe noted the band does not attempt to preach their beliefs, but instead encourage listeners to become involved, and learn about pertinent issues affecting society. [158]

Not all Rise Against songs discuss controversial topics. More personal stories about broken relationships and forgiveness are common lyrical themes, as is the concept of self-reflection. [157] [159] The Unraveling is an early example of this style of songwriting, as the majority of the album's songs focus on friendships and memories. [11] It was not until Revolutions per Minute that McIlrath began to integrate social issues into their music. [21] Despite the grim subject matter, Rise Against songs are often hopeful in nature, a decision the band conscientiously made from the very beginning. [8] Will Rausch of PopMatters wrote: "Unlike typical emo rants filled with despondency and arm chair philosophy, [Rise Against] songs deal with the reality that life sucks, but we must move on." [160]

Videography

Rise Against will often produce an accompanying music video for a single. These videos typically either tell a narrative or feature documentary-like footage. This documentary style of filming can be seen in the music videos for "Ready to Fall", "Re-Education (Through Labor)", "Ballad of Hollis Brown", and "I Don't Want to Be Here Anymore". These videos juxtapose footage of the band playing the song and footage of a certain societal issue such as gun violence or animal abuse, overlaid with damning facts about the issue. [161] For example, the video "Ballad of Hollis Brown" is about the dangers of industrialized farming and poverty in the United States, and features interviews with farmers who are struggling to stay afloat. [162]

Rise Against's narrative videos are also usually political in nature. [161] In the video for "Prayer of the Refugee" the band destroys products in a retail store, with intermittent shots of foreign workers making the store products. The goal was for the video to showcase how conventional business models allow for various human rights violations. [163] Some narrative videos follow the song's lyric thread, such as in the Hurricane Katrina based video for "Help Is on the Way", while other videos are used to enforce the song's message, such as the band's anti-homophobic stance in the "Make It Stop (September's Children)" video. [161]

Discussing the "Ready to Fall" video and need for politicized music videos, McIlrath said: "We looked at it from the perspective of hijacking the airwaves. If they’re gonna give us three and a half minutes of airtime on TV that means we can play anything, we can make a video that would be intense even on mute". [161] Rise Against has garnered some controversy for their music videos, particularly for perceived violent themes. The video for "Re-Education (Through Labor)" features the Chicago sect of the Moped Army planting and detonating bombs throughout the city. Some viewers saw this as an act of condoning terrorism. [161] The video for "The Violence", which was to feature the detonation of busts of the forty-three United States Presidents on a plot of farmland, was prohibited by the farm's board of directors for "anti-government themes". [164]

Politics and ethics

All of the group's members are vegetarians and active supporters of PETA, an animal rights organization. [165] Their video for the single "Ready to Fall" contains footage of factory farming, rodeos, and sport hunting, as well as deforestation, melting ice caps, and forest fires. The group has called the video the most important video they have ever made. In February 2012 the band released a cover of the Bob Dylan song "Ballad of Hollis Brown" as part of a benefit for Amnesty International. [166] The Director's Cut of the video was first made available to a PETA website. [167] In 2009, the band was voted Best Animal-Friendly Band by PETA. [168] In addition to being vegetarians, all the members of Rise Against, with the exception of Brandon Barnes, are straight edge; that is, they refrain from consuming alcohol or using drugs. [169]

In addition to their support of animal rights, the band has voiced their support for Democratic and Libertarian causes. During the 2004 United States presidential election, the band was part of Punkvoter, [170] a political activist group, and appeared on the Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 compilation. The Rock Against Bush project raised over $1 million for then presidential candidate John Kerry. During the 2008 presidential election, the band members endorsed Barack Obama. [171] In a news bulletin in early 2009, the band stated: "Few things are more exciting than watching Bush finally release America as his eight year hostage." [172]

Vans shoes

On May 23, 2007 Rise Against announced their endorsement of a new line of Vans shoes that would be "completely vegan in consideration to [their] animal rights efforts". [173] In response to criticism spawning from rumors of Vans' use of sweatshops, [174] Rise Against released a statement to address the matter on both their MySpace profile and website saying,

Band members

Timeline

Rise Against

Discography

Related Research Articles

<i>Siren Song of the Counter Culture</i> 2004 studio album by Rise Against

Siren Song of the Counter Culture is the third studio album by American rock band Rise Against. Released on August 10, 2004, it was Rise Against's first album on a major record label, after the band signed with DreamWorks Records in September 2003. The recording sessions for the album with producer Garth Richardson were split between two studios in British Columbia. These sessions were marred by numerous distractions and inconveniences, such as the absorption of DreamWorks into Geffen Records, the arrival of a new guitarist, accusations of the band selling out, and the birth of lead vocalist Tim McIlrath's child.

<i>The Sufferer & the Witness</i> 2006 studio album by Rise Against

The Sufferer & the Witness is the fourth studio album by American rock band Rise Against, released on July 4, 2006. A hardcore punk and melodic hardcore album, it comprises thirteen tracks that focus on melody, catchy hooks, and rapid-paced tempo. Social and political issues as well as the concept of self-reflection constitute the majority of the lyrical content.

Ready to Fall 2006 single by Rise Against

"Ready to Fall" is the first single by the punk rock band Rise Against from their fourth studio album, The Sufferer & The Witness (2006).

