Rage Against the Machine’s Evil Empire

Episode 20

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In the final episode of 2023, Mark and Thom take on Rage Against the Machine’s sophomore album, Evil Empire.

Tune in as Mark and Thom take you on a sonic journey back to the angst and electricity of their high school days, as they unpack Rage Against the Machine’s powerful second album, ‘Evil Empire.’ This trip down memory lane isn’t just about the music; it’s about the experiences and stories surrounding Rage Against the Machine that helped to shape these two into the fine gentlemen they are today.

Mark shares tales from his marching band days, discusses the unifying force of music, and the ways in which Rage Against the Machine’s played into their youthful rebellions.

Take a deeper look into Zach de la Rocha’s political fury and Tom Morello’s genre-bending guitar riffs as they explore their formative years and the revolutionary blend of rap, rock, and activism that defined Rage Against the Machine. Thom and Mark muse over the enigmatic impact Zach’s upbringing had on his music and politics, chuckle at Morello’s unexpected exotic dancing stint, and get real about the persistent relevance of their messages in today’s society. Even as they laugh about the odd intersection of Paul Ryan’s music taste and his politics, the depth of Rage Against the Machine’s work continues to resonate deeply with us.

Whether you’re a long-time fan or just curious about the band’s impact, you’ll find something to connect with as they reveal their personal top picks from the album and reflect on the live performances that left us awestruck. Enjoy this episode – it’s part analysis, part homage, and all passion for a band whose rage still echoes in the halls of music and protest.

Show notes

00:01:22 – Thom & Mark catch up, talk puppies, unexpected $700 Door Dash charges, and Mark announces Regan Ashton officially signing with Burro Buracho Records.
00:04:39 – Teasing Evil Empire, Rage Against the Machine’s stance on the military and policing in America, Zack de la Rocha’s amazing hair, and Tom Morello’s guitar skills.
00:05:21 – Mark and Thom’s intro to Rage Against the Machine.
00:07:50 – Political disclaimer and some Paul Ryan bashing.
00:19:41 – Zack’s early life
00:12:42 – Introing Tom Morello
00:16:07 – Zack meets Tom
00:17:48 – Self-titled release and the three-year wait for Evil Empire
00:18:55 – Production notes for Evil Empire
00:14:50 – Evil Empire cover art and critical reception
00:32:47 – People of the Sun
00:35:52 – Bulls on Parade
00:38:46 – Vietnow
00:40:08 – Revolver
00:42:10 – Snake Charmer
00:45:14 – Tire Me
00:46:54 – Down Rodeo
00:49:02 – Without a Face
00:50:19 – Wind Below
00:51:22 – Roll right
00:52:09 – Year of tha Boomerang
00:58:52 – Thom’s top 3
00:59:01 – Mark’s top 3

Hosted by
Mark & Thom

Mark is the creative director and co-founder of Burro Borracho Records. After high school he spent a few years working as a manager with Wherehouse Music. He occasionally plays drums and has been in such non-productive go nowhere band start ups that no one has ever heard of like The Unsex, Avenue C, The Reaganauts, and Next Time I See Murphy (which also saw him play some guitar and take on vocal duties). He was the original drummer for Quiet Morning & the Calamity but left the band to pursue a degree in Motion Graphic Design.
During his college years, as photo editor of his school newspaper, his review of Radiohead's Kid A won first prize for Critical Review in a California statewide collegiate journalism contest. After graduating with his degree he filled in back on drums for QM&TC's first national tour in support of their debut EP Son of the Sad Soul, which features the song Gambling On Old Tires which Mark co-wrote.
Thanks to the influence of his mother who spent all her years playing guitar and singing folk songs, as well as three older brothers with drastically differing musical tastes, Mark has always known the important role music can and should play and has been a music fan all his life but he's only been a stubborn overly opinionated asshole about the superiority of his on musical tastes since his early teenage years. At the last count he had about 1,200 compact discs. Yes, he still collects cds.

Thom's a digital marketer by day and armchair theologian, podcaster, writer, amateur home chef, and beer aficionado by night. When not working, he's a typical family man with a propensity to create.

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Episode 20