He's the main "rager" from the Fury Quartet, his lyrics are like machetes, and his rhymes are like grenades. He is a social and political activist who screams his views as loudly as possible, his name is Zack De La Rocha !!!
(Photo: KEVIN NIXON/CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE)
1. He was born on January 12, 1970, in California to a family with Mexican roots. Not just roots, a fighter's roots !!
2. His father was part of the Los Four movement in the 1970s. A group of Mexican artists who brought the Chicano culture (Mexican identity in the US) to the mainstream of American culture through the art of music, painting, sculpture, and more.
3. Zack's grandfather was a Mexican revolutionary who participated in the Mexican Revolution in the early 19th century. Later in life, Zack identified with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation following his grandfather.
4. When he was 6 his parents divorced and he moved with his mother to Irvine in east Los Angeles, where he absorbed the racism in full "glory."
5. Zack's first band was Juvenile Expression where he played guitar with his friend from school Tim Commerford.
6. In 1987 he was a guitarist in a punk rock band called Hard Stance who released two EPs. One in 1988 "Face Reality" and the second in 1989 "Hard Stance".
7. After the release of the second EP the singer left the band and Zack took the vocal role. They added guitarist Vic DiCara and changed their name to Inside Out.
8. In 1990 they released their only album No Spiritual Surrender. After the release of the album Zack pushed the band towards hip-hop with more political and protest lyrics but Vic wanted to go in a completely different direction, a year later the band disbanded.
9. One of the songs that the band performed at gigs but did not enter the album, is called "Rage Against The Machine".
10. After the band disbanded, Zack went more into hip-hop and started performing in clubs as part of rap battles. He caught the attention of a guitarist named Tom Morello who offered him to form a band.
11. Morello brought in drummer Brad Wilk who was previously auditioned for his previous band Lock Up and Zack brought in bassist Tim who was with him in the band Juvenile Expression and thus Rage Against The Machine was created.
(Photo: Gie Knaeps)
12. The band we know as the "Rage Quartet", recorded 12 songs on a tape bearing the band's name, and tried to get a contract with a big record company. By the way, not all the songs from the tape will be part of the band's debut album.
13. After the tape "traveled" through several offices and the band has performed many shows at various clubs in Los Angeles for a year, the quartet signed a record deal with Epic Records which was the only one that agreed to all of the band's terms.
14. In 1992, the Fury Quartet released their debut album bearing the band's name. The album was widely played on radio stations when the first single from the album "Killing in the Name" broke the waves of the radio. The album reached number one on the Billboard charts and number 45 on the Billboard 200. Just as the cover of the album captured a shocking moment, so the quartet rocked the world of music and shocked the world.
15. It is one of the few bands in history that has brought protest aggressively and blatantly and has gained commercial success and exposure in the popular media.
16. Despite many rumors about the breakup of the Fury Quartet, the quartet released their second album "Evil Empire" in April 1996. The album was a huge success and reached number one on the Billboard 200.
17. On April 13, 1996, the band appeared with the song "Bulls on Parade", the album's second single on the SNL show, and caused a great provocation with the US flags hanging upside down. The incident got the name "Flags Incident."
18. In 1999, the Fury Quartet released their third album, "The Battle of Los Angeles". Here too the album took first place in the Billboard 200, but in addition, it also gives the band a Grammy nomination in the Best Rock Album category. The album also entered the Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums of all time, at 426th place.
19. In 2000, the band shot the famous music video for the song "Sleep Now in the Fire" which was filmed on the sidewalk at the entrance to the New York Stock Exchange. The music video was directed by famed director Michael Moore who gave them the only instruction: "no matter what happens do not stop playing". The quartet and Moore were arrested during the filming of the music video after they also tried to break into the stock exchange, they managed to stop the stock exchange from operating for several hours, a rare event!
20. Zack's goal was to channel all his anger, frustration, and social & political protest into music. He believed that with the help of music, he would succeed in making a change, and that its influence would bring a change in the fans and listeners. But that was not the case. Despite the band's insane success and the popularity of its aggressive, protesting and even deadly songs, no change took place. Zack felt he was failing to influence the fans or that he was influencing but no change was taking place and that was what ultimately caused him to "give up".
21. In 2000 Zack announces that he is leaving the band in light of disagreements. He argued that the form of decision-making in the band failed and did not allow its continued existence.
22. In the same year and after the declaration of dissolution, their cover album "Renegades" was released. On the album, they pay tribute to: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Minor Threat, Eric B. & Rakim, EPMD, MC5, The Rolling Stones, Cypress Hill, and Devo.
23. The rest of the Fury Quartet without Zack, continued its journey as Audioslave who was joined by Chris Cornell.
24. Zack who was broken hearted, immediately started working on new materials. He initially worked on a solo album with several artists such as DJ Shadow, El-P, Muggs, Dan The Automator, Roni Size, and DJ Premier, but he archived the materials that were not formed into an album
25. Then he met Trent Reznor from NIN and together they worked on about 20 songs that were also not published. He claimed not that they were not good enough but he did not feel it was him, something was missing from him in the songs. You can find a song from this project in the soundtrack "Songs and Artists that Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11".
26. In 2007 the Fury Quartet (which included Zack) returned for a "one-off" performance at the Coachella Music Festival. Luckily the show was not a one-off and the band has continued their performances at major festivals over the years to this day !! We are still praying and waiting for them to arrive in Israel because not all of us have experienced the historic and crazy show that took place at the Cinerama in the 90s.
27. In 2008, Zack formed the supergroup One Day as a Lion together with drummer Jon Theodore of Queens Of The Stone Age. That same year they release their only EP, which bears the band's name but they disbanded three years later.
(Photo: One Day As A Lion)
28. In 2016 he released his first single "Digging for Windows" which was supposed to be the first single from his debut album but even that did not materialize.
29. On July 9, 2022, Rage Against the Machine played their first concert in 11 years at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. The show was supposed to be followed by a worldwide tour but it was canceled due to a leg injury de la Rocha sustained during a performance.
30. On January the band published a statement on social media, that they are done touring and playing live shows.
31. Zack is a definite political and social activist. He regularly attends conferences, demonstrations, and events in which he expresses support for his people and goes out against governments and political parties. He also voiced his opinion against the Israeli government in the famous performance in England for winning the Christmas song.