Last week, the New York Times reported that the Congressman named RATM as one of his musical favorites. This came as a surprise to many as the rock band is known for its politically charged message, often bashing the government in their songs. In response to Ryan’s comments, Morello wrote an article in Rolling Stone magazine criticizing the congressman for naming the band as among one of his favorites.
“Paul Ryan’s love of Rage against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades,” said Morello.
“Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn’t understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but didn’t understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine.”
RATM was formed around 1991 and grew in popularity during the 90s. After the band broke up in 2000, their music remained fairly prevalent and in 2007, they briefly reunited just before the 2008 presidential election.
RATM mainstay, Zack De La Rocha expressed his thoughts on members of the Bush
administration during a concert in 2007. “They should be hung, and tried, and shot,” said De La Rocha.
Well-known for their political activism, the band supported the Occupy Wall Street movement. In an introduction to a poem written for fans on their website, De La Rocha wrote: “This poem is dedicated to the Occupy movement whose courage is changing the world, Stay strong. We are winning. – Zack.”
The band believes that Ryan’s budget plan exemplifies the opposite policies that RATM campaigns for in their lyrics. “Ryan claims that he likes Rage’s sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don’t care for PaulRyan’s sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage,” said Morello.
Morello suggested that Ryan did not ever really listen to the band’s lyrics. “Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening,” he said.