Rage Against The Machine, the politically-charged California rock band that’s been on-and-off for the better part of two decades, is back on again, reuniting for a tour that — perhaps not coincidentally — will be happening at the same time as the 2020 election season.
As USA Today reports, the band’s original lineup of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk, will reunite for a full U.S. and world tour in 2020. The tour will open on March 26 in El Paso, Texas, and will wrap up on Sept. 12 in Austria.
The band’s opening act — on all tour dates except the May 19 appearance in Chicago — will be rap duo Run the Jewels.
That this latest reunion tour coincides with the presidential election season may very well be intentional. Indeed, the band, which has made politically-charged lyrics and activism part of its brand, intends to donate the proceeds from its El Paso, Phoenix, and La Cruses, New Mexico shows to unspecified “immigrants rights” charities. Those three cities all have large immigrant populations and the Trump administration has made curbing illegal immigration one of its top priorities.
Proceeds from tour dates in other cities will also go towards charitable causes, although it’s unclear, as of this writing, what those causes will be and if they’ll be politically-oriented.
“Through ticketing, volunteering and band donations, Rage Against the Machine will be working with multiple charities and activist organizations throughout the tour,” said a statement from the band.
Throughout their careers, the members of the band have publicly clashed with political figures, notably Republicans.
For example, back in 2012, as Rolling Stone reported at the time, guitarist Tom Morello found himself speaking on behalf of his bandmates when it was revealed that Republican politician Paul Ryan said he was a fan of the group.
“Ryan claims that he likes Rage’s sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don’t care for Paul Ryan’s sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage,” Morello wrote in an op-ed. He also jokingly asked which of the band’s songs was Ryan’s favorite, whether it was their song condemning the massacre of Native Americans or their song excoriating American imperialism.
Since emerging onto the music scene in the 1990s, the band has broken up and reunited a couple of times. They continued to tour and produce records as Audioslave after de la Rocha’s departure in 2007.