Rage Against the Machine is an American rap metal band, formed in 1991 in Los Angeles, California. They are often mis-categorized as nu metal or rapcore. The band's line-up comprises vocalist Zack De La Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk. Critics have noted Rage Against the Machine for its "fiercely polemical music, which brewed sloganeering leftist rants against corporate America, cultural imperialism, and government oppression into a Molotov cocktail of hardcore punk, hip hop, alternative metal, and funk.
Rage Against the Machine drew inspiration from early heavy metal instrumentation, as well as rap acts such as Afrika Bambaataa, Public Enemy and Beastie Boys.
In 1992, the band released its self-titled debut album, which became a commercial success, leading to a slot in the 1993 Lollapalooza. The band did not release a follow-up record until 1996, with Evil Empire. The band's third album The Battle of Los Angeles was released in 1999. During their initial nine year run, they became one of the most popular and influential political bands in contemporary music.
Shortly after breaking up in 2000, the band released the cover album Renegades. De la Rocha & Morello both started low-key solo careers; the rest of the band formed the rock supergroup Audioslave with Chris Cornell, then-former frontman of Soundgarden, which disbanded in 2007, and in April of that year, Rage Against the Machine performed together for the first time in seven years at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The band has continued to perform at many live venues and festivals around the world since 2007 but have not recorded any new studio material, as of yet.
Due to a popular Facebook Campaign in 2009, the band managed to beat Joe McElderry, winner of the X Factor 2009, to the UK Christmas number one spot. This broke the chain of X Factor winners reaching the Christmas number one spot. To celebrate, Rage Against the Machine held a free gig to show their gratitude towards their fans.