Rise Against have announced their brand-new album, Wolves.
The punk-rock titans will be releasing the follow-up to 2014’s The Black Market on June 9 through Virgin Records, and they’ve unveiled a killer new single, The Violence, to coincide with the news! Check it out below, and let us know what you think in the comments.
“In many ways, a Rise Against show is a safe space for our fans,” frontman Tim McIlrath says. “But I realised that I don’t only want to create safe spaces, I want to create dangerous spaces where misogyny can’t exist, where xenophobia can’t exist. I want to create spaces where those sentiments don’t have any air, and they suffocate: where those ideas die. Wolves isn’t about creating a safe space, it’s about creating a space that’s dangerous for injustice.”
The tracklisting for Wolves is as follows:
2. House On Fire
3. The Violence
4. Welcome To The Breakdown
5. Far From Perfect
7. Politics of Love
8. Parts Per Million
9. Mourning in Amerika
10. How Many Walls
And the album cover looks like this:
Be sure to check out The Ultimate Rise Against Videography:
The Ultimate Rise Against Videography
In 2014, Rise Against not only released their new 5K-rated album The Black Market, they also delivered one of the most powerful music videos of recent memory. Full of heart-breaking images and some truly sobering facts about the world in which we live, the video to lead single I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore captures the spirit of the Chicago political punks perfectly. But this isn’t the first time they’ve made a video that’s shocked as much as it’s informed. Many of their videos carry not only important messages, but some truly unforgettable and, indeed, life-changing images. That’s exactly why we asked singer Tim McIlrath to guide us through the secret history of their unflinching music videos. And, as Tim explains, they’ve come a long way from filming them in Chicago warehouses without much of a plan…
Words: George Garner
15. Heaven Knows
Tim says: "This was our very first video, a guy named Bob Trondson directed it, he was the drummer of The Blue Meanies – a Chicago ska band. We had a really small budget and we did the live scenes in the Oil Warehouse – a big old oil warehouse in the Southside of Chicago. We actually went on to record a song in the same warehouse for a compilation called The Oil Compilation. The story and treatment of the video are all loose, and kind of sketchy and never really made a lot of sense! We were ready to make a video but knew nothing about them, so at the end you watch it and go, ‘I don’t really know what that video was about!’. It’s probably a combination of not having the budget to do it and working with a guy who doing a video for one of the first times. But it was cool just to do a video!"
14. Give It All
Tim says: "Give It All is one of the coolest videos we ever made. We did it with James Cox – who also directed a movie called Wonderland! That was our first major label video, we had a real budget! We played a show at the Metro the night before the video and we told a bunch of people, ‘meet us at this corner in Downtown Chicago’. It was cool because a hundred kids showed up, we picked 50 of them, and we got on the El (Elevated Train in Chicago) and we had two train cars to ourselves. We just went around on this loop in downtown Chicago on this train car – which, by the way, was an operating train car: it was picking up passengers at each stop! Most passengers figured out, ‘let’s not get into that car – there’s a crazy fucking kid in there with a drum kit in there!’. We had a PA blasting a recorded version of the song and we were playing along, but not plugged in. We played it over and over. Our director was yelling at us, and yelling at the kids, we’re just going around the loop and the passengers were confused. The performance got crazier and crazier each time cos we were getting bored and antsy. A lot of these kids were really young and had just shown up without any idea of what was going to happen – the hours dragged on and it was a Sunday night and they were still on a train with a band and a director who were holding them hostage! They had no idea when it was going to end. People started to say, ‘hey man! I got to piss!’ and it’s like, ‘No! No one’s getting off the train – we’re shooting! Action!’. Towards the end of the shoot the train doors would open at a stop and kids would make a run for it! Then we did all that other stuff around Chicago. The Zoo was mad at us… They didn’t really know what we were going to do. The zoo gave us permission to do it and they were very leery at that because they didn’t want to be defamed, but we definitely slighted the zoo and animals at captivity in general. It was a crazy shoot. It went all night. The people we picked to be main characters weren’t actors! They were all people from the show who showed up at the street corner that the director talked around to showing up the next day, too!"
