Tom Morello: 'Paul Ryan is the embodiment of the machine our music rages against'

Guitarist writes that he doesn't care that the budding Vice-President says Rage Against The Machine are one of his favourite bands

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Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello has blasted Paul Ryan, the man recently chosen by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his running mate.

Ryan has previously been quoted as saying that Rage Against The Machine are one of his favourite bands, something that has irked Morello, who wrote in Rolling Stone that he believes Ryan's liking for his band is "amusing".

He wrote: "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. Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn't understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn't understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine."

He continued: "Ryan claims that he likes Rage's sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don't care for Paul Ryan'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."

Morello went to question whether Ryan had ever understood the band's message and also said that though he believed Ryan "had a whole lotta rage in him", it wasn't against topics he believed in.

He wrote: "I wonder what Ryan's favourite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "Fuck the Police"? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!"

He went on: "Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's grovelling in front of for campaign contributions."

Morello finally said that he wondered if Ryan "had been moshing when he should have been listening" and also joked that he hoped the Republican candidate was actually posing "as a mole".

He said: "Rage's music affects people in different ways. Some tune out what the band stands for and concentrate on the moshing and throwing elbows in the pit. For others, Rage has changed their minds and their lives. Many activists around the world, including organizers of the global occupy movement, were radicalised by Rage Against the Machine and work tirelessly for a more humane and just planet. Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening."

He finally said: "My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole. Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job. Maybe if elected, he'll pardon Leonard Peltier. Maybe he'll throw U.S. military support behind the Zapatistas. Maybe he'll fill Guantanamo Bay with the corporate criminals that are funding his campaign – and then torture them with Rage music 24/7. That's one possibility. But I'm not betting on it."

Tom Morello released his fourth album as The Nightwatchman in 2011. You can watch a video interview of him discussing Rage Against The Machine's future at the bottom of the page.

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Video: Tom Morello - 'Rage Against The Machine Is Ongoing'

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