October 18, 2000 -- It's no secret that frontman Zack de la Rocha is angry. But now he's so angry that he's quitting Rage Against the Machine.
"I feel that it is now necessary to leave Rage because our decision-making process has completely failed," de la Rocha said in a statement today. "It is no longer meeting the aspirations of all four of us collectively as a band, and from my perspective, has undermined our artistic and political ideal. I am extremely proud of our work, both as activists and musicians, as well as indebted and grateful to every person who has expressed solidarity and shared this incredible experience with us."
De la Rocha did not announce any future plans, though he is reportedly working on a solo album, and may collaborate with The Roots' ?uestlove. The duo teamed with Public Enemy's Chuck D for the aggressive "Burn Hollywood Burn," which appears on the soundtrack to the new Spike Lee film, Bamboozled.
?uestlove tells Wall of Sound that he and de la Rocha have talked about a more extensive team-up, which will probably occur in the second half of 2001, after The Roots record their next album.
"Zack wants to come to the experimental side of things," says ?uestlove. "I know for his solo album he's working with Roni Size, Outkast, me, [Cypress Hill's] DJ Muggs, DJ Shadow. He's doing a lot of experimental stuff. We'll talk about it and see where we're gonna go. I'm looking forward to it."
Formed in 1991, Rage Against the Machine has released three studio albums and has regularly been in the forefront of a number of social and political causes, including that of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal. Recently, Rage gave a free performance outside this year's Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles that ended in chaos as fans fought with the Los Angeles Police Department.
At press time, the remainder of the band and its record label, Epic, had yet to make a statement as to the future of Rage Against the Machine. The group has faced several obstacles in the recent past: A scheduled tour with the Beastie Boys, originally slated for August, was postponed in late July, following an injury to Beastie Boy Mike D, and cancelled for good in September. Additionally, recording sessions for a live album had been cancelled twice, and de la Rocha's departure likely will scrap plans for that project permanently, as well.