13. Swing Life Away
Tim says: "A guy named Estevan Oriol – he’s done a lot of hip hop videos – directed it, he’s a really cool guy. He came up with the idea that we’d just ride around Chicago. It was fun. It was something that we hadn’t really done yet, and the song itself was a leap for us – we didn’t really know what to do with it. So the video turned into a leap as well. That red truck was actually Brandon’s car at the time, the baby in the swing is my 10-year-old daughter right now and that was actually our guitar player’s apartment that we were filming in! We filmed in the Fireside Bowl where I grew up going to shows, and where Rise Against played some of our very first shows at. Parts of it are kind of cheesy when I look back on it, you know? But it captured where I was when that song was written – it was written when I was living in a house with four roommates in a bedroom and we were all just trying to figure out what to do with our lives. I think the video captures that. I was actually just in our creative director’s house and she still has the cassette that I put in the tape deck! It’s pretty rad. She does Lady Gaga’s videos now and she still has that cassette – it’s all smashed!"
12. Ready To Fall
Tim says: "We wanted this video to have the same impact that a lot of animal rights stuff we’d been watching had on us; documentaries like Meat Is Murder which shows a lot of slaughterhouse footage, or Earthlings which was about the environment and how it was being destroyed. Ready To Fall was like, ‘Holy shit, they’re going to give us a bunch of money to make a video and then, after we make it, we’ll have a bunch of people pushing it to TV to get played!’. So we looked at it from the perspective of hijacking the airwaves. If they’re gonna give us three and a half minutes of airtime on TV that means we can play anything, we can make a video that would be intense even on mute! A lot of that footage was gleaned directly from the documentary Earthlings, its director Sean Monson has become a good buddy of ours. He has a new one coming out called Unity. To this day, I still get people coming up to me saying, ‘that video made me think about where my food comes from,’ or, ‘that made me think about how we treat animals in the world’. That was the same with me with the PETA videos back when I was going to hardcore shows in the ‘90s. I can read literature all day long and only so much of it will have an impact, but when a TV screen is playing you slaughterhouse footage you can’t un-see it. It’s a picture worth a thousand words. Ready To Fall became a benchmark in Rise Against’s world."
11. Prayer Of The Refugee
Tim says: "This video was pretty fun! That was a real supermarket – it wasn’t a set. It wasn’t a Walmart, but it was filmed in some giant crazy department store in the south of LA. They let us have it for the night after all the workers had left. We stayed up until about 4am, just trashing the place like kids in a candy store. I love that video, especially because we were able to make a comment about Fair Trade in that video and it came out really well. It captured a performance but also a message."
10. The Good Left Undone
Tim says: "It was the first time we’ve done a special effects led video. It didn’t really have a message behind it because it’s not a political song so it was appropriate – it didn’t need to be political. It was a more artistic video and it came out good. It’s not one of our more memorable videos, I don’t know if the story is as direct, but it was a cool performance and a great way to put it onto video. We didn’t know what was going to happen on the set, but afterwards it felt like a sort of ’90s video – the videos we grew up watching. By the way, the guy who did Ready To Fall and Saviour also did Come As You Are by Nirvana! His name is Kevin Kerslake. We’ve done 3 or 4 videos with him now!"
9. Re-Education (Through Labor)
Tim says: "This is among the more controversial things we’ve done. There’s a couple of Chicago moped gangs – the Moped Army was the big chapter. I don’t know if they’re still huge in Chicago, but for a few years they were a big deal. They were really off the grid because cops didn’t know how to treat them – they weren’t cars or motorcycles, but they weren’t bikes either! They were loving living in the grey area of reality. I loved that they were doing their own thing – there was a certain charm to it all. They were their own revolutionary sect, they had the right amount of organisation and also irreverence. I thought it would be a cool thing to highlight and turn them into the direct action deviants. We did get flack for showing Chicago being blown up… It was a controversial video like, ‘What are you guys doing? You’re advocating that everyone in the Moped Army goes and throws bombs and blows up the skyline – that’s just terrorism!’. But for us it was at one of the points in US history where the politics were taking for granted the fact that people always swallow their shit and take it, all the legislation and wars. The video was to show that people will take government when they’re being fair, but you can’t just take for granted that people will always take it. And that video explained – as much as a video can explain – that if you push people to the edge they’ll do crazy shit. It’s funny though because one of the coolest moments in my life was when I get to meet Ian MacKaye at the Dischord house in D.C. with Brian Baker from Bad Religion, he brought us. We weren’t sure if he’d have any idea who we were, we just wanted to meet him and say hi to this guy who’d been so inspirational. So we sit down at his table and he says, ‘So… Rise Against. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know who you guys were so I went on the internet to figure it out and I’m watching this city exploding and I’m thinking you guys are hardcore!’ Right then my heart stopped, like, ‘I need to get out up and leave right now, because I’m sitting at Ian MacKaye’s table in Dischord house, steps away from the basement where Minor Threat rehearsed, and Fugazi wrote their songs, and he just told me something we did was hardcore!’ If I was just to stop breathing right there and call it a day I would say I had a great life!"
