About Rise Against
Rise Against is an American punk rock band from Chicago, formed in 1999. The group's current line-up comprises vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tim McIlrath, lead guitarist Zach Blair, bassist Joe Principe and drummer Brandon Barnes. Rooted in hardcore punk and melodic hardcore, Rise Against's music emphasizes melody, catchy hooks, an aggressive sound and playstyle, and rapid tempos. Lyrically, the band is known for their outspoken social commentary, covering a wide range of topics such as political injustice, animal rights, humanitarianism, and environmentalism.
The band spent its first four years signed to the independent record label Fat Wreck Chords, on which they released two studio albums, The Unraveling and Revolutions per Minute . Both the albums were met with underground success, and in 2003 the band signed with the major label Dreamworks, which was absorbed by Geffen. Rise Against's major label debut Siren Song of the Counter Culture brought the band mainstream success, largely in part to the popularity of the singles "Give It All" and "Swing Life Away". The band's next album, The Sufferer & the Witness , peaked at number ten on the Billboard 200 in the United States, and was Rise Against's first album to chart in countries outside of North America.
With the release of Appeal to Reason , Rise Against's music shifted toward a more accessible and radio-friendly sound, with greater emphasis on production value. The album's third single, "Savior", broke the record for the most consecutive weeks spent on both the Hot Rock Songs and Alternative Songs charts. Rise Against's popularity grew with the release of Endgame , which peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, and charted highly worldwide. The band's 7th and 8th albums, The Black Market and Wolves continued the trend of commercial success, and both peaked with the top ten on the Billboard 200.
Rise Against is also known for their advocacy of progressivism, supporting organizations such as Amnesty International and the It Gets Better Project. The band actively promotes animal rights and most of the members are straight edge, PETA supporters and vegetarians.
Rise Against was formed in 1999, by bassist Joe Principe and guitarist Dan Wleklinski. Before Rise Against, Principe and Wleklinski were members of the Chicago punk rock band 88 Fingers Louie. This band toured and recorded to moderate success, but disbanded on two separate occasions in the late 1990s. Following the second breakup, Principe and Wleklinski decided to form a new band called Transistor Revolt, and recruited drummer Tony Tintari, guitarist Kevin White, and lead vocalist Tim McIlrath. Principe met McIlrath in Indianapolis while attending a Sick of It All concert, and recalled seeing him perform with his previous band Baxter. Impressed with McIlrath's gritty vocals, Principe gave him a seven track demo he had recorded, and invited him to join the nascent band. McIlrath accepted the invitation, and dropped out of Northeastern Illinois University.
The initial jam sessions were problematic, as McIlrath was unaccustomed to Principe's and Wleklinski's fast-paced style of play. McIlrath described these early sessions as "the meeting of different worlds and worlds colliding", and noted how many of his friends questioned the future of the band. Despite these early issues, they were able to self-publish the extended play Transistor Revolt in 2000. The EP attracted the attention of the local punk community, as well as Fat Mike, the lead vocalist of NOFX and co-founder of the independent record label Fat Wreck Chords. Fat Mike offered to sign the band to a recording contract, with the stipulation that they change their name. He gave some suggestions, like Jimmy Cracked Corn And The I Don't Cares, although none of the band members liked them. Tintari suggested Rise Against, to which the band agreed upon.
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