Swing Life Away 2005 single by Rise Against

"Swing Life Away" is a song by American rock band Rise Against. It is an acoustic ballad, with a sharp guitar sound and optimistic lyrics about daily life and the working class. The song was first included in the 2003 compilation album Punk Goes Acoustic, and was later expanded upon in the band's 2004 album Siren Song of the Counter Culture.

Prayer of the Refugee 2006 single by Rise Against

"Prayer of the Refugee" is a song by American rock band Rise Against, featured on their fourth studio album The Sufferer & the Witness (2006). The lyrics were written by lead vocalist Tim McIlrath, and deal with the themes of forced displacement and the societal issues surrounding refugees. The song uses a contrasting verse-chorus form, with slow and melancholic verses against fast-paced and chaotic choruses. It was released as The Sufferer & the Witness's second single on December 6, 2006.

Brandon Barnes American musician

Brandon Barnes is an American musician and producer from Denver, Colorado. He is best known as the drummer for the punk rock band Rise Against. Brandon is also a strict vegetarian, an animal rights advocate and actively promotes PETA with his band. He is the only member of Rise Against who does not identify as straight edge.

Rise Against discography

Rise Against is an American rock band from Chicago. Their discography consists of eight studio albums, two compilation album, nine extended plays, sixteen singles, three promotional singles, two documentaries, and twenty music videos. The band was formed in 1999, under the original name Transistor Revolt. After signing a recording contract with Fat Wreck Chords, they changed their name to Rise Against, and released The Unraveling in 2001, and Revolutions Per Minute in 2003. The band then switched to Geffen Records the following year, and made their major record label debut with Siren Song of the Counter Culture. In addition to becoming the band's first album to reach the Billboard 200, where it peaked at number 136, the success of the singles "Give It All" and "Swing Life Away" helped Rise Against achieve mainstream appeal.

<i>Another Station: Another Mile</i> live album by Rise Against

Another Station: Another Mile is the second DVD from rock band Rise Against. It was released on October 5, 2010, through Interscope Records. This DVD contains live, raw, and unreleased footage of the band's performances as well as documentary segments directed by Davy Rothbart, Rachel Dengiz & David Meiklejohn. The live footage is intervened with the documentary segments, which vary from the band backstage, on tour and on the road, to each band member revealing the creative process that goes into making a Rise Against song and the history of each individual band member. The band also stated that all the live footage on the DVD is raw and unedited, capturing exactly the same energy of the live show. The trailer for the DVD features the intro riff to the song "Wait For Me" as well as an early version of "Endgame", both from the 2011 album, "Endgame." The DVD features no actual menu, and all of the footage included is bunched into a single feature. The DVD features a total of 14 tracks performed live, recorded on different dates and at different locations. The title for the DVD come's from the lyrics of the song "The Dirt Whispered" from Rise Against's album Appeal to Reason.

Help Is on the Way song by American punk rock band Rise Against

"Help Is on the Way" is a song by American rock band Rise Against, featured on their sixth studio album Endgame (2011). Inspired by lead vocalist Tim McIlrath's visit to New Orleans, the song is about the slow response time for aid to disaster stricken areas. It incorporates elements of punk rock and melodic hardcore, with lyrics that allude to Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. "Help Is on the Way" premiered on KROQ-FM on January 17, 2011, and was later released as Endgame's lead single on January 25.

Make It Stop (Septembers Children) 2011 single by Rise Against

"Make It Stop " is the second single from punk rock band Rise Against's sixth studio album, Endgame. The single was released to digital music outlets on May 30, 2011. The song impacted radio the following day. It peaked at number six on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart and number eight on Billboard's Rock Songs chart. The song is part of the It Gets Better Project.

Satellite (Rise Against song) third single from punk rock band Rise Againsts sixth studio album, Endgame

"Satellite" is a song by American rock band Rise Against, featured on their sixth studio album Endgame (2011). Written by lead vocalist Tim McIlrath, "Satellite" expresses the idea that the band stood by their social and political beliefs, and that they would not conform to mainstream media. The song first premiered on March 4, 2011 in a webisode series detailing the recording process of Endgame, but was not released as the album's third single until November 1, 2011. The song impacted radio on the same day.

"Wait for Me" is a song by American rock band Rise Against, featured on their sixth studio album Endgame (2011). The song impacted radio on June 12, 2012. Written by lead vocalist Tim McIlrath, the track is notable for being one of the slower songs off the album. It was released as a promotional single in 2012, and was the final single released for Endgame. The song garnered positive reviews from critics, with praise directed towards the track's slower and methodical nature. It reached number 14 on the US Rock Songs chart, and was featured on the "Best Songs of the year" lists by KROQ-FM and WSUN-FM.

<i>The Black Market</i> (Rise Against album) 2014 studio album by Rise Against

The Black Market is the seventh studio album by American rock band Rise Against, released on July 15, 2014 through Interscope Records. A melodic hardcore album, The Black Market comprises twelve songs that focus on mid-tempo rhythm, vocal hooks, and strong bridge sections. The album's thematically introspective lyrics are a departure from the band's typical social and political topics, and revolve around dark subject matters.

References

Notes

  1. "Sail" by Awolnation has since broken the longevity record on the Hot Rock Songs chart, where it spent ninety-six weeks. [84]
  2. In rock music terminology, clean vocals are used in the context of aggressive music to differentiate singing from screaming or growling. The latter two are sometimes collectively called unclean vocals.

Footnotes

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