8. Audience Of One
Tim says: “The song wasn’t political at all, so when I went at it I thought, ‘let’s not do a political video’. But then this treatment came across and it was so cool and good that we thought we had to do it. I love that it put all these big issues in the world at the time – everything from gay marriage to militarism – and putting it in a miniature world, with a kid playing with it. Using the models was a cool device to change the way we were looking at everything that was in the headlines at the time.”
Tim says: "The idea for the costumes came from Kevin Kerslake, who did Re-Education and Ready To Fall. It was another case where I didn’t think we should do another heavy, documentary style video. Savior is not a song about the woes of the world – it’s more of a love song. It was originally just going to be a performance piece: us going nuts in a parking lot, trashing equipment, having fun and showing the physical nature of Rise Against. The animals and mascots were the bizarre element that would keep people watching! Strangely, there are political undertones to it, with the elephant in the pit! We just wanted to do our first fun video – just go in and play the song and have the cameras capture it. Videos are not my favourite thing to do – being asked to manufacture emotion is never a lot of fun, so we were at the point where it was like, ‘we’re going to go out there anyway, so let’s just go and trash some instruments!‘"
6. Hero Of War
Tim says: "I was glad the way this happened – it was a very literal interpretation of the song and felt it was done in a moving, film-like way. We wanted to paint the picture of the story and lay it bare. It’s a heavy video to watch. Just a really tough video to watch. The same polarising opinions came out of the video as the song. It hit people. No one was lukewarm about it – people either loved it or hated it. We were meeting a lot of veterans around that time and some would come up to me and say, ‘I don’t know how but you told my story – that’s exactly how I feel,’ and then somebody else would say, ‘Hey, asshole. What you do is very offensive.’ The same people in the same walk of life would have a very different reaction to it."
5. Help Is On The Way
Tim says: "The treatment for this came through about the family on the roof, and we couldn’t think of a tasteful way of adding ourselves into that picture without just looking like a rock band playing on the ruins of New Orleans. It would look bad if it was just us rocking out with guitars playing in a flooded quarter. We didn’t fit. We didn’t grow up in Louisiana. We wanted to sing the song and write about it, but it felt we’d be taking advantage if we appeared. We decided to not to be a part of it. When I first watched it it was heavy. They really nailed the story and the song."
Tim says: "That song like, ‘Rise Against is kind of like a satellite and every once in a while we’re in orbit over you – we pop into your lives and play a show’. It was us doubling down on our commitment to being Rise Against, like ‘we’ve been a band this long, and as we’ve gotten bigger the pressure to conform and not make waves’. So when we came back with Endgame I wanted a song to show that we weren’t going to cave into that pressure."
3. Make It Stop (September's Children)
Tim says: "That video was actually filmed in my old high school. The song itself was a statement I really wanted to make – it connected with people. It was a message I felt the rock world wasn’t talking about enough. The moment when we’re speaking the names of some of the kids who died in the wave of gay teen suicide is all explained in the video, and seeing the pressure of life made it more real. The song was getting its wings as the It Gets Better campaign was also happening, they were cousins, so I wanted to include them in the video to get their message out, too."
2. Ballad Of Hollis Brown (Bob Dylan Cover)
Tim says: "We covered the Bob Dylan song and our director Nico Sabenorio said, ‘I’m going to fly in from LA, film you guys in Chicago and then I’m going to drive back LA’. It’s like a 3-4 day drive! Between Chicago and LA is a lot of farmland so he said he would just film in the back roads of America and when he got back he’ll have footage of what life’s like out there. And that’s exactly what he did. The fact that so much of the States has a lot in common with the Dustbowl-era Dylan was singing about is kind of tragic."
1. I Don't Want To Be Here Anymore
Tim says: "The whole idea behind the song is that you hit a point in your life where you’re just so exhausted and fatigued that you no longer want to be in that place. I wanted the video to paint pictures of where people are in the world that people feel like that and situations where that emotion may happen in contemporary society. The director Nico Sabenorio, who also did Hollis Brown, gave it that same sort of documentary feel to it. He went to the Southside of the Chicago where the murder rate is ballooning, and places where people feel like they don’t have a lot of hope. It shows the song in a different light."
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