Interview by Dan Cribb
RISE AGAINST will be bringing their politically driven music to Australia this July with a run of stadium shows strewn right across the country. Guitarist Zach Blair was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his day to chat to us about touring and their new album ‘Endgame’ from a car park in Missouri.
“We’re currently on a full tour of the states with Bad Religion supporting us, which is crazy because they’re one of our favourite bands of all time,” Blair said laughing.
‘Endgame’, which was released in March of this year, has been topping charts all over the world and peaked at #2 on the Australian Top 50 Albums upon its release. Produced by Bill Stevenson (Descendents, ALL, Only Crime) Blair explains just how important Stevenson was in the albums success.
“Bill’s really just become a part of the band at this point. I’ve actually done 10 records with him and I used to play in a band with him called ‘Only Crime’ before I played in Rise Against. He’s a personal mentor and one of my closet friends. I would definitely call him the fifth member of Rise Against. He’s really able to hear the music in a way in which we don’t.” Blair explains.
While this is the bands sixth studio album, this is Blair’s second since joining the band in 2007.
“With ‘Appeal To Reason’ (their fifth album) I’d only been in the band for about a year at that point. We toured that album for about 2 years, so I felt a lot more comfortable on this album. I knew the guys before I joined the band but we didn’t get a chance to really know each other. I felt much more a part of the band for ‘Endgame’.”
The first single off the album ‘Help is on the Way’ features a video of victims of hurricane Katrina losing their house and belongings.
“The song was birthed from a trip that Tim took to New Orleans. He was able to see first-hand the lack of clean-up in New Orleans. It’s been such a long time since hurricane Katrina happened and they’re still not 100%. The video really paints the picture of what the song’s trying to say.
Blair goes on to say that they haven’t yet planned what their Australian set is going to be like and most probably won’t.
“We’re kind of like a wild card with the songs we play. We don’t ever really roll with smoke machines or laser shows or anything crazy. We take as much as we can get away with, still keeping it realistic. The shows in Australia are always great. Bands don’t get their very often, so when they do all the kids are so excited to see your band that every show feels great.”
This will be the bands fifth Australian tour and you can catch them at Challenge Stadium Saturday the 23rd of Julywith Sick of It All (USA) and Break Even (WA). Tickets on sale from www.ticketmaster.com.au