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Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford talks Rush in new interview

Sun, Dec 11, 2016@8:31PM | comments

Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford recently sat down with Mike Mettler for an interview at to discuss his many projects including the RATM offshoot Prophets of Rage and his new band Wakrat. Wakrat just released their debut album last month and Mettler asked him about all the odd time signatures on the record, which led to a discussion of progressive rock and Rush:

... I was a huge prog rock fan as a kid in high school, and I'm so thankful for that. As much as I was over the top into the Sex Pistols, that was my one true love. I really went from the Sex Pistols to Rush, and ultimately to King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and everything else. I'm really thankful that that's how I learned how to play my instrument, by emulating [Yes bassist] Chris Squire and people like that. ... Geddy Lee's approach to the instrument of bass is so - he plays so hard. When I went to see them play, I would notice how hard he would be hitting the strings, and that inspired me to want to do that. That really is the key to the way I play - it's not really the amp or the bass as much as it's the right-hand technique. And you hit the nail on the head. When Rage first got together, I had already known Zach [de la Rocha, vocalist/lyricist] all my life - and, believe it or not, he was the one who turned me on to both the Sex Pistols and Rush for the first time, when we were little kids! So when I was meeting Brad [Wilk, drummer] and Tom [Morello, guitarist] for the first time, it was easy for me to go, "Oh yeah, I love the Sex Pistols," but it wasn't as comfortable for me to say I was a total Rush fanatic geek. When I finally did muster up the courage to say that, Brad said, "Oh, man - me too!" That was our common ground, so he and I would jam on YYZ [an instrumental from 1981's Moving Pictures] at the end of rehearsals. That was always really fun. ... I really enjoy [a midrange bass tone]. On the [Prophets of Rage] EP we made [The Party's Over], I almost feel like there's too much low end on it. Like I said, I like Geddy Lee, man - I like that Moving Pictures bass sound, where it's very midrangey and grindy. ... Something like [the sound on Vital Signs], yeah. He got a great sound on all of those songs. I feel like that record was the quintessential Rush sound. It's not a lot of low end - it's more midrange, mid-low. ...

You can check out the entire interview at this location.