Tom Morello: 'I've Never Seen Audience Respond to a Song the Way They Respond to 'Killing in the Name''

Guitarist talks RATM's signature tune.

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Tom Morello has been talking to Australia's Triple M about the joy he gets from playing Rage Against the Machine's signature song "Killing in the Name."

As Morello notes, there has never been a Rage show where the song hasn't been played:

"This was the band's first single ever, and I don't we've ever played a show without playing this song. It tended to be a show closer. When we were last here for big day out in 2008, 2009, I remember playing that across your fine country here, and to say that people went ape-sh-t would be an understatement."

Morello also notes that the track has never been a burden for the band:

"That song affects the audience in a way ... I've been to thousands of shows and a I've never seen an audience respond to a song in the way that they respond to Rage Against the Machine playing that song. We've played it a lot of times...

"The thing about the Rage shows was we never had pyrotechnics ... the show was the audience. You just light those f--kers up and they get to watch each-other go crazy. Then you go crazy, and everyone's going triple crazy, then you drop that jam and it's all over."

29 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is so true, even when it's played at a party I just go totally mental...****ing love it.
    Ive been clubbing and heard this song played before, and howly shit my ears died from the people screaming "YEAAAHHH", its unbelievable the response it gets.
    Reading 2000. RATM were 4th on the bill, below Stereophonics and Placebo. Unbelievable. In any case, the whole arena was packed and jumping from start to finish. It kinda lightened up after Eminem came on.
    I would love to have the privilege of seeing Rage live some day.
    People DO go absolutely ape shit. Saw them at Lollapalooza, and the show had to be stopped 3 times so ambulances could come through to take out the people getting crushed. During Killing in the Name, people started climbing over the outer fences and security was pretty helpless to stop them all.
    Yeah I was at that show, 2008 right? Best concert I've ever had the pleasure of attending. Nothing beat having 70,000+ ppl jumping in unison with their middle fingers in the air singing along... "F**K YOU I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!" What an incredible feeling! In fact, that entire weekend was bananas! Rage, Radiohead, NIN, Black Keys, Raconteurs, just to name a few... Good times!
    yeah if they would only tour, I don't even care about a new album, but a thorough tour would be nice.
    There is no better release than yelling "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!". Something magical about it.
    I ws actually more partial to "Take the Power Back"
    What? The LAnd of the Free?? Whoever told you that is your enemy
    This guy gets it
    Musically/lyrically it's a brilliant song, but Killing in the name, being their most simple tune makes it so powerful because anyone can get into it even hearing it once. But as a purist I agree with you.
    ratm es lo mas grande, solo que no innovaron y siguieron repitiendo la misma formula desde el 92
    I was at the Gold Coast show he is talking about. Yeah, we went ape shit in the death pit.
    Can somebody please tell me what is so great about this band? I'm not even trollin', I'm serious. I just don't get it, Killing in the Name is the only song of theirs that I even sort of enjoy. The rest just don't do it for me.
    If you're only enjoying one song of theirs, maybe you're the problem, instead of the band.
    If you're only enjoying one song of theirs, maybe you're the problem, instead of the band.