Photo by David Shankbone
Prophets of Rage debuted with a surprise gig at the Whisky a Go-Go on May 31, 2016, and would go on to tour the country, culminating in a show in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. “No sleep ’til Cleveland!” — a play on The Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” — was a rallying cry at Prophets concerts.
Though the band stopped short of endorsing any one candidate, it’s hard not to see Trump’s victory as a worst-case-scenario defeat for the kind of progressive politics Prophets of Rage espoused. But Morello says he and his bandmates have an ongoing mission.
“This band was not a one-off, hooked to a particular election cycle,” he insists. In March, they completed their debut album with producer Brendan O’Brien, who worked on three of RATM’s four LPs. They played their first show outside the United States in Mexico City and begin a run of dates in South America and Europe this month. “We’re about to make the world rage.”
Morello has other irons in the fire, including an untitled solo project featuring “big Morellian riffs and some of my favorite EDM producers and artists, from Pussy Riot to Wu-Tang Clan.” But for now, Prophets of Rage remain his top priority — the “soundtrack to the resistance,” as he puts it.
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