Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath: “The world keeps creating an audience for our music”

Rise Against
(Image credit: Wyatt Troll)

As far as political punk bands go, the overwhelming trend seems to be that you either die an anarchist hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain that writes an album of pissweak, money-grabbing love songs. There are exceptions to the rule, of course – like Rise Against, whose ninth effort, Nowhere Generation, just so happens to be one of their most punchy, powerful and poignant to date. And it couldn’t possibly have come at a more imperative time in our history.

Because let’s face it: this is Gen Z’s world now, and we’re all living (and trying to wrap our heads around all the increasingly confusing technology) in it. As the age‑old adage says, “the kids are the future” – and those kids need some fierce and fiery punk-rock to get them in the fascist-bashing spirit! All the old problems are new again: corrupt politicians, rampant queerphobia, state-sanctioned racism, climate change – shit, now we’ve got a global pandemic to wrangle, too!

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…