Rise Against's Zach Blair and Tim McIlrath on their Grateful Dead-inspired guitar interplay and making music with a message

Rise Against
(Image credit: Jeff Hahne/Getty Images; Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

In March 2020, Tim McIlrath was heading straight for what he calls a “post-album emotional collapse” – and then the pandemic hit.  

The Rise Against singer and guitarist had just wrapped work on his long-running Chicago political punk crew’s ninth record, Nowhere Generation, and he was ready to retreat into a “dark room with blackout curtains and not see anyone for a while.” 

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Brad Angle

Brad is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor and video producer. He is the former content director of Revolver magazine and executive editor of Guitar World. His work has appeared in Vice, Guitar Aficionado, Inked and more. He’s also a die-hard Les Paul player who wishes he never sold his 1987 Marshall Silver Jubilee half stack.