They have been a band and have toured the world for 15 years. They have been on independent and major labels. They are die hard PETA supporters, have stood up for animal rights, and have stayed true to their roots. They are also…
(Most of them)
While I am not the largest fan of them or their views, and this being my first attempt at being a “rock journalist,” I interviewed them with the romanticized vision of hanging with the band in a hazy, fucked up hotel room. Smoking cigarettes. Chugging bourbon out of the bottle.
Not the case. Not in our technologically driven cyber world.
I typed up the questions on the notepad on my iPhone. I emailed them to their manager. He emailed back Tim McIlrath’s (lead singer) responses. While I’m humbled he took the time to answer my silly questions, something is lost. It’ so impersonal. The human connection has fizzled away like the crispness of a stale beer. This saddens me because I like human interaction, I like punk, and I love beer. But I won’t sit here and grovel all over this article about how my mustered up fantasies of how rock interviews should be conducted have gone awry. So instead, here’s some meat to chew off the bone (no offense Rise Against).
Photo Credit | LeAnn Mueller
AltDaily: What are your most five important bands of all-time?
Tim McIlrath: Fugazi. Fugazi. Fugazi. Fugazi. Fugazi.
Favorite comedy of all-time?
What was the catalyst that propelled you to express your personal views through music?
So many artists, from Bob Dylan to Earth Crisis. Music as a vehicle for change is constantly underestimated.
In your 15 years of touring, what was the craziest shit you’ve ever seen?
We’ve received love letters and death threats. I guess you could say we’re polarizing.
If Bill Hicks were your documentarian, what would be your tour tell all autobiography be called? What would be some of the highlights?
It would be called What are You Rising Against? Highlights would include our legendary performance in Norfolk on Dec. 6th, 2014.
Did you choose punk or did punk choose you?
I guess at some point you choose to accept or reject ideas that embody punk. So if you identify with it, you choose it.
What Frank Sinatra song would you cover?
“My Way” a la Sid Vicious.
What are some of your favorite bands to tour with?
Pennywise, Rancid, Sick Of It All, Billy Talent, Tom Morello, The Bronx, The Gaslight Anthem, Hot Water Music and Descendents.
In a perfect world, where everyone respected every living thing, what do you think you would write about?
In that world, Rise Against would serve no purpose, so I’d gladly ride off into the sunset. Until then, we’re gonna be kicking and screaming.
Here are the questions he chose to omit:
With all your views on animal rights and pro PETA support, what is your spirit animal?
Being vegan and straight edge, pushing that aside, if you had to, drugs or bacon? What drugs?
Does touring ever get monotonous or does the crowd energy every night keep you excited?
Is there any message you would like me to relay to your fans?
Given those respectable answers, I still yearn for more. I will attempt to make contact once more this Saturday night. Here is their latest single. Hope to see you at the show.
JOIN ME! Rise Against will be performing with Neon Trees at the ’96X Winter Meltdown’ at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm. $35/$45 day of. Here’s more info.