Don’t believe what you heard. Rage Against the Machine may be getting back together, but not with Zach de la Rocha.
On Monday, a Twitter account managed by Rage Against The Machine fans sent out a link to a website promoting a project called Prophets of Rage. The tweet directed fans to a site with a countdown set for May 31, 7 a.m. PST and a hashtag #takethepowerback.
— RageAgainstheMachine (@RATM) May 17, 2016
Many fans assumed a Rage Against The Machine reunion was imminent. The band was coming back to protest Donald Trump, many reasoned. The band might finally be making good on a promise to repeat the 2011 LA Rising Concert. Or maybe they were playing festivals, like they had in 2007 when they headlined Coachella and Rock the Bells. Was a tour happening? A new album?
Whatever was going on, the music world was buzzing about the possibility of Zack de la Rocha reuniting with Tom Morello and the rest of Rage Against the Machine. But less than 24 hours later, hopes for a reunion were dashed.
Amplify learned and first reported that Prophets of Rage would not include Zach de la Rocha. Instead Prophets of Rage would be fronted by rappers Chuck D from Public Enemy and B-Real from Cyprus Hill and backed by RATM guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk. The five-person project had been quietly shopped around the music industry and likely green-lit, hence the big teaser campaign. Where the band ends up is unclear, and we have no details on tour dates or album plans.
We do know that Ken Levitan with Vector Management in Nashville is managing Prophets of Rage. Levitan is the Co-President of Vector and reps country acts like Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins, Emmylou Harris and Hank Williams Jr. Amplify reached out to Levitan for comment, but did receive a response.
The news that Zach de la Rocha was not participating in Prophets of Rage was disappointing to Rage Against the Machine fans, who hadn’t heard from the group since their last show July 30, 2011 at the L.A. Rising festival with Lauryn Hill, Rise Against and Muse at the LA Coliseum.
On Wednesday, Rolling Stone also reported that Prophets of Rage were “not a Rage-specific reunion,” according to their source. “There’s a lot more to it. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of exciting news to be revealed,” the source said.
We asked our own source why De la Rocha was not participating in the reunion.
“Probably for the same reason Rage isn’t working,” our source said. “They can’t function at some level.”
According to Billboard, “the band’s debut is set for Hollywood Palladium on June 3, with a show at L.A.’s Whisky a Go Go planned as well. A 2016 summer tour is also being considered.”