The Library

Rage Against The Machine – Stage Fighters

By Paul Stenning
Published by Independent Music Press

I definitely learnt a lot from this book. As well as containing a wealth of information about the infamous Rage Against The Machine‘s journey thus far, I was bombarded with more history of racial conflict and politics than was ever even alluded to at school. ‘Stage Fighters‘ is a book that chronicles how this seminal band came into being and what has fuelled them over the years to make their music and their various choices ie. the major label signing, the naked on-stage protest against censorship, the unwitting incitement of police rioting outside the Democrat Convention Center… I could go on. It is obvious that there were certain struggles within the band but unfortunately we don’t get a whole lot of inside information apart from what is quoted from an interview between the band and Ben Myers. Considering this is an unauthorized biography, quotation was certainly necessary to keep this book informative and full of fact.

The sections where the book perhaps loses the plot a bit are the more descriptive passages that are clearly personal observations. Whilst sometimes these are insightful and help the reader to connect with what might have been going on with Rage at the times being spoken of, often they are superfluous and I found my eyes skipping forward to read about the next horrendous miscarriage of justice that the band were intent on drawing public attention to. What certainly does come to light is the differences in outlook between each member of the band. Whilst every one of them was politically motivated, it was Zack who really carried most of the political weight and was most pro-active. Morello also felt passionately about certain matters but sometimes they didn’t always agree on what was the most important thing to be focusing their energies on. However, they were united in many things and this book will be a joy for any fan to read and a revelation for those not knowing to much about Rage Against The Machine to begin with.