Zack De La Rocha’s Obsession After Leaving Rage Against The Machine

When artists are set in their ways and have a clear message they want to portray with their sound and lyrics, it’s almost impossible to rail their creative visions down. At a certain point, after trying to go along with the band’s overall vibe, they don’t want to be tied down to their bandmates’ ideas or wants anymore, and ultimately it results in their decision to leave the band to focus on their solo careers.

If you know anything about Zack De La Rocha, you shouldn’t be surprised why he had to leave Rage Against the Machine. Zack was always an activist supporting left-wing politics through his music. His unapologetic lyrics showcased his point of view about the crucial social issues that most artists would tend to avoid. The politics in his lyrics started with his initial band, Inside Out, and after they disbanded, he carried his activist side to Rage Against the Machine.

Zack’s approach to politics and the activist nature reflected in Rage Against the Machine’s tracks right off the bat with their self-titled debut album, which caught the attention of many and made them stand out in the rock scene. The following albums, ‘Evil Empire’ and ‘The Battle of Los Angeles,’ were massive hits in the US, and the band’s fandom was growing by the day. Although everything seemed to be on track, Zack had issues with the direction the band was going.

Zack was persistent in keeping the political lyrics at the forefront more than the band had done for their past few albums. He had ideas of where he wanted to see Rage Against the Machine in terms of reflecting their political views and artistic visions, but the band struggled to reach a unanimous conclusion. So the news came in 2000 that Zack would leave the band to focus on his creative endeavors.

In a 2008 interview, the vocalist shared that he had extreme expectations for his next move in the music industry. He said, “When I left Rage, first off, I was very heartbroken, and secondly, I became obsessed with completely reinventing my wheel. In an unhealthy way, to a degree.”

He continued, “I forgot that old way of allowing yourself to be a conduit. When I was working with Trent and Shadow, I felt that I was going through the motions. Not that what was produced wasn’t great, but I feel now that I’ve maybe reinvented the base sounds that emanate from the songs.”

In hindsight, Zack’s break from the band before reuniting with them in 2007 opened his eyes to realize that although the tracks that they had done previously within Rage Against the Machine were good in their own right, he needed to go back to the roots of where his music originated back in the day when he started in the business.