Published May 31, 2016The rumours were true: members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill have teamed up as a new supergroup called Prophets of Rage. The band make their live debut tonight (May 31) at Los Angeles' Whisky a Go Go.
While it had previously been speculated that a countdown clock on the now-named supergroup's website could lead to a full-on reunion from Rage Against the Machine, the new project does not feature vocalist Zack de la Rocha. Instead, Rage's Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk have united with Public Enemy's Chuck D and DJ Lord, as well as B-Real from Cypress Hill, to perform songs from collective back catalogues, as well as new material.
"We can no longer stand on the sidelines of history," reads a statement from the group. "Dangerous times demand dangerous songs. It's time to take the power back. It's time to make America RAGE again."
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the band explained how they got together, with Morello summing up the collective as "an elite task force of revolutionary musicians." The guitarist also teased new material, making mention of an original number titled "The Party Is Over," which is "an absolutely from-scratch collaboration."
More familiar tracks that the group have been rehearsing include Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name," Cypress Hill's "How I Could Just Kill a Man," and a handful of Public Enemy songs that the group explain have been remodelled and "Rage-ified."
"We're able to explore all of our catalogs, but there's different twists and turns," Morello said. "We've taken some Public Enemy tunes and Rage-ified them. The song 'Prophets of Rage' is a pretty obvious choice. 'She Watch Channel Zero' has become a Rage-[meets]-Black Sabbath bulldozer. 'Fight the Power' has morphed into something that you wouldn't expect. I also want to be able to go deeper into the Rage catalog than we have in the past. Let me tell you, you can put together an insane setlist from these three catalogs. It's insane."
For the time being, the Prophets of Rage have not made any plans beyond the gig at the Whisky A Go Go; however, a second countdown has been launched on the outfit's website, which expires tomorrow (June 1).
A KROQ interview with the group, explaining their genesis further, can be found below.