Tom Morello Says He Doesn’t Know if Rage Against the Machine Will Return
In a new interview, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello spoke about the band's uncertain future for the first time since Rage canceled their 2023 tour following an injury to vocalist Zack de la Rocha.
In 2022, the group returned to the stage for the first time in over a decade. But Rage Against the Machine had stayed mostly quiet in the months following that cancelation after de la Rocha gave a statement.
Morello, a prolific solo artist on top of Rage, talked to Rolling Stone about it all this week (March 28). But he seemed non-committal about a Rage return.
"We'll see," Morello cryptically offers writer Andy Greene when asked if Rage will continue touring. At another point, he simply states, "I don't know."
If there are more shows, they'll "announce it as a band," Morello adds. "I know as much as you do, honestly. Right now, we're in a time of healing."
When the interviewer followed up if that meant Rage were on indefinite hiatus, the guitarist responds, "There is no term. Rage Against the Machine is like the ring in Lord of the Rings. It drives men mad. It drives journalists mad. It drives record industry people mad."
He muses more, "They want the thing, and they're driven mad. If there are Rage shows, if there are not Rage shows, you'll hear from the band. I do not know. When there is news, it will come from a collective statement from the band. There is no news."
Morello also explained that, coincidentally enough, he had torn his Achilles tendon right before de la Rocha, who subsequently suffered the same injury. But de la Rocha injured his onstage at Rage's second show back in July 2022. He finished the tour through the next month performing seated onstage.
Why Did Rage Cancel Their 2023 Tour?
Had it not healed in time for 2023? Why cancel all of this year's dates? "Doctor's orders," Morello answers. "I don't know all the details, but there [are] dangers of flying. There's [the] danger of blood clots and all that. I wasn't in the room. But it's not the optimum care to be on the road with a newly-ruptured Achilles."
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Still, "Do Rage Against the Machine fans around the world deserve to see the band?" Morello asks. "Yes. Of course, they do. Would the times benefit from a culturally, spiritually, rocking-ly potent band like Rage being onstage? Of course. I don't have news for you on that. I apologize. There's nothing internal in our discussions that say either yes or no."
Meanwhile, Rage again appear among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominations this year. Unlike those against the Rock Hall's choices, Morello welcomes it.
"I'm a big proponent of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," the guitarist says. "I like the idea there's somewhere on the planet that celebrates music. [It's] Rage Against the Machine's fifth nomination for the Hall of Fame. The thing I share, with many fans of many bands, is that if the Rock Hall is going to be inducting artists of so many diverse genres, there are a lot of artists from multiple genres that deserve to get in."