When Tom Morello corralled Chuck D and DJ Lord of Public Enemy, B-Real of Cypress Hill and the rhythm section from Rage Against The Machine for a supergroup called Prophets Of Rage in 2016, it appeared as the though the project might be a short-term proposition during an unusually contentious presidential campaign. But Donald Trump’s eventual election, and the success of the Prophets’ tour, gave the band renewed life. What started as a vehicle to perform classic songs by each member’s most famous groups has turned into a full-on working band, paving the way for Prophets Of Rage’s self-titled debut album due out this week.
“We had to figure out, if we had a great band chemistry onstage, do we have a decent/fair/good/excellent chemistry as songwriters? We didn’t know that,” Morello said in an interview last month at Uproxx’s Los Angeles headquarters. “The good news was we were in the studio for two weeks and we wrote 10 songs. For me it was the [most fun], most collaborative record I’ve worked on since the very first Rage record.”
Morello and Chuck D spoke to Uproxx a few days after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent, resulting in the death of anti-fascist protestor Heather Heyer. Unsurprisingly, both men had plenty of opinions about the current administration, as well as the “antifa” movement that has risen to oppose Trump’s far-right supporters.
“Do you think it’s morally righteous to punch a Nazi in the face,” I asked at one point.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Morello replied.