Stray From The Path are one of the biggest names in modern hardcore music. Having formed in 2001, the band have never been shy to stand up and express what they believe in (the lyrics of their music speaking out against social injustice and expressing very left-leaning values). Over the course of their career, the band have thus far released ten studio albums (with their most recent having just came out, titled Euthanasia). We actually just highlighted one of the songs off the band’s new record as part of The Pit’s Favorite Riffs.
Over on Metal Hammer, Stray From The Path guitarist and vocalist Thomas Williams took part in a feature where he spoke to his love for Rage Against the Machine – a band that has not only very much influenced Stray From The Path, but has also been putting in a great deal of political work throughout their career.
To start off, Williams writes, “I could talk to you for fuckin’ ten years about Rage, man, I love that band. I don’t remember what grade I was in – sixth or seventh maybe – and this guy James Watson, who was our resident metalhead, showed me Bulls On Parade.”
“Stray From The Path are very fortunate; I think our band is fuckin’ great, we have one of the best drummers on the planet and one of the best vocalists too. We’re a fuckin’ good band and there aren’t many bands that can touch us, but I know a lot of bands that are fuckin’ good that can’t the time of day so I know how lucky we are. Rage taught me that you have this platform you’re lucky to have and you need to make the best of it. I’m not saying we’re some superheroes that are here saving the day – we just talk about shit that matters to us.
“There are people that hate us for it, people that love us for it but that never swayed us. When we put out Goodnight Alt-Right we fuckin’ got targeted by thousands of people around the globe who were mad at us. We still put out Badge & A Bullet parts 1 and 2, now part 3 and people still fuckin’ come after us for it. All I know is, I’ve heard stories about Rage Against The Machine working it so that a dollar of every ticket they sell goes towards a cause they care about. 20, 30, 40 thousand dollars a night going to local charities in each city they play. That is inspiring to me.
“How could you not look up to a band like that? They’re the pinnacle. I look up to all of the guys in that band, but especially Tom Morello and the way he plays. He takes all these pedals and tries to make weird shit, it’s so great. But I saw them live for the first time a few weeks back and being in that room affirmed for me that the one person that stands out most in that band is Zack De La Rocha. Back when I first heard them, I was listening to guys like Corey Taylor and Chino Moreno, but absolutely nobody sounds like Zack. Nobody spits bars like Zack – and as I’ve got older I’ve realised his lyrics are amazing, dropping references you need textbooks to understand. It’s an education.”
What does Rage Against the Machine mean to you? Have they inspired you in anyway? What about Stray From The Path? Stray’s new record, Euthanasia, is out now. You can read the full feature involving Williams via this link here.