Rise Against gets introspective on The Black Market

¡°Rise Against has always been a political band, but also a personal band,¡± says frontman Tim McIlrath in a press announcement about the Chicago quartet¡¯s new album, The Black Market. ¡°We¡¯ve always had songs that have a foot in both worlds. This album is a lot more introspective to me,¡± he reveals about the band¡¯s new release on Interscope Records. McIlrath cites lead single, ¡®I Don¡¯t Want to Be Here Anymore,¡¯ as an example of the album¡¯s more introspective nature. The song is concurrently No. 10 and No. 12 on the Mediabase Active Rock and Alternative radio airplay charts, respectively.

McIlrath describes ¡®I Don¡¯t Want to Be Here Anymore¡¯ as a ¡°pretty simple and visceral escapist sentiment.¡± He adds it¡¯s about not wanting to be in a place¡ªphysically or mentally. ¡°It¡¯s something most of us have said to ourselves, if not aloud, at some point in our lives,¡± he explains. ¡°Whether you feel you are being exploited or ignored or you can just imagine a better place, it¡¯s about longing for that place and finally admitting to yourself that you aren¡¯t content with your current situation. But it doesn¡¯t have the answer either. It¡¯s just the first step.¡±

The Black Market is the seventh studio album by Rise Against, following 2011¡äs Endgame and a rarities collection titled, Long Forgotten Songs. The previous album is noted for how it focuses on real world events and disasters (e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Deepwater Horizon oil spill) as well as establishing the band¡¯s stance on homophobia. The track ¡®Make It Stop (September's Children)¡¯ references the September 2010 suicides of teenagers in the LGBT community, and fans were asked to leave messages on the RiseAgainst.com that applied to the messages behind the album¡¯s songs.

The focus of the new album is the cost of self-awareness. ¡°Rise Against has always been a political band, but also a personal band,¡± says McIlrath. An article in U.K.¡¯s Metal Hammer magazine quotes the singer as saying that while he and his bandmates may argue like any other group, they always see eye to eye when it comes to their sound. ¡°It¡¯s funny. We disagree on all kinds of stuff, you know, four guys who have been living together for the last 15 years. But when it comes to the music, something sort of turns. Those disagreements ¡­ that switch turns off,¡± he explains.

¡°When we all get in the same room everyone is really supportive and encouraging. We have our battles, but they aren¡¯t musical battles,¡± continues McIlrath. He adds the band still records ¡°the old fashioned way¡± by staying in the same room together instead of sending electronic files back and forth. ¡°That¡¯s the way we¡¯ve always worked. The way Rise Against makes a record in 2014 is the same way we played with our friends when we were 15-years-old in our parents¡¯ basement,¡± claims the frontman.

Rise Against is preparing to tour the U.S. and Canada through October 5 with featured stops including the Sonic Boom Festival in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Aug. 29-31); the Made In America Festival in Los Angeles (Aug. 31); Riot Fest in Toronto (Sept. 6-7), Chicago (Sept. 12-14), and Denver (Sept. 21); and Aftershock in Sacramento (Sept. 14). European dates kick off Nov. 3 in the U.K., wrapping up Nov. 25 in Norway.

Watch the official lyric video for ¡®I Don't Want To Be Here,¡¯ the new single from Rise Against off the band¡¯s new album The Black Market.

As A Matter of Fact¡­

* Rise Against is an American punk rock band from Chicago that formed in the summer of 1999. Current members include co-founders Tim McIlrath (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Joe Principe (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Brandon Barnes (drums, percussion) along with guitarist Zach Blair, who joined in 2007.

* Rise Against released its first two studio albums¡ªThe Unraveling (2001) and Revolutions per Minute (2003)¡ªon the independent Fat Wreck Chords label. Both albums were popular underground projects and led to a major label deal with Geffen in 2003.

* The 2004 major label debut of Siren Song of the Counter Culture launched the band¡¯s mainstream success. In 2005, Rise Against appeared in the skateboarding film Lords of Dogtown, playing an old-school Cali punk band and contributing a cover of Black Flag's ¡®Nervous Breakdown¡¯ for the film's soundtrack.

* Follow up albums The Sufferer & the Witness (2006) and Appeal to Reason (2008) both made the Billboard 200 Top 10 with 2011¡¯s Endgame getting all the way to No. 2, while topping Billboard¡¯s Alternative, Digital, Hard Rock, and Rock album charts. The four Geffen albums were certified platinum in Canada, while every album except Endgame went gold in the United States.

* Rise Against is known for the band¡¯s advocacy of progressive organizations such as Amnesty International and It Gets Better Project. The group also actively promotes animal rights as vegetarians and members of PETA.

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