The bulls of Rage Against the Machine will no longer be on parade as the band’s drummer Brad Wilk announced Wednesday night that the rock group would not tour again.
“I know a lot of people are waiting for us to announce new tour dates for all the canceled RATM shows,” Wilk wrote in the Instagram announcement. “I don’t want to string people or myself along any further. … I want to let you know that RATM (Tim, Zack, Tom and I) will not be touring or playing live again.”
Wilk did not make clear whether this explicitly meant that the group had broken up or whether it had any plans to record any new music in the future.
Other members of the L.A. band have yet to publicly comment on the situation.
“I’m sorry for those of you who have been waiting for this to happen. I really wish it was,” Wilk continued in the post. He captioned the message, “Thank you to every person who has ever supported us.”
The “Killing in the Name” artists were forced to cancel their most recent tour in October 2022 after lead singer Zack de la Rocha suffered a “severe tear” in his left Achilles’ tendon during a performance in Chicago.
“It’s been almost three months since Chicago, and I still look down at my leg in disbelief,” de la Rocha said in his 2022 statement.
“Two years of waiting through the pandemic, hoping we would have an opening to be a band again and continue the work we started 30 some odd years ago. Rehearsing, training, reconciling, working our way back to form. Then one and a half shows into it and my tendon tears. Felt like a sick joke the universe played on me. As I write this I remind myself it’s just bad circumstances.”
Speaking on the band’s future after De la Rocha’s injury, guitarist Tom Morello did not specify how the group planned to proceed .
“Rage Against the Machine is like the ring in ‘Lord of the Rings.’ It drives men mad. It drives journalists mad. It drives record-industry people mad. They want it. They want the thing, and they’re driven mad,” he told Rolling Stone in March 2023. “If there are Rage shows, if there are not Rage shows, you’ll hear from the band. I do not know. When there is news, it will come from a collective statement from the band.”
In December 2022, the band’s bassist Tim Commerford announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Rage Against the Machine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2023. Morello was the only member of the band who was present at the induction ceremony.
“I am deeply grateful for the musical chemistry I’ve had the good fortune to share with Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford and Zack de la Rocha. Like most bands, we have differing perspectives on a lot of things, including being inducted into the Rock Hall,” Morello said at the November ceremony.
He added of the politically minded rock group: “Throughout history, the spark of rebellion has come from unexpected quarters: authors, economists, carpenters. But, as Salvador Allende said, there is no revolution without songs. So who’s to say what musicians might or might not be able to achieve with revolutionary intent when the bouncing crowd makes the Richter scale shake?”
In 2000, De la Rocha stepped away from Rage Against the Machine, saying in a statement at the time, “I feel that it is now necessary to leave Rage because our decision-making process has completely failed.”
The group, known for espousing leftist political theory and causes, reunited in 2007 to headline the final day of that year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It had planned to headline the desert festival again in 2020, after a nine-year hiatus, as the kickoff of its second reunion tour, but that performance never took place as Coachella 2020 was canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.