Loudwire Nights host Full Metal Jackie recently caught up with Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath and guitarist Zach Blair at the Rock on the Range Festival. They talked about the band’s activism, their latest album ‘The Black Market,’ playing rock festivals and more. Check out the interview below. 

How would Rise Against’s music be different without activism?

Tim McIlrath: That's a good question because to me they're a very intertwined. The music is a vehicle for the activism. It's like the ills of society are the things that fuel the music. The ingredients that go into that recipe. I'd have to say it'd probably be very, very different. I think it'd be far less urgent if we didn't have anything to be urgent about.

Lyrically, ‘The Black Market’ seems more introspective than previous Rise Against albums. What do you better understand about the band after making this one?

TM: Going into a seventh record, it's like the fact that you're still around this long and making records, and we still have so many dedicated fans, it almost required a different approach to the record. One that sort of takes stock of where we are and who we are as a band. So, that is why the turn inward happened. I think that in the end, you end up learning all kinds of things about your band and for us on this record, the things we were capable of doing musically or lyrically or production-wise. So, we found out all kinds of stuff about ourselves.

You guys have played festivals worldwide, what do you think is different about a festival like ‘Rock on the Range?’

Zach Blair: It seems like there's not one laptop; it seems like all the bands have guitars, which nowadays is going the way of the buffalo. It's rock music and fans of rock music and it's great to come to one of these and see a whole sold out festival of all people that want to hear and love rock guitar. I think it’s kind of sad that you're not getting that so much, so you come and do this and it restores your faith.

Many thanks to Tim and Zach for the interview. Rise Against are out on tour in Europe now but return to the states on July 17 in Chicago. Check out their tour dates here. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie Monday through Friday at 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